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Now he’s a doctor saving lives

Dr. Idan Perry Tishel, a pediatric resident at Assuta Ashdod, never planned to be a doctor.

While some of his high school buddies were volunteering for MADA, Israel’s ambulance service, and doing internships to gain experience, Idan occupied his teenage time with swimming and the scouts.

But as a member of Israel’s elite Maglan commando unit of the IDF for three years, Idan formed deep connections with the medical staff and clinic attached to his unit. When one of the paramedics, Yotam Gilboa, died in action in front of Idan, it marked him profoundly.

“That’s when I started to think about becoming a doctor.”

In his sixth year of medical school, after getting married and having two children, he chose pediatrics.

“I don’t take myself too seriously. It’s one of the things that I learned as a dad. With kids - all kids - both ill and healthy, you need to be a little funny and a little creative to connect with them. As a pediatrician, it’s critical that I get a comprehensive medical understanding of their situation. The humor helps. And most of the time, the prognosis is optimistic.”

In fact, Dr. Tishel uses 3-D glasses and a tablet to distract his young patients and to explain, on their level, what’s going on in their bodies.

But sometimes, communication is more challenging, and Dr. Tishel must rely on more than knowledge; he needs to trust his gut. Recently, one of Assuta’s nurses noticed that a two-day-old infant born in the hospital was gray and appeared unwell. Dr. Tishel examined the baby and immediately suspected a heart defect.

Even after reviewing all the possible scenarios, Dr. Tishel believed even more strongly that the baby was born with a heart defect. He advocated for the newborn, within the hospital, to ensure that the baby was proactively checked for the potential defect. The baby’s echo test the next morning proved Dr. