Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Exit Strategy

I blatantly disregard the unwritten terms of my temporary respite ("sick leave") by going into an internet cafe and potentially infecting another person with the virus that caused my conjunctivitis. Why? Because I had a flash of inspiration, compelling me to blog it for all the world to Google it.

The past few weeks have bothered me so much to re-examine my priorities. We have all heard about the "Brain Drain" debates, and I will not reenact them here.

I have come to the conclusion that my "exit strategy" is becoming more attractive every day. I mean, I'd take my chances and apply to a residency program in the U.S. than stay here and deal with the limitations of the Philippine system.

Don't get me wrong, I am in the best Emergency Medicine training program in the Philippines. That is, the other 3 programs are in private hospitals and are not University-based. I am also paid well, but not well enough for the work I do. The responsibility of saving lives in imminent medical emergencies is paid 60% of the salary of an entry-level call center agent working less hours, facing less hazards and dealing with fewer verbal abuse. Seriously.

The oft-heard answer I heard from my classmates when I asked them why they did not take their Steps: no funds. I also had this problem before my Tita promised to support me. So the biggest obstacle (second to getting a visa) is out of the way.

Am I justified in saying that, because I have an option, a "way out", I don't deserve the aggravation of self-righteous "seniors", non-compliant patients and recalcitrant responsible companions, lack of resources and manpower to properly practice Emergency Medicine, and a damn low salary. Not to mention being exposed to all sorts of infections every single day.

I am reminded by my batchmate Lueda who declared that if she was young (she is, don't be fooled by that statement - only 1 year older than me ;D) and had support, she would also seriously consider leaving for greener, safer pastures.

I hope that I pass my Steps. That is all I can hope for, today.

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