In a world of 22.5 million refugees and counting, retraining displaced medical staff is a necessity, writes Vural Özdemir, MD.
But the “inherently political” process has led to a patchwork of approaches, some smarter than others.
The 600 refugee doctors living in Britain are starting to fill a medical skills gap as many retrain with the National Health Service. A similar scheme is underway in Turkey. But in Lebanon and Jordan, such efforts are illegal; in Canada, refugee retraining is burdensome.
Refugee practitioners offer empathy with the needs of displaced patients; but they also must adapt to often-significant cultural differences, for example, LGBTI rights.