Background: Pakistan has witnessed a rise in the migration of professionals from the country in the last few years eventually leading to a brain drain. It is believed that the pharmacy students of Pakistan are ingrained with migration tendency. This study aimed to find out the factors influencing the trend, country of choice and reasons for migration. The study also looked into hurdles anticipated by the students during and after migration. Methods: A cross sectional study of 5 month duration was conducted in 3 cities of Pakistan targeting pharmacy students with a survey questionnaire. A total of 539 responses were gathered and analyzed in SPSS version 20. Descriptive statistics, cross tabs and chi square test were used. Results: The prevelance of emigration was found to be 94.06% (91.72% - 95.90% for 95% CI). The mean value of level of urgency was reported at 6.42/10 (SD 2.49). Lack of infrastructure for pharmacists and security issues in the country were major push factors for Pakistan (41.4%). Tough pharmacy license exam was reported as a major push factor for developed countries (21%). Family ties (46.2%) and desire to serve the country (33.6%) were major pull factors of Pakistan. More employment opportunities (24.7%) and lucrative salary (17.8%) were major pull factors for developed countries. USA was chosen as the most favored country for migration (24.9%) followed by Canada (21.9%). Conclusion: The pharmacy students appeared more poised to emigrate from Pakistan with high urgency. This idea was supported by pull factors of developed countries and push factors of Pakistan however, pull factors of Pakistan appeared promising in reducing the level of brain drain but it was unclear as to what extent this could overcome migration tendency.
Key words: Migration, Brain drain, Pharmacy, Students, Pakistan, Human migration, Pharmacy education, Pharmacy practice.
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