Eitan Keizman

Eitan, one of the most accomplished students here in Pavia, answers some questions that everyone, who wants to study medicine in Italy, has on their mind.

Eitan is a sixth-year student who has already published a book, done a summer internship at Boston Children’s Hospital, participated in complex operations in the OR — and much more.



First of all, why did you choose medicine?

Medicine is the most beautiful occupation in my opinion. I don’t see myself doing anything else!!

Why did you choose Pavia?

My choice was pretty random. I only searched for a city which was close to the airport, yet not as big as Milan, for example. I was referred to the University of Pavia, and it wasn’t until after I chose it, that I discovered this university offers a course in medicine in English.

Are you happy with thàt choice you made? Do you like it here?

I love this city. Pavia is a small city with a small population (about 80,000 people). There are no skyscrapers and everything is close to the center. In addition to this, Pavia has some great places to hang out in. There are many restaurants and cafés.  If I was planning to stay, work and live in Italy, I’d probably chose to live in Pavia. I can even say that if I had to work in Milan, I would prefer to live here in Pavia and drive there every day, rather than live in Milan itself.

 So if not staying in Italy, what is your plan? Going back to Israel?

Going back to Israel or Boston.  My residency and fellowship together will last 6 more years… for pediatric cardiothoracic surgery residency (heart surgery in infants).

What can you tell me about the hospital?

Well it depends on the ward. I can tell you that few years ago the hospital was very old! Each ward was in a different building, and as you can imagine, it was difficult and uncomfortable. If one doctor, for example, had to go to the E.R. as a consultation from another ward, he had to actually go to another building. Even more complicated, was transferring patients between the wards.

A couple of years ago a new hospital building was built, so now it’s basically different and much more accessible; there are two towers, each of them with 11 floors. When a doctor wants to move between the wards he just has to go from the fifth floor to the third.

Some people worry about the level of the courses here, since the professors who teach in the English course are actually Italian. Was it a problem?

I’d like to emphasize that this was never a problem for me! With all due respect, we are not American, nor British, and we don’t speak English fluently. In my opinion it is for the best that most of the professors’ mother tongue is not English. It makes the courses easier to understand!. The English level is more than enough and if it was higher, understanding the courses would be more difficult correspondingly. The bottom line is that the level of English should not be something that keeps students from coming to study here. 

Regarding course books: did you always buy all of the recomended course books?

Most of them, especially in the first years. I bought the books, and I found the anatomy and physiology books extremely helpful! In the clinical years it’s a bit different. We have something called sbobine, which basically means all of the class cooperates and take turns: one student records the lesson and transcribes every single word the professor says.

I used these summaries and printed them. 

Which were the most difficult tests you encountered during your studies?

1st year – biochemistry. I had an 80-minute oral exam, during which the professor asked me to draw each and every one of the Krebs cycle molecules! Today I don’t even remember the names of the molecules themselves

2nd year – anatomy and physiology were both very difficult. Physiology was a very long course. In fact, it’s the only course that you study for a full year. Yet, I enjoyed studying physiology. It is the basis of medicine!

3rd year – nothing special

4th year – cardiology

5th year – neurology and pathological anatomy, the latter is the test of Pavia, the hardest of them all!
The average study time for a test is three weeks to a month.

Could you sum up your experience so far?

The fact that I had the possibility to study at Tel Aviv University in Israel, yet I chose to come to Pavia, says everything!

I can say with great confidence that I don’t regret my choice at all!

Studying abroad in general is an experience of great value. You come to a new country without your parents, without your family, without your friends, pretty much alone! This experience builds strong character! Plus, you get to learn another language and culture.


כנסו לעמוד הפייסבוק “יומני חדר ניתוח” וקבלו הצצה לספר המרתק!

כל מי שמעוניין בספר יכול להשיג אותו בסטימצקי או צומת ספרים.

אם אין באפשרותכם להגיע לאחת מהחנוית האלה מפני שאתם כאן באיטליה לדוגמא, צרו קשר עם איתן בעמוד הפייסבוק הפרטי שלו “Eitan Keizman”

והוא יביא לכם עותק מהארץ!

בנוסף, אתם תמיד מוזמנים לפנות אליו עם שאלות רציניות בנושאי ייעוץ והכוונה.

The book OR Diaries, written by Eitan, is in Hebrew. For those of you who do not speak Hebrew, you are welcome to contact Eitan on his private Facebook page. Eitan emphasizes that he is always glad to consult and help fresh and future students. “I never forget I once stood in your shoes.” Thus, he’s always available, if anyone needs any advice.
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