From Nurses to Doctors

Rey Palmares
October 14, 2017

In the medical profession, nurses are usually seen working with healthcare practitioners. Oftentimes, they can actually be one and the same person.

In the Philippines, a degree in nursing can be a stepping stone to further studies in medicine, usually as medical doctors. It’s easy to see why: nurses and doctors practically work side-by-side in any hospital setting regardless of the specialization. Even when outside of operating rooms, nurses still play vital roles in patient care and assisting doctors in their practice.

But why not pursue a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Medical Physician (BS Premed Physic) instead or maybe the age-old preferences of degrees in Biology or Public Health?

Following the rise and fall of the Nursing Boom in the early to late 2000s, many nurses were left without jobs and while some eventually went on to do voluntary work, a few decided to pursue a degree in Medicine. As registered nurses, they have some level of advantage over their other classmates because of their rounded knowledge on the different subjects. Those who had volunteered in the hospital found their subjects much easier to understand. Realizing the practical applications of the lesson allowed nursing students to pick up on new topics faster. Even compared to Premed Phsyics graduates, Nursing graduates have more actual work experience in clinics and hospitals though not necessarily in as broad a concept as the former.

Of course, there is always the possibility of not making it through med school. While courses such as Biology or Public Health are still viable pre-med courses, they don’t offer much other opportunities in the medical field should you fail to realize med school. In that case, most would transition to professions as researchers or teachers, contrary to their original ambitions. Nursing, despite not pursuing med school, still leaves you with a license to practice and there is always the availability of volunteer work to build a repertoire or practicing abroad.

Nursing as a pre-med course is no longer the accidental choice it had been in the early 2010s. For some, it is the logical and wiser choice because of the advantages it provides in med school and the alternative opportunities outside of med school. Though not necessarily the norm as of yet, it is quickly rising to be a preferred choice of many future medicine students in the Philippines today.


Writing should be one part informative and one part entertaining. It's what differentiates a generic piece of text from a well-written article. Rey Palmares dedicates much of his time to fine-tune that craft, juggling the joys and frustrations of writing with those of his law school life outside of the office. He's making it work so far.