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Yitzhar Goretsky was 14 years old when he knew that medicine was his calling. He spent that summer in England shadowing a pediatrician, where he discovered he had a knack for connecting with children and their parents alike. Yitzhar saw how a good doctor can make an enormous difference in people’s lives, and he was inspired by the idea of someday being that kind of doctor for his own patients.

That was over ten years ago, and Yitzhar is halfway through his first year of medical school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He’s just as sure as ever that medicine is the right path for him, and he’s just as passionate about patient-centered care. Becoming a doctor is a long and difficult journey, not to mention an expensive one, but Yitzhar is committed.

“When I first heard about the possibility of an interest-free student loan from Hebrew Free Loan, it sounded too good to be true. But it was exactly what the website said it was. Everyone was remarkably easy to work with, and I’m grateful I can pursue my dream of medical school without worrying about too much debt piling up.”

After that first summer in England, Yitzhar shadowed doctors all through high school. He worked in labs during and after college, spending two years post-graduation as a UCSF research assistant exploring treatments for brain cancer. He also volunteered as an EMT with Rock Med, a nonprofit created to provide free, nonjudgmental health care at music festivals and other events in the Bay Area and elsewhere.

All of these experiences brought home to Yitzhar what he describes as the “colossal responsibility” of being a doctor, and it’s one he takes seriously. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of his dedicated mentors, specializing in either pediatrics or oncology.

Yitzhar and his fiancé Alicia have been sweethearts since they met at UC Santa Cruz, where both studied biology. They’re planning a wedding in the Santa Cruz mountains next summer, and hope eventually to return to the Bay Area, where most of their family live.

We’re honored that Hebrew Free Loan can make Yitzhar’s path to becoming a doctor a little easier. While many of the individuals who come to us for assistance are dealing with devastating hardship, Yitzhar is a young person on the brink of his future, brimming with potential.

“It was a wonderful experience to meet someone so dedicated to tikkun olam,” the loan officer who worked with him said. “He’s going into medicine for all the right reasons, and I can’t wait to see how he uses his education to ease the lives of others.”

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