Michael_300x300I didn’t always know I wanted to be a doctor. I was always interested in the sciences and research, but I needed more human interaction. I see medicine as a great way to help people, while staying intellectually stimulated. Medicine is such a broad field, and there are endless possibilities. I’m hoping to end up in a field that combines public health and individual patient care, so I can affect people’s health on a number of levels. My decision was also helped by the fact that I stopped getting taller in 7th grade, so I had to give up on my childhood dream of playing in the NBA.

In Israel, it is ridiculously competitive to get into medical school, and I was hoping to just get accepted! However, Hebrew University was my first choice- its reputation for clinical teaching and research is internationally known. I knew that I was going to have to spend six years working very hard, and now that I’m near the end, I understand that it was all worth it. Additionally, I’ve always liked Jerusalem as a city, and a lot of my friends live there. For me, it’s important to try to balance school work with having a life, and being in Jerusalem allows that.

It’s been hard work, but what I’ll remember the most is my peers. We’ve spent six years together with the same group of people, and fortunately the students at HU are what keep it great. We learn a lot from each other, and we push each other to be the best we can be. Also, you essentially become family the way we take care of each other outside of school. Some of my classmates have taken that sentiment a bit too literally and have decided to marry one other.

Since medical school, it’s become really hard to enjoy medical-based TV shows since we spend too much time noting medical inaccuracies. But seriously, the nature of the field is encountering people at their most vulnerable. People confide in you, a total stranger, and share their life stories. It takes a lot of humility to handle the amount of responsibility that you’re given as a doctor. You also learn what’s really important in life and you realize a lot of problems you have are actually pretty trivial.

My time so far in LA has been great. I’ve learned a lot from excellent physicians and I’ve been treated as part of the care teams. I also get to see cases here that might not be as common in Israel, which is the result of being in a metropolitan area that has twice the population of Israel. I also can’t complain about being able to go to the beach in shorts and sandals, while my friends are enduring the snow back in Jerusalem (I try to remind them of that often).