Postgraduate medical training and migration in Europe: A survey of financial and labour conditions

Francesco Corea, Marco Bacigaluppi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and introduction: Resident medical training following medical school is a period of great importance in the instruction and education of young physicians, but also the first step into the labour market for doctors. Unfortunately, the long educational curricula as well as the low economic remuneration render medical training attractive only in some European countries: often low salaries accompany endless weekly working hours with a wide range of differences among the European countries. The aim of this study was to analyse the different economic conditions for resident trainees by reporting the different salaries and the weekly burden of working hours, and also comparing the different costs of living in eight European countries and in Israel. Materials and methods: A questionnaire was sent to resident medical doctors working in large university hospitals in eight European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK) and Israel, and data on the monthly salary, number of weekly working hours and general satisfaction were collected. Purchase power parity (PPP) in US dollar (USD) adjustment was calculated according to the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) tables. Results: Among the different countries, working hours per week ranged from 37 to 56. The net pay report had a median value of 2,000€ per month. The net monthly wage ranged between 1,000 and 3,000€. Power purchase parity in USD-corrected salaries varied from 1,388.80 (Greece) to 5,788.30 (UK), mean 2,562.30. Conclusions: Taking into account PPP-adjusted wages, France, Greece and Italy are below the median continental values. The trend of migration of medical trainees to countries where the economic situation is more favourable seems reasonable. Because of both the high salary and the language, the UK represents the most attractive training destination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Medical trainees
  • Salary
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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