Re "Physician, Remake Thyself," Jan. 10: There is little that the government of the Philippines can do to dissuade its physicians from becoming nurses in order to immigrate to the United States. As an immigration attorney who has helped many thousands of physicians and nurses immigrate to the U.S. over the last 20 years, I have observed that the severe nursing shortage in the U.S., as well as the economic disparities between the two countries, make this all but inevitable.
Since U.S. hospitals benefit significantly from RNs trained in the Philippines, it's time for our country to invest in the training of Filipino nurses.
Dr. Alberto del Pilar says that many of the doctors from the Philippines who come here to work as nurses feel a lot of shame. In my view, they have nothing to be ashamed of. Nurses in general often know more about their patients than hospital doctors do because they spend more time with them. A nurse who is also trained as an MD can be an incredibly valuable asset to an American hospital doctor who sees medicine as a team effort and listens to what these nurses have observed about the patients under their care.