When doctors become nurses

Whenever I chance upon a composition I have written a long time ago, a jolt of excitement runs through my senses. Reading my work, as close to how a fully disinterested person would, makes me quite excited. It's like evaluating your work with a fresh eye.

An excerpt from an essay I wrote, and posted almost a month ago.

If I may share anything with future board exam takers, it is that success is the little things we do every day. Success stories could not have been initially written as such; it sprang from small struggles and victories that taken collectively conjure a bigger picture of accomplishment. No matter how seemingly difficult the board exam may be, it is a surmountable task which anybody may take on with flying colors. It is only a question of how much you want it, and how much you are willing to give to have it. The challenge lies not on achieving a one-time miracle, but on doing the littlest things everyday that shall lead you to your vision.

The board exam is everybody’s game. There is no glass ceiling to break, and you do not have to graduate with Latin honors to be a board topnotcher. But while this is true, working hard for it is a requirement which could not be divorced from the equation. Only prayers, hard work and determination turn the impossible into something inevitably attainable.
I wish I could convince myself with these words right now. I am finding it hard to find the motivation and will to study for the NCLEX. Sometimes I think it is because I don't really want it. If you look at it at face value, a lot of people would actually want to be in my position right now. This nursing career is blossoming right before my eyes, and I feel guilty wanting something else and abandoning it.

I frequently pray to God to show me the calling for which I was made. Of the many things I am unsure of, the only positive thing I am dead certain about is that I want to be in the health profession. I believe that the field of health is a vital segment to the survival, sustenance, and development of society, and humanity as a whole. Although I am deeply confused right now as to what role I should I take.

Attribute it to being a quite fatalistic, I think the nursing career is being laid out for me like a clearing in the midst of a jungle. I topped the boards, and earned a scholarship at ALLGEN for an NCLEX review. However, to be bluntly honest, I cannot see myself as a nurse. Whenever I try to imagine myself as such, my mind drifts off to the next person a nurse is associated with, that is, the doctor.

Not taking other factors into consideration, I know I want to be a doctor. Of course, I have a huge amount of respect for the nursing profession; although being a nurse is not something I think I am cut out for. Exams and the real world is different. Exams can only test what you know and how you think, but not your motivations.

However, the real world is not all about motivation. You cannot eat hope, survive on dreams and pay the rent and bills with motivation. It's about being smart, making pragmatic decisions so that you can eat three times a day and not have to worry about stretching your last cent. Of the few months that I have been like a fish out of water in the real world, I met quite a handful of doctors surrendering their stethoscope for the nursing cap.

As I realize it now, I have met quite a number of doctor-nurses in the past. Although I have not given much thought to it until I was on the verge of starting my medical education. In my freshman year, I had a clinical instructor who was a doctor, and by that time, was teaching nursing students on how to do nursing procedures. By second and third year, I had a really smart professor who was also a doctor, and during that time, was only waiting for her visa so that she could start working as a nurse abroad. A couple weeks ago, I met a co reviewee who was already a consultant, a pediatrician at that, who is reviewing for the NCLEX, hoping to work in the US as a nurse. While I was submitting my eligibility application, I met a woman on her late forties whom I had a quick chat with. She told me that she is a doctor, and her husband, who is a surgeon, is also applying for the NCLEX.

It would be dense and hypocritical of me if I don't acknowledge the overwhelming fact that a LOT of doctors are trading their five years or more of medical education to become nurses. I would be lying if I say that I am not affected by this. As of now, I have decided to wait out and apply for UP for the next school year. Although I am still weighing things out between nursing and medicine.

It might be easy to brandish the cliche 'follow your dreams'. But life is not all about dreams-- we need to work, survive, and have decent source of living which would allow us to enjoy things which we could only dream of. Sometimes I think that I am just shutting out nursing too much, and I need to give it a try so that I could decide for myself what I really want.

I want to devote myself into something that would make my life worthwhile. One thing I am sure of is that I only want to be happy and lead a life I can be satisfied with, financially, psychologically, and emotionally. Until I am really ready to delve into either the nursing or medical career, I think contemplating more on the life ahead would be absolutely necessary.

Related Post:
To be or not to be a doctor


docgelo said...

