Is this really true? The article included interviews with a few foreign doctors. The ones who came to America appear to have done so of their own volition. As far as I could tell, they were not recruited. To the best of my knowledge, there is no concerted effort by any person or institution in the United States to coerce, shanghai, kidnap, seduce or otherwise lure physicians here.
How big a problem is this? According to 2010 data from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates [ECFMG], 9399 physician graduates of foreign medical schools were certified as eligible for training in the US. Of those, 2287 were US citizens. Most of the rest were from India , Pakistan , Canada , China , Nigeria , The Philippines , Egypt . Libya  and Ethiopia . For the geographically challenged, Nigeria, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia are African countries.
Of the remaining 3914, all other African countries accounted for [presumably] far fewer than 960, which is how many countries had fewer than 50 doctors certified. In addition, possession of an ECFMG certificate does not guarantee a foreign doctor a residency position in the US.
The NY Times piece said, “The managing director of University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka [Zambia], Lackson Kasonka, suggested to me [the author] that doctors who received government financing for their educations and then left exhibited ‘a show of dishonesty and betrayal.’”
Interestingly, the surgeon featured in the article, although from Zambia, went to medical school in India. His tuition was paid by his parents. I am not sure that he was the best example one could find of “stealing” a doctor. Speaking of India, the country has a population of 1.2 billion, with about 320 medical schools.
From Wikipedia: “India is one of the few countries which produces many medical graduates from its medical schools who work not only in India but in many other countries all over the world, especially [the] Middle East, UK and USA.” Apparently, those other areas are “stealing” doctors too. It also said, “Most of the [Indian] graduates do not like to practice in rural areas due to under staffed hospitals & lack of facilities.”
While sipping a beer in his apartment in a gated complex in New Jersey, the surgical resident from Zambia did not give the impression that he will be returning to the bush any time soon.
I do not see how we could possibly deny qualified people who want to come here for training the right to do so. If this is such a big problem, perhaps the affected countries should not issue exit visas to selected citizens or otherwise detain them.
What do you think? Are we actually “stealing” the world’s doctors?