For more than a century, doctors who received training at the Fiji School of Medicine (FSM),1 the University of Papua New Guinea,2 or, more recently, the Pacific Basin Medical Officers Training Program3 in Pohnpei have been the mainstay of the medical workforce in Fiji and the Pacific island nations. Recently, an attempt has been made to make Fiji and its neighbours self-sufficient in medical personnel by enlarging the undergraduate student intake into the MB BS course from 50 to 70 and by establishing postgraduate specialist training programs at the FSM. However, these plans have largely been thwarted by the shortage of doctors in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, creating a vacuum that has resulted in an enormous “brain drain” of FSM graduates into those countries. Two political coups in Fiji, in 1987 and 2000, have only exacerbated the problem.
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