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Scholarship Essay, Global Health Care

I admit that when I first got the idea to apply for a scholarship at Oxford, I was intimidated because Oxford is for me a picture of a faraway academic temple, a holy pillar of academic learning steeped in mythology. I have very much enjoyed books and movies dealing with the lore and lure of Oxford. My wife is a dreamer; thus we decided to share this dream together, just as we do all things pertaining to medicine. In fact, we feel strongly that our qualifications for your program are heightened by the fact that we work exceptionally well as a team.

I am really excited by each new opportunity that I have for learning in life, especially about the health sciences. My seven years as a medical student have been by far the most beautiful years of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed every lesson and clinical experience. I met my wife on the medical school bench; we have become a family now with two charming girls, all of us very much a part of our academic community including the university and nearby hospital. Despite living on a student budget, I have happily subscribed to the New England Journal of Medicine for years. I spend countless hours poring over clinical cases and research into global public health issues in my spare time. I have worked brutally long hours as a physician assistant in an internal medicine ward, and then in pediatric ER. I have also tried my best to stay involved in social issues, especially those related to the unique environment of the Negev (south of Israel). A friend of mine from an MSIH program collaborating with Columbia University came here from the USA to study the Negev. Through my relationship with him I learned a great deal about researching interfaces between global health and community in cross-cultural populations.

Since my first year of medical school, I have worked as a volunteer at the Israel Cancer Association; retaining to this day many strong relationships with families that have lost or are losing their children to cancer. I have also volunteered for the ‘XXXX Association (House of Wheels) for three years. We go to the homes of children with disabilities (mainly cerebral palsy), and develop fun activities for weekends, especially to provide the parents with some relief. 

My paid employment has also had a social and environmental orientation. During my first three years of studies, I worked as a mentor for the XXXX Association for Youth Empowerment in Israel and I had the honor to be one of the first three instructors of the Association working in the Negev. I have now become highly familiar with the variant populations of the Negev: Bedouin settlements, Moshav (agricultural settlement), Kibbutz (collective community) and I have even worked as an instructor at an absorption center for Ethiopians. Of greatest relevance to my application to your program, however, is my work as the Coordinator of a program called "Access to Academic Education". We motivate high-school students who live in the remote areas of the Negev, to take up further academic studies and we are now working with about 300 students, most Bedouins, with Arabic as a mother language. It is quite challenging to teach Jews and Bedouins in the same class with the same discussions and activities, yet I am proud of this achievement because of its long term rewards for breeding social cohesion and sense of community responsibility.

My dedication to global health care springs directly from my experience in the Negev. My wife and I are fully dedicated to life-long learning in the area of global health care and being selected for your program would be a tremendous honor for both of us as we embark on a long and valiant struggle to help make health care, in fact, less political and more humane. And we feel that this emphasis is especially appropriate in the context of Israel and its relationships with the Arab peoples of the region.

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