Greener Pastures 6/09/2007 07:53:00 AM

These past few days (5 days to be exact!) found me covering for another physician at a medical diagnostic center. Work consisted mostly of routine physical examination of applicants for jobs here or overseas, and occasionally diagnosing and treating diseases or referring patients to specialists. Most of them were seamen, but there were a few women bound for work as teachers in the US or domestic helpers in Hong Kong. Coincidentally, one of the teachers happened to be my former biochemistry teacher in my finally semester of undergraduate studies in biology.
I chatted with Mrs. R. for sometime (she is quite loquacious!). She was now working at another university as chairperson of the department of chemistry, but was set to fly to the US to work as a high school biology or general science teacher. After 20 years teaching college students, she had to take a practicum subject to qualify for the position. She definitely did not want to retire in the Philippines.
Reflecting on this train of thought, I realize that it is the aspiration of so many people in our country, including a lot of my classmates in medical school who are again studying for the USMLE in order to train in the US and stay there permanently. I also know a lot of doctors who trained as nurses to work in the US.
Maybe, I'm the crazy, nationalistic, odd one out... I do have the possibility of going to the US to train and work, yet I have decided to stay here for training, with no immediate plans of working abroad in the near future.
I guess I'm not yet willing to be part of the brain drain this country is suffering from...

3 other thoughts:

Michelle M said...

yes, loyalty is worth something!

sandra said...

Hi! J.A.

and Michelle M.(I think we know each other?)

I agree with you both,we should not support "brain-drain". If one takes advantage of the opertunities provided by ones Country,there should be a 'payback time'.Apart from that,it would be rewarding to help ones fellow countrymen/women,who were not so fortunate.

J.A. said...

True.. that's why I'm staying... Ideal doctor:patient ratio is 1:6,000. In the Philippines with adjustment for doctors not anymore in the country it's 1:26,000. Fewer people are also taking up medicine... Currently, I know of about 30-50% of my classmates with immediate plans to train in the US.
Though the financial situation is more difficult here... I'm staying!