A new study published by the OMC (Organizacion Medica Colegial de España) looking into the demographics of doctors working in Spain reveals why the numbers of doctors is increasing and why there are Spanish doctors looking for work abroad.

Spain has a massive pool of graduate doctors leaving university each year; one of the largest amongst OECD countries. In the last 15 years the number of medical students has increased by 48% with the number of university places reaching 5,660 in 2017. Spain has over 44 medical faculties both public and private, ranking 2nd in the world in terms of the number of medical faculties per million inhabitants, with more expected to open in the short term.

Specialist Training vs Graduate Pool

Access to postgraduate specialist training remains very restricted; this year only ~6,500 places were made available across all 49 specialties. Over 14,400 doctors took the entry examination but only 65% of those that passed were awarded a place. Therefore, despite obtaining a passing grade, over 2,800 doctors have been left without a place on the program.

Doctors are required to complete the MIR specialist training to work for the national health system (SNS). The thousands of experienced and qualified doctors left off the training each year now have two to options – private practice or look for work abroad.

OMC Demographic Study Spanish Doctors