Eyal Attias

Eyal is about to put on his white coat and stethoscope and walk into the wards of the Hebrew University Hadassah training hospital in Jerusalem. Now in his fourth year of medical school, he is about to start putting all the theory into practice, and he is very excited!

Every medical student knows that he is expected to put in long hours in order to qualify, but Eyal’s hours are longer than most. He commutes from his family home in a village two hours away from Jerusalem, because he cannot afford to live in student accommodation. His father works in a local cake factory and his mother works in the family home, helping to look after Eyal’s two married brothers, their wives and their children. It’s a noisy family home, but Eyal tries hard to find a quiet corner to study for his exams.

“Moshal has taught me helpful study skills, and I have called their advisors a few times when I felt myself cracking under the strain. They helped me to calm down and focus on my revision instead of getting in a panic! They have inspired me to use all the tools at my disposal in order to succeed. One of the older Moshal scholars on my course has helped me to prepare for tests, and all the Moshal medical students support one another.”

Eyal’s determination to pass his exams and become a doctor can be traced back to the life-changing week that he spent in a hospital ward recovering from a spinal injury at the age of 21. During his treatment he was inspired to become a doctor and he is currently considering specializing in neurology, although it will depend on his experiences on the wards as a doctor rather than as a patient!

“The idea of becoming a doctor was really a far-fetched dream. When I applied I really didn’t expect to get high enough grades to win a place at the Hebrew University. Suddenly, three months before the start of the academic year, I received an acceptance letter. I was in shock! I had no idea how I could pay for this most expensive degree and also support myself. Unlike most medical students, my parents were in no position to help me. I considered deferring the place for a year while I tried to earn the money to pay for the course, or taking out a loan, but I realized that neither option was financially realistic. Unlike other countries where doctors can expect to earn big salaries and pay off their loans, doctors in Israel are quite poorly paid – I would never be able to pay back the cost of my course!”

Fortunately for Eyal, Moshal offers scholarships to the most promising medical students. They are not only funding his degree, but they are also paying for the books and expensive equipment that he will need as he begins his rotations on the hospital wards. He is commuting from his village and spends the two-hour journey to and from the university hospital each day reviewing what he has learned.

“Without Moshal I would have had no chance of becoming a doctor. Now that I have my white coat and my stethoscope, I am excited to be able to start treating patients. I understand what it feels like to be lying in a hospital bed with no hope for the future, but determination got me back on my feet and through three tough years of university. There are good people in the world who want to help people like me, and I hope to be able to pay it forward by spending the rest of my life helping others.”