Largest-ever class of military track med students to begin studies

Once they graduate, after six years of studies and a year of internship, they will be committed to serving as military physicians for at least five or six years.

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October 10, 2013 22:03
2 minute read.
Largest-ever class of military track med students to begin studies

IDF medics in training 248.88. (photo credit: IDF )

Sixty-four new medical students will on Sunday become the fifth class of Tzameret, the Hebrew University’s and IDF’s joint medical track.

Once they graduate, after six years of studies and a year of internship, they will be committed to serving as military physicians for at least five or six years.

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Tzameret now has 290 students at all levels of the track, which is conducted from the HU-Hadassah School of Medicine in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

This is the largest new class since Tzameret began five years ago; the first class had 42 students and last year’s had 61.

Maj. “G.,” the IDF officer in charge of academic affairs at Tzameret, said that between 400 and 500 people had applied to join the military medical track, but many fewer could be accepted due to limitations in facilities, academic staff and funding.

The new students even include new immigrants from the US, he said.

Thirty-nine men and 25 women were accepted, and – according to the new director of the track, Prof.

David Gertz, a physician and PhD at the HU Medical Faculty – they represent every ethnic and religious group in the country.

The youngest to join the program is only 17 years old, was recognized as a “genius” in elementary school and earned an astonishing 745 score (out of 800) on his psychometric exam. His brother received his MD degree as an academic medical school graduate who will soon become a military physician, the IDF said.

Integrated throughout the regular medical curriculum studied by all HU Medical Faculty students, Tzameret students also take courses in military medicine that include aviation medicine, battlefield wounds, operational military medicine and other subjects.

The IDF’s chief medical officer, Prof. Yitzhak Kreiss, is actively involved in the program and has been appointed a faculty member of the medical faculty in Jerusalem. Four other members of his office in the IDF have been named as adjunct faculty members in the medical school, Gertz told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Thursday.

“By beginning training early, they are exposed from the start to military medicine and naturally become focused on it throughout their studies,” said Gertz. “When they become IDF physicians, they will not be starting from scratch. They will already be familiar with what unique things they have to know and do.”

The IDF Spokesman added that the students are prepared to be “officers, battlefront physicians and leaders in the Medical Corps. Applicants are considered not only according to their academic abilities through the university but also according to the judgment of professionals in the IDF who put stress on being a commander and showing leadership.”

Eighteen of the 64 were raised in large cities – in first place was Haifa, followed by Petah Tikva. Twelve were accepted when they were already soldiers, while four of them were already combat soldiers.


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