A new military medicine program will train 50 doctors every year to serve in the IDF (Zahal)

Date: 15/10/2009, 11:21 AM    

A new academic reserve (Atuda) medical program called Tzameret, was launched this week. Representative candidates for security service in the IDF (Zahal) enrolled into medical school specializing in field medicine at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Hundreds of candidates competed to participate in this unique project, designed to train military doctors who will excel in field medicine. After passing exams and basic training, fifty students were selected.

On Thursday (Oct.15), the students presented themselves at the Hadassah hospital, in Ein Kerem, at an opening ceremony for the first year of the program which is to begin on Sunday (Oct. 18). The event was attended by senior officers of the Medical Corps, including the Chief Medical Officer, Brig. Gen. Dr. Nachman Ash, and his deputy Dr. Ofir Cohen. The Deputy Minister of Health MK Yaakov Litzman was also present and spoke about the shortage of doctors in Israel and said: “The swine flu is a serious problem.” Later, Litzman explained to the academic reservists and to the Medical Corps about the new course, which is a milestone in the journey to fill this gap. He also added: “Fifty students who will be chosen from the Medical Corps each year will be the future of medicine in the country, and I hope that with the help of the Ministry of Finance, the situation will improve.”

The program represents a twelve year commitment. For the first six years, the academic reservists will be studying conventional medicine, as well as receiving extensive training in dealing with trauma, NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical), preventive medicine, health habits and medical leadership. At the same time, the students will go through military basic training, the IDF (Zahal) Paramedics Course and IDF (Zahal) Officers School. The seventh year will be devoted to practical work, in the framework of which the students will intern in one of Israel’s hospitals. After their internship they will be deployed in various IDF (Zahal) combat units where they will be serving as medical officers of battalions for their three years of compulsory service and another two years as part of their career service in another position.

A lot of effort and resources were invested into this program. “We started out together [referring to the Medical Corps, Hebrew University and IDF (Zahal)], working towards an era in which the routine and emergency medical response for soldiers will be better. The goal is to assemble the medical elite in Israel,” said the Chief Medical Officer, as he faced the academic reservists and added, “Among you all are sitting the Chief Medical Officer of 2040, hospital administers and potential professors. Therefore, recognize the privilege of your attendance here, and become committed to this path.”