It is pretty hard to study medicine in Israel – mainly because the universities don’t accept many students. Dimitri Vodovozov, an Israeli with Uzbek roots, says that that is why it is common for students leaving the country to study medicine at foreign schools.
He is no exception: after not being accepted to a medical faculty in Israel, he decided to not give up his dream of becoming a doctor and, like his peers, he started looking for medical faculties abroad.
“Many young people leave to study medicine in Italy, Moldavia, Romania and the Ukraine. I also thought about choosing these countries, but in the end I chose Masaryk University, due to the good reputation of the Czech Republic in Israel. And I was really lucky that I ended up in Brno,” says Dimitri.
Even though the student of the last year of general medicine admits that at the beginning he was scared of the six years of study before him, in the end he quickly got used to Brno and even added two jobs to his studies.
Into his already full schedule of lectures, exercises and studies, he added time for Brno’s Jewish community, where he works as a security guard, and for training in both wrestling and the martial art of Brazilian jiu jitsu.
“With all the studying for university and the work, I have no time for anything else and I never go out. Not even to the pub. On the other hand, both jobs are also my hobbies, so I am not complaining that much,” the student of general medicine laughs.
Time for Brazilian jiu-jitsu
The thirty-one-year-old student had in the past pursued jujitsu professionally, and was a member of the Israeli wrestling team. Moreover, he participated in MMA fights (mixed martial arts), but stopped because he was tired of getting punched in the face.
“In the end, I left competition and trained just for my own sake. Then, when I moved to Brno, I thought that I wouldn’t be doing any sport and that I had finished with it. But when one of my Brno friends asked me if I could teach him wrestling, I was up for it immediately.”
Dimitri has worked in Brno for more than a year and a half as a jiu jitsu teacher for one Brno club and works as a grapping and wrestling teacher for another local club. He leads one session per week at each club, and he also gives lessons individually to four students. “I am very happy that I can teach other people how to defend themselves if they are ever attacked by anyone. It is a very satisfying job and I am grateful Brno gave me this brilliant opportunity,” says Dimitri.
Returning home after studies
In the summer, Dimitri took part in a compulsory internship in two Israeli hospitals, where he worked in three departments: paediatrics, gynaecology and surgery. In September Dimitri will be starting his last year at Masaryk University and he has five final exams ahead of him. He should be finished in the winter.
After finishing university, Dimitri plans to return to Israel, where his wife lives with their two-year-old daughter and half-year-old son. “One difficult time is ending for me, but another is just beginning. In Israel, I will have to begin a minimum of half a year of testing, so that I can work there as a doctor, and I will begin preparing for medical internships that will take at least six years. I have not yet decided what my specialisation will be – to begin with I wanted to be an orthopaedist, but then I started seriously thinking about gynaecology and endocrinology. Now I’m back to orthopaedics, since I love mending things,” says the student.
He’s looking forward to the new stage in life – in part because he will no longer have to study so far from his wife and children. “I’m also looking forward to working as a doctor. Masaryk University prepared me well for the job and I am grateful for the high level of education. I’m very glad I chose it and even though it was a tough time, it was worth it,” says Dimitri.