Israeli medical student Maya Fishman is only 16 years old and is set to become that country’s youngest doctor ever. But her family can’t wait that long for Maya to get her license to practice medicine since it has trouble making the rent, a profile in YnetNews about the family explained.
In Israel, unlike America, a student applies directly to a medical school and studies for 8 years. There is no pre-med during BA studies followed by MCATS and grueling application processes to med schools.
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While Israelis are drafted into the IDF at the age of 18, some get school deferments so that they can first study a profession or skill that the military needs, such as medicine. This is the case with Maya. But she only just started med school and has 8 long years ahead of her.
As her mother Shlomit told Ynet, “Maya dreamed of becoming a doctor for many years. At first I thought it was just a phase and I even expressed my objections. I knew it was a profession that disappoints, doesn’t reward financially or mentally, and could be dangerous with all of the violence against doctors. I slowly realized, however, that fighting her won’t help and it’s better to just go with her. We saw medical dramas like ‘House MD’ together and she was overjoyed.”
But Shlomit was out of work for a long time after she lost her job at Ben Gurion International Airport after 30 years and is now earning only about $560 a month. Even for Israel that is well below the minimum wage.
Maya has to pinch every penny and so she hitchhikes to school rather than take the bus.
But Shlomit just wants to see her daughter succeed in life saying, “Maya was born after years of hard life. She’s a way for me to fix all that I couldn’t achieve in life, and I’m happy to see her living her dreams – dreams I didn’t get to realize in this world. All of my life I’ve been treated as if I was invisible and I always told her that I want her to have this drive to be better, to achieve things, so no one could ignore her.”