FACTS & FIGURES
The times when a physician who looked like a foreigner and spoke Spanish with a heavy accent put recruiters under suspicion and made viewers feel uncomfortable belong to the past.
According to a report published by the Barcelona College of Physicians, foreigners account for 57.8% of the total number of new collegiate members in 2009 (Figure A).
In connection with it, there are two aspects that are noteworthy: first, physicians from Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela account for 75.9% of the total number of foreigners; second is the growing trend of foreigners entering a residency (286 physicians). See figure B.
Statistics also show an increase in the number of women in 2009, which represented over 60% amongst the new collegiate members.
It remains to be known whether or not this trend has reached its peak or will continue growing. However, the understanding of such changes in demography is worthy of notice as they might have an impact on the composition of samples.
It is obvious that the increasing number of foreigners who became collegiate members is not an isolated phenomenon but a consequence of the changes in the migration flows that Spain has experienced recently.
According to the latest data published by the Permanent Observatory for Immigration (OPI), there are 4,926,608 foreign residents in Spain from which 2,401,632 (48%) are individuals who belong to EU member states, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
The figure C above shows the largest groups of residents —with legal status by December 31st, 2010— according to their country of origin.