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Doctor becomes a nurse

Yoshiya Yamada, a physician who practiced medicine in Tokyo for almost 20 years, recently received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California.

Yamada had always dreamed of being a nurse, but was dissuaded because nursing is considered a female profession in Japan. He attended medical school instead and spent the bulk of his career performing gastrointestional endoscopies. However, he craved more patient interaction. “As a doctor, my workload was to diagnose, remove and treat cancer and move on to the next patient,” Yamada said. “I see the nursing field as being interactive, social and more involved in the medical field than the doctor.”

Ultimately, Yamada decided to move to the US to pursue a career in nursing. (Few nursing schools in Japan offer opportunities for career changers such as Yamada.) He applied to Samuel Merritt University in September 2007 and completed his prerequisites in time to enter the May 2009 Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. “This was an intense course,” Yamada said. “I studied more here than at medical school.”

Yamada and his classmates completed their coursework in 12 months and graduated May 28, 2010. He looks forward to beginning his professional nursing career.

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
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