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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68-77

Brain drain in academic medicine: Dealing with personnel departures and loss of talent

1 Department of Surgery, St. Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
2 Temple University School of Medicine - St. Luke's University Campus, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
3 Department of Surgery, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Akron City Hospital – Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, USA
4 Department of Anesthesiology, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA

Correspondence Address:
Stanislaw P Stawicki
Department of Research and Innovation, St. Luke's University Health Network, EW2 Research Administration, 801 Ostrum Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2455-5568.183332

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The phenomenon of “brain drain,” (BD) or the unanticipated and significant loss of skilled people and the talent they represent via voluntary turnover, continues to be a significant problem across many academic medical centers. This BD is a result of a multifactorial interplay between personal, professional, institutional, peer-driven, and socioeconomic factors and affects mainly academic healthcare organizations characterized by a specific set of leadership, economic, and competitive preconditions. Institutional impact of BD, both financial and nonfinancial, can be profound and is often underappreciated. Financial considerations of BD include loss of clinical and non-clinical income, contraction of institutional expertise, severance and recruitment expenses, as well as costs of onboarding new faculty. This article focuses on how to identify risk factors for BD at both institutional and personnel levels. Proposed steps for prevention and early intervention are outlined. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Professionalism, Practice-based learning and improvement, Systems-based practice, Interpersonal skills, and Communication.

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