Doctors with Borders: Medical Brain Drain Through the Ethical Lens
International migration of highly-skilled persons, commonly referred to as "brain drain", has long plagued the Global South. The phenomenon of brain drain has devastated the healthcare infrastructure of many source countries, many of which struggle to train qualified healthcare workers. Interventions aimed at preventing medical brain drain require nuanced ethical examination in the age of globalization and pluralistic cultural interactions. Through an interdisciplinary literature review, this thesis explores the ethical dimensions of medical brain drain in relation to global inequality, cultural relativism, and epistemic injustice through case studies of three countries’ experience combating medical brain drain: South Korea, South Africa, and Malawi. In order to approach the issue of medical brain drain ethically and responsibly, stakeholders should examine the role of cultural diversity, neocolonial world order, depoliticization of humanitarian aid, and neoliberal global health project models. This thesis recommends South-South Cooperation as a potential ethical solution to medical brain drain. The interdisciplinary literature review used in this thesis identifies a need for more cooperation between quantitative and qualitative methodologies on the topic of medical brain drain.