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nursing vs. being a doctor

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suspirar
1/5/2010 13:13 EST

Mexico, and most of the world, trains doctors differently from the USA. In the USA, people typically cannot enter medical school until after a 4-year bachelor degree, but in Mexico, people can start on their medical degree around age 18.

In general, a licenciatura in medicine in Mexico takes 6 years (4 years of study plus 1 year of internship and 1 year of social service). For Mexican nursing, I saw a licenciatura program that requires 4 years of classes and 1 year of internship. The nursing program took almost as long as the medicine program.

Then I went to the World Health Organization website and found these statistics:
In 2000, the USA had 2.67 million nurses and midwifery personnel, and only 730,800 doctors.
In 2000, Mexico had only 88678 nurses, but 195,897 doctors (more than twice as many doctors as nurses).
In 2000, Ecuador had just barely more nurses than doctors.

Which country´s system works best? I think the USA has so many nurses because insurance plans want as few high-salary doctors as possible. Does Mexico suffer because of a lack of nurses, or do doctors cover typical nursing responsibilities pretty well? In the USA, the salary difference between doctors and RNs is large; is it large in Mexico?

I´ve heard that there´s a glut of doctors in Latin America, so that some doctors leave the profession, to become taxi drivers for example. Is there a surplus of doctors in Mexico? Still, Mexico has sligihtly fewer doctors per capita than the USA.

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00abuse

RVGRINGO
1/5/2010 13:29 EST

Part of the difference is that a patient in Mexico, for example, is accompanied by a family member or friend, who attends to the patients non-medical needs. Nurses only do what the MD orders, unless called by the 'responsible person' accompanying staying in the hospital with the patient. Rooms are private and there are sleeping accommodations for that person in the rooms of private hospitals. It is much more spartan in public or IMSS hospitals.

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00abuse

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