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Are We Seeing The Start Of A Brain Drain?

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High house prices cited among reasons why British doctors are quitting for life overseas.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/23/new-doctors-leave-nhs-for-better-life-abroad

Hazel pointed out that property prices are also lower in states such as Western Australia. “For £500,000 you get a house with a double garage, swimming pool and four to five bedrooms,” he said. “Petrol is 60p a litre and you don’t spend a lot on heating bills.”

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Doctor salaries are about double in the US from what they are in the UK. Factor in the much lower cost of living (especially compared to anywhere near London or the South-East), and it would be a financial no-brainer to move to the US if you could. Doctors in the US are rich, whereas doctors anywhere near London struggle to make it to the middle class.

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I think it would be interesting to collate the reasons why young, well qualified Brits leave - I reckon house prices would no. 1, so yet another win for our housing market.

It is a ludicrous situation when a highly qualified, highly paid professional can't afford to buy even a basic family home. Certainly the case for doctors in London and much of the south east.

Although house prices in Sydney and Melbourne are just as ridiculous as here, the rest of Aus is a little more sane (maybe not w.r.t to local earnings, however). My partner and I can both work from anywhere and we'll likely return to the same part of Qld we left 2 years ago - a modern five bedder on quarter of an acre with sea views in quite a civilised town, for less than a 2 bed bungalow on the street we live on now.

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Doctor salaries are about double in the US from what they are in the UK. Factor in the much lower cost of living (especially compared to anywhere near London or the South-East), and it would be a financial no-brainer to move to the US if you could. Doctors in the US are rich, whereas doctors anywhere near London struggle to make it to the middle class.

They get a lot in Aus as well - I've got a surgeon mate in Sydney on over $400. A lot of doctors (hospital specialists in particular) do a couple of days private work a week in addition to public which is quite lucrative.

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Talk about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Isn't Western Australia about to implode? Commodities boom anyone...

Perth house prices are dropping pretty hard - I read 15% in the last year - due to the commodities implosion. No doubt has a long way to run, but could be a decent time to start thinking of moving. AUD/GBP has gone from $1.50 2 years ago to $2.15 today and still going so already you are looking at about a 50% drop in GBP in a couple of years.

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Unfortunately, most of the traditional escapes are in a similar situation to here, Aus, Canada and NZ. It seems the time to move was 10-15 years ago+. Having said that, at 25 I would seriously start the looking process if there is a crash there and nothing happens here. It'd be a no-brainer. I am very concerned about my future in the U.K, I am giving it a year more in the SE to see if there is a change (i.e crash). If not, I will "give up" this career and find something in an area with a low COL, I don't see the point in holding down a professional job here at the moment. Sadly, most of my friends just don't seem interested (or clued up) in what is going on or their sights are so low, they think squatting in a room at 30 or living with parents with a good job is normal. I'd say over half my friends still live at home, nothing wrong with it in the current conditions but we're getting infantilised adults as a result. Also, despite earning well over the national average salary, I can barely think about looking after myself let alone a family, if I ever had kids it'd be a long off date. Same with my mates, makes me wonder who is breeding then? Seems professional have kids later or not at all. There has to be huge social implications to these prices.

Edited by SillyBilly

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High house prices cited among reasons why British doctors are quitting for life overseas.

£500k gets you a lot of house in Blighty, too. Outside the hot-spots. Houses with pool, garage, garden, etc starting at around half the price in Plimuff, for instance.

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£500k gets you a lot of house in Blighty, too. Outside the hot-spots. Houses with pool, garage, garden, etc starting at around half the price in Plimuff, for instance.

True enough but still totally unaffordable for locals, and a struggle for a new doctor anywhere in the South East.

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Standard HPC meme but it doesn't seem to really happen. People like the comforts of home and being close to friends and family. I dare say people may also find it hard to adapt to the culture overseas (less of a problem for US/Aus/some of Europe).

There are also differences in work culture in places like the US, e.g. sod all holidays, need for health insurance, etc, etc.

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Standard HPC meme but it doesn't seem to really happen. People like the comforts of home and being close to friends and family. I dare say people may also find it hard to adapt to the culture overseas (less of a problem for US/Aus/some of Europe).

There are also differences in work culture in places like the US, e.g. sod all holidays, need for health insurance, etc, etc.