Whatever your heart desires, Aubrey, follow it! Whatever will make you happy, grab it. Whatever inspires you to do more for yourself and for others, go for it! cheers! and thank you for dropping a comment on my blog. you're most welcome to view my previous posts. I'LL LINK YOUR SITE WITH MINE OK?! thanks!

Anonymous said...

hi aubrey! :) it's me again. well i've decided not to take the nclex anymore. weeks ago, i learned that i passed the series of interview in my dream hospital (a special tertiary hospital in quezon city),.. ...but i had to decline because i've decided to go to medschool this june... i was able to get a scholarship :)

i know that people will say that we've gone mad for not wanting to pursue our career as nurses... but aubrey, you shall live your life the way you want to live it. this lifetime will never come again... do what you want so there will be no regrets in the future...


life is full of choices, choose carefully... choose whatever will make you happy...

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr/Ms Anonymous. When I read you comment, I felt my heart being gripped. I am dead certain of what I want, although sometimes, fate and circumstance doesn't conspire with us. I really laud your decision of jumping on the med school train, sacrifices and all. :) You've inspired me.

I've not really given up on becoming a doctor. I'm just trying to strike a balance between what I want, and what my parents want. After all, they will pay for my med education. I'm glad you were able to snag a scholarship! I wish I could too by next school year. Hope you could leave a name next time. :)

IMPAW said...

Hi Aubrey. I feel your pain. After 16 years of working as an RN in the U.S., I went back to school to become an NP (Nurse Practitioner). My role is that of a doctor practicing medicine. I am currently in private practice with my husband. Although some may consider this a noteworthy achievement, a part of me still wants to go to med school to become a full pledged doctor. The one thing that's keeping me from pursuing this childhood dream is the fear that this may not be to the best interest of my family. I am now 40, happily married and a mother of 2 young children. My kids are begging me not to go back to school or I would "miss their childhood". I may just have to give it up, and over to GOD trusting that HE knows what's best for me. As for you, I hope that you will choose wisely. Possible options for you would be to come to the U.S as a nurse, then either be an NP(Nurse Practitioner), or you can take the USMLE Exams, then do your residency here to practice as a doctor. I personally know of at least two who did this, and now they are almost finished with their residency. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ms. Paw (did I get that right? :)) Thank you for leaving a really thoughtful comment. I have actually been thinking of the options you mentioned, as they were also suggested by my relatives in the US, as well as by my previous review administrators. As of now I can't say that I have reached a solid decision. I desire the financial stability of working abroad as a nurse, but I can't bear putting my med dream on hold. I guess somewhere along the road, something has got to give. I'm just playing it by ear right now, as I have just taken my NCLEX. I am sincerely hoping that I arrive at something conclusive before school starts in June. And yes I also believe that God holds our best interests at heart. Somewhere along the path, things will just come together, and we will understand how our current situation fits into His grand plan.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, I appreciate it very much. God Bless you ma'am.

ice_kimee ^*^ said...

hi aubrey. you speak well through your blogs. i have been reading them especially about those when you're deciding to pursue medicine or not. i really feel the same way too and it gives me shivers on my spine because you were actually vocalizing my thoughts. i am a BSN too and i hope i can go to med school here in West Visayas State University. i have been feeling hesitant about continuing at first because folks at home thought it was foolish to procastinate my nursing career. i have been praying to God about this calling I have. i have even buried this thought so many months ago. i was just too surprised when the thought entered my mind while i was tooth brushing. it was silly at first but then i couldn't help but cry. i really wanted medicine so much. you are an angel. you have really shed some light on me today. thank you so much aubrey! God bless you :)

Anonymous said...

wow you are really echoing my thoughts its wierd..Im from Kenya and Iv been studyin nursing here in the Philipines and im graduatin nxt year march...v been thinkin hard bout pursuing my medicine here too v been thinkin of applying to Cebu Doctors..(mainly coz its really cheap here and the quality is good too.) but lately iv been seeing doctors switchin from bein doctors to nurses...it really makes me think whether i shud just take my masters in nursing and work with an NGO and proceed to PhD in nursing or I shud just to straight to med..its hard to decide..such a big decision that will really affect my life..when I think about t again, i really cnt settle to just be a nurse my dream is to be a surgeon...i dnt knw wat il choose..but i hope itll be the right thing. bytheway ur blog is awesome! good info on the upcoming med student. :)