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  • Open Access

In the Name of Human Capital

The International Recruitment of Physicians in Germany and Spain
Comparative Migration Studies20152:2040493

  • Published:


The international migration of physicians is considered an effective response to ageing societies. However, the international recruitment of physicians may be challenged by the protectionist rationale of the medical profession in many countries. How is the potential contradiction between open recruitment policies and exclusive professional regulations managed in Europe? What is the role played by foreign credential recognition or language knowledge in the recruitment process? Are there differences among countries? These questions are analysed by comparing Germany and Spain, which possess not only two divergent migration regimes but also two completely different health care systems. The main goal of the article is to explore how the capacity of national health care sectors to attract and integrate foreign physicians may affect Europe’s quest for highly skilled health professionals in the long term.


  • Germany
  • Spain
  • labour migration
  • highly skilled migration
  • health care system
  • physicians
  • foreign credential recognition
  • human capital