A fresh survey conducted among Tartu's medical school graduates indicates that there are an increasing number of students who see their future in Estonia.
Fewer medical students study Finnish concurrently - which would be a tip-off to future plans - and there are also fewer students who do a sixth-year internship in Finland, said Medical Student Association President Marta Velgan on ERR radio in introducing the survey they conducted.
"Three-fourths of students first vie for a medical residency in Estonia and the survey showed they still want to continue their career in Estonia," said Velgan.
Working as a GP in Finland is seen as a backup option if they fail to land a residency in Estonia.
Tartu had more residency spots than graduates this year, which Velgan says gives graduates a measure of security regarding a career in Estonia. A few dozen did find themselves shut out this year, though.
Velgan says all graduates should be accepted, and cited areas such as family medicine where there is room for specialists.
"It's certain that the doctors who don't get a residency in Estonia will go to Finland or elsewhere where there is demand."
A positive aspect, according to Velgan, is that for several years now, med students have a chance to work as assistant physicians at Estonian hospitals.
There is currently no exact overview of how many have left for Finland. The Health Board has numbers on those who have applied for a certificate, but fresh graduates don't always require one.
"Finland accepts those who graduated less than three months ago without a certificate from the Health Board, that goes for nurses and doctors. Other countries require a certificate," said Evi Lindmäe, the Health Board's official for licenses and registers.