Journal Article

‘A Mysterious Discrimination’: Irish Medical Emigration to the United States in the 1950s

Greta Jones

in Social History of Medicine

Published on behalf of Society for the Social History of Medicine

Volume 25, issue 1, pages 139-156
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 0951-631X
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1477-4666 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkr049
‘A Mysterious Discrimination’: Irish Medical Emigration to the United States in the 1950s

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Summary

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Ireland exported a considerable number of her medical graduates, mainly to Britain and the British Empire. After the Second World War there was a shift. The 1950s and 1960s saw an increase in the emigration of doctors to North America. The American Medical Association, worried about the possible impact upon the profession, introduced in 1950 a list of foreign medical schools which, in their view, met American standards of medical education. The failure of Irish medical schools to make this approved list brought to the surface problems in Irish medical education. This episode illustrates a number of issues raised by medical migration; recognition of qualifications and equivalency across borders; the rise of the USA as a global medical hegemonic power; the involvement of national governments; and migration as a catalyst for change in the exporting country.

Keywords: American Medical Association; General Medical Council; National University of Ireland; licensure; migration

Journal Article.  9379 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History ; History of Medicine

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