Meet the faces : Emanuel Melaku, Student, Tzameret Military Medicine Program

An extended hospital stay as a teenager leads to an interest in patient care


At the age of 16 in his first year of high school, Emanuel Melaku underwent surgery to treat his pronounced scoliosis. It was during his extended stay in the hospital that he decided to pursue a career in medicine.


Raised in Jerusalem by a single mother from Ethiopia, Melaku has opted to join Tzameret because he believes in the value of treating soldiers. “I will be gaining significant experience and my service will be very meaningful,” he notes.


He believes that military medicine, in particular, offers a rare opportunity to focus on the less emphasized part of medicine, but one that Melaku understands well from his time in the hospital—patient communication and bedside manner.


“An important part of medicine that not too many people pay attention to is the communication with patients,” he explains. “I think having soldiers as patients will help to improve that.” For Melaku, who hopes to enter into pediatrics in the future, such tools will also serve him and his littlest patients well.