13 Jan Incredibly Enriching and Rewarding
My internship at the Terem urgent care center network in Jerusalem was
incredibly enriching and rewarding. It provided me with the an in-depth introduction to a
unique clinical setting, one which most medical students in the US get little exposure to,
despite its growing importance with the new emphasis on reducing ER visits and
healthcare costs. I also got to witness a unique patient population that encompasses the
fabric of Israeli society–Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews (both religious and secular, both
native Israelis and Jews from around the world who had made Aliyah), Arabs, immigrant
laborers, students, and foreign tourists. All the while, by living in Israel, I became part of
the fabric this society and experienced life and the health care system of Israel on a
daily basis. As added bonuses, I learned some interesting bits of medical Hebrew (quick
quiz: how do you say “lung infiltrate”?) and was able to add the experience to my
medical school applications that were still pending at the time.
The internship also provided me with valuable and productive research
experience. The tremendous volume of patient encounters and Terem’s comprehensive
medical records system lent itself well to a wide variety of clinical questions, and many
research topics were available for me to pursue. Dr. Zimmerman was incredibly helpful,
supportive, and enthusiastic throughout the process. I worked on two projects while in
Israel and continued one project on pediatric pneumonia remotely upon returning to the
US and starting medical school. Ultimately, I presented our abstract at the American
Public Health Association’s national meeting in Boston the next year.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this internship for anyone interested in
medicine, research, and the experience of living in Israel!