Zak Britstone

As a medical student at the Sackler School of Medicine NY State/American Program at Tel Aviv University, I have had the privilege of volunteering with Save a Child’s Heart for nearly 3 years. Spending time with the children at the SACH house in Holon is a truly meaningful experience. As I became more familiar with the organization, I wanted to get more involved. This led me to a leadership position coordinating the SACH volunteer program at my school. However, I had still never had any exposure to the medical side of the organization. Thankfully, I was given such an opportunity this summer when SACH offered me a medical internship at Wolfson Hospital.

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It was an experience unlike any other clinical rotation I have ever had. The entire staff, from the first moment I introduced myself, made themselves unconditionally available. They used every opportunity to teach from the unique perspective that few others like them possess. I had unrestricted access to the ICU, catheterization lab, free Palestinian clinic, surgeries, patient recovery, you name it. I learned cardiac auscultation techniques, how to perform and interpret echocardiograms, watched stent placements in the cath lab, stood in on open-heart surgeries, and so much more.

I also discovered that SACH’s commitment to helping children from around the world extends beyond the life-saving heart surgeries that they perform here in Israel. Many underdeveloped nations are in a state of crisis with respect to pediatric surgical care. In addition to treating children in Israel and sending medical teams abroad, SACH also takes in doctors and other medical staff from these countries and provides them with extensive fellowships at Wolfson Hospital so that they may return to their home countries properly trained to perform highly specialized pediatric cardiac procedures. Further, SACH is involved with the creation of complementary medical facilities in these countries so that the teams have the resources they need at home.

SACH takes a diverse approach to addressing the healthcare issues that underdeveloped countries face. They provide highly specialized medical training to physicians, coordinate with and adequately prepare hospitals and medical centers in their home countries, all while saving children’s lives every single day. SACH does all of this without ever charging anyone a dime. They and the medical staff at Wolfson that donate their time and expertise are heroes.

I feel blessed to have had this opportunity. Thank you, Save a Child’s Heart!

To find out how you could do a Medical Internship with Save a Child’s Heart, check out the application on our Medical Intern page. You can find news, become a donor, and see other opportunities on our website

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