Document Type: Commentary


Department of Public Health & Continuous Medical Education, Ministry of Health, Basra, Iraq


Introduction: Doctors’ shortage has remained a concernworldwide. The developed countries started aids to recruitinternational medical graduates (IMG) to cope with the defectsthat the health care system suffers from; however, this solution maynot work in developing countries that have a limited resource andpoor budget to spend on the health care system. This study aimsto present an alternative way to approach the physicians’ shortageby accelerating undergraduate medical education and reform somepost-graduate courses in order to cope with this problem.Methods: The literature in PubMed/Medline and Google scholarwere searched using such keywords as undergraduate medicaleducation, physician shortage, health care reform, physicians’performance, medical curriculum.Results: The finding revealed that performance duringundergraduate medical school does not have a relationship withthe physician’s performance post-graduation. Moreover, theoverloaded curriculum and the years spent in undergraduateeducation have a negative impact on the students in terms ofburn out, lack of competency, and loss of motivation in medicine.The method of education was found to have a positive effect onpreparing good students and ultimately good physicians.Conclusion: Since performance in undergraduate years does nothave an impact on the practice post-graduation, the developingcountries may consider the option of changing the context, andabbreviating undergraduate medical education as a solution forphysicians’ shortage dilemma. Moreover, modifying some postgraduatemajors such as family physician, and general practitionerto allow the physicians enter the practice in areas of need isrecommended.Keywords: Medical education; Physicians; Developing countries