How Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine Challenges the Ethics of Physician Migration
Social science & medicine (1982) 2009 Aug; 69(3): 301-4
This paper demonstrates a working alternative to the accepted ethics of physician migration. A dominant cosmopolitan ethics encourages upward mobility of physicians in a globalized labour force, and this ultimately advances the position of individuals rather than improving public health-care service for vulnerable communities in the global South. Cuba's Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) challenges this trend as its institutional ethics furnishes graduates with appropriate skills, knowledge and service ethics to deliver quality care in marginalized areas. This paper provides an analysis of how ELAM trains physicians in community-oriented service for marginalized areas in the global South. The principal finding of this analysis is that ELAM exhibits a working alternative to the accepted ethics of physician migration, as it encourages graduates to practice in marginalized communities rather than feed the migration pipeline into the North. Arguably, ELAM serves as an important case study in how a medical school's ethics can work to bring graduates closer to the communities that are in desperate need of their skills and of their compassion.
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