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«January 2020»

Return Migration of Health Professionals and the Transformation of Medical Practice in the Field of Maternal and Child Health in Bulgaria

The project seeks to understand and explain the ways in which return migration of health professionals affects the transformations of medical practice at an individual and at a systemic level.  The particular focus is on returning medical specialists in the field of prenatal, natal, and neonatal care. The research will use a mixed-methods approach integrating qualitative in-depth interviews with health professionals and various actors in their networks, and  policy analysis of the institutional framework. Drawing on the concept of medical habitus, the project formulates the hypothesis that return migration creates the potential for transformations in the medical practices by exposing mobile professionals to alternative medical systems and modes of practice. It thus aims to examine the role of returning health professionals as drivers of change, for the advancement of knowledge transfer and improvement of health systems at home. Given this research agenda, the project will examine three interrelated questions: How do returning health professionals experience and asses differences in medical practices and health systems? How do health professionals re-integrate in their home health systems and what kind of networks do they build? What transformative steps do returning health professionals take to advance medical knowledge and practice in their home countries?

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