In late September, twenty-eight students of the Class of 2023 took their Physicians’ Oath at MSIH’s 21st Ceremony.
Several family members came to Israel from the US and Canada to watch their relatives take the Oath, this year administered by Prof. Shimon Glick, a founding faculty member of MSIH.
The guest speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Sha’anan Meyerstein, (MSIH Class of 2010) now a physician in the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington DC. There, Sha’anan is involved in the Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors Program.
An Immigrant in Need
Dr. Meyerstein recounted the moving story of how he, as a student at MSIH, along with several classmates, fought for the health and welfare of a sick immigrant who had illegally crossed the Israeli border via Egypt. At their own initiative, over a period of many months, the students appealed to government agencies, health funds, international NGOs and foreign embassies to ensure the immigrant got the urgent medical treatment he needed.
A particularly riveting part of the story was their attempt to bring the immigrant and his brother (who was still in their Muslim country of origin) together so that the latter could donate bone marrow.
“There are no diplomatic relations between Israel and that country,” explained Sha’anan – who didn’t want to divulge the country. “So we arranged for the brother to go to Jordan. Through appeals to humanitarian authorities, we made arrangements for our “patient” to cross the border into Jordan where he was supposed to meet his brother at a hospital that was to carry out the procedure. At the last minute, the hospital pulled out and we had to find a way to get the brother into Israel quickly – while keeping his visit secret to avoid repercussions when he returned home.”
In the end, after huge effort by the students, the brothers were reunited and the procedure was carried out at an Israeli hospital.
“None of the administration knew anything about this at the time,” said Mike Diamond, Administrative Director of MSIH when Sha’anan was a student. “Sha’anan’s account, ten years later at the Physicians Oath ceremony, was the first time we’d heard what the students had done. It makes us proud, not only that they’d done it, but it was an altruistic act in the true spirit of MSIH’s Global Health mandate.”
This year, at the special request of the class, the school presented each student with a White Coat emblazoned with the MSIH logo.