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The economics of health professional education and careers : insights from a literature review (English)

The health sector is shaped by its professionals. The processes by which they are selected for training, trained, and then deployed are therefore critical for the functioning of any health system. The market for health professional education is wide ranging, encompassing multiple types of health professionals with different lengths and depths of training, from community health workers to specialist physicians. The objective of this paper is to inform the design of policies to better manage health labor market forces by documenting what is known about the influence of market forces on the health professional formation process. It aims to address issues from a global perspective, seeking out patterns of difference between low, middle, and high income countries and across regions of the world. It also aims to understand the evolution of the health professions and of health labor markets over the last 30 years, and to cover all types of health professional, although the constraints of the literature engendered a focus on physicians and nurses. This study focuses on the market influences on the formation stages of a health professional’s career considered as those stages that involve formal, accredited education. A scoping review of the literature was undertaken seeking evidence on the following questions: what have been the large global and regional trends in the development of health professions?; how have these trends affected the career decisions of current and potential health professionals?; what is the evidence base on the value and effectiveness of health professional education of different types?; and how has the market for health professional education evolved, and with what interrelationships with the health labor and health care markets? Chapter one gives introduction. The evidence collected from the literature review to answer the four questions is discussed in chapter’s two to five. Chapter six draws conclusions, including the policy implications of the existing evidence base and the areas where gaps suggest the need for further research.


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    Mcpake,Barbara, Squires,Allison Patricia, Mahat,Agya, Araujo,Edson Correia

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    The economics of health professional education and careers : insights from a literature review

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    medical school;Career;primary care;Norwegian Agency for Development;relative value;rates of return to education;general practice;health labor market;Human Resources for Health;private for-profit;cost of health care;skilled health care worker;Migration of Health Workers;mental health care providers;social rate of return;health professional education;health care market;health professions;market force;community health worker;primary care physician;health worker migration;primary care sector;health care industry;career choice;benefits of remittance;health sector policy;place of work;access to care;national health system;high skilled labor;privileges and immunity;differentials in health;demand for service;private training provider;Continuing Medical Education;net present value;risk complication;effect on health;proportion of woman;design of policy;health care service;supply of labor;burden of disease;labor market analysis;health care system;public sector wage;access to specialists;increase in income;public health system;public health professional;number of residents;medical student;family medicine;general practitioner;population health;



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Mcpake,Barbara Squires,Allison Patricia Mahat,Agya Araujo,Edson Correia

The economics of health professional education and careers : insights from a literature review (English). A World Bank study Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.