What is the “brain drain” anyway?  In developing countries all over the world, the “brain drain” refers to the tendency of qualified and skilled workers to leave the country in search of greener pastures.  To America, to Europe.  The salary of a physician in the USA may be 100 times that of his counterpart in the developing world.  Is it any wonder that so many leave?

And yet, the consequences are felt by the countries they leave behind.  The people in those countries long for skilled engineers to design their infrastructure.  For skilled physicians and surgeons to treat their medical problems.  For talented musicians and artist to elevate their culture.


Physicians in Ethiopia

In health care, the effects are especially acute.  People’s lives are at stake.  The minister of health for Ethiopia has even famously said that there are more Ethiopian physicians in Chicago than in Ethiopia itself!    So the country is taking on the challenge head on.  Thirteen new medical schools were opened in the past two years.   But this just means more junior level doctors who will also be looking for the exits.


We can train them in a specialty.  You see, the vast majority of Ethiopian medical school graduates (general practitioners, or GPs, they are called) are looking to advance their education by further training.  Just like in the US and other places, they want to do a postgraduate residency.  Whether it’s Obstetrics/Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Radiology, Pediatrics, or whatever.  They are not content to be only graduated GPs.  They want that further training.

And so, Soddo Christian Hospital is actively battling the brain drain as well.  We have a five year General Surgery residency that is fully accredited by Ethiopia’s Higher Education Authority and COSCESA – the College of Surgeons of Central, East, and South Africa.  We are actively discipling them with the Word of God.  As they study Jesus’ heart for the “least of these”, they are motivated to use their skills to alleviate the crisis in their own nation.  Not leave for another country.  Yes, that’s right.  Our graduates stay in Ethiopia!  And so, we see Dr. Frehun in Addis, and Dr. Haile in Asela and Dr. Tedi here in Soddo training more surgeons.   By God’s grace, all of our graduates have stayed home!

We’ll tell you more about PAACS and how this organization is helping not just Ethiopia, but all of Africa, in the next post…


St. Luke’s Health Care Foundation
(630) 510-2222
St. Luke's Health Care Foundation PO Box 4465
Wheaton, IL 60189-4465