These cross-national comparisons all come down to the specific situation of an individual. It's impossible to say that life is always better for everyone in another country. If you're a low-skilled single mother, it would be mad to move to the US. Britain is paradise for that demographic. If you're a youngish professional who is able to make new friends and settle into new situations, life would almost certainly be vastly better for you in the US. You would live in the type of house that people can only dream of in the UK, and for a fraction of the money. For most working professionals, the healthcare insurance situation in the US is irrelevant and you get far more holiday time than someone on minimum wage working at Walmart. If people don't wish to take advantage of moving, then that's their loss.

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Maybe it is their loss. Outside of the self-selecting HPC crowd though most people won't see it that way because they don't recognise high house prices as a problem. They are happy to aspire to a £5m semi in zone 12 'cos you can't go wrong with bricks and mortar.'

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Standard HPC meme but it doesn't seem to really happen.

It does happen. My move to Germany in 1985 was precisely because I was priced out of living in Blighty.

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There was a news story this week in Swansea which involved a doctor helping someone close to where she lives. At the time my first thought was "A doctor lives THERE!?" as it was not an area where I would expect someone on a doctor's salary to live.

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There was a news story this week in Swansea which involved a doctor helping someone close to where she lives. At the time my first thought was "A doctor lives THERE!?" as it was not an area where I would expect someone on a doctor's salary to live.

You'd be surprised where Médecins Sans Frontiers operate nowadays.

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Perhaps more to do with so many doctors (even those qualifying here) are of foreign stock/don't have strong ties to the UK and so are logically more likely to be transient/go where financially makes most sense.

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I know quite a few Doctors that live in 'modest' homes, including consultants. No surprises they are all under 35 yrs old.

There's a doctor in my village who prefers to live in a modest 3 bedroom semidetached home and work what must be 1 month on followed by up to 2 months off dedicated his time/life to outdoor pursuits/hobbies mostly in the outer hebrides. He is the most down to earth doctor I know.

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There's a doctor in my village who prefers to live in a modest 3 bedroom semidetached home and work what must be 1 month on followed by up to 2 months off dedicated his time/life to outdoor pursuits/hobbies mostly in the outer hebrides. He is the most down to earth doctor I know.

Sounds like an intelligent way to live. I would do something similar if I could.

Sadly the Doctors I'm thinking of left university from 2003 onwards and would not be in a position to buy for at least a couple more years putting them in the midst of the boom. Even a salary upwards of 50k and with a second earner (if they are lucky to meet the right person at the right age) in the South East especially doesn't offer much in the way of good value housing.

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Doctor salaries are about double in the US from what they are in the UK. Factor in the much lower cost of living (especially compared to anywhere near London or the South-East), and it would be a financial no-brainer to move to the US if you could. Doctors in the US are rich, whereas doctors anywhere near London struggle to make it to the middle class.

Not all the excellent Doctors live in the most expensive place to live in the UK....... ;)

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Standard HPC meme but it doesn't seem to really happen. People like the comforts of home and being close to friends and family. I dare say people may also find it hard to adapt to the culture overseas (less of a problem for US/Aus/some of Europe).

There are also differences in work culture in places like the US, e.g. sod all holidays, need for health insurance, etc, etc.

It was certainly a factor (although not the deciding one) in why I moved to Canada. Even with the very high prices in Toronto, I was able to swap my 3 bed terrace in Cambridge for something much nicer, bigger and closer to my work downtown here.

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Are there any high or middle income countries left without a housing bubble? Seems to me like the bankers already pumped them all up. The world is one big frying pan at the moment, nowhere to jump to.

[pre-Boomer mode] That's the trouble with young people these days, you expect to have it all straight away. Why don't you emigrate to South Sudan to be a subsistence farmer in the middle of a drought-prone warzone? Property is very affordable there. Remember, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. [/pre-Boomer mode]

Edited by Dorkins

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Are there any high or middle income countries left without a housing bubble? Seems to me like the bankers already pumped them all up. The world is one big frying pan at the moment, nowhere to jump to.

[boomer mode] That's the trouble with young people these days, you expect to have it all straight away. Why don't you emigrate to South Sudan to be a subsistence farmer in the middle of a drought-prone warzone? Property is very affordable there. Remember, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. [/boomer mode]

I agree, the game is can you live outwith the financialised, commercialised, media driven world, wherever you happen to be. That world is going to end very badly for society across the developed nations IMO.

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I agree, the game is can you live outwith the financialised, commercialised, media driven world, wherever you happen to be. That world is going to end very badly for society across the developed nations IMO.

The ideal scenario would be a place where there was little call for a doctor......then what? ;)

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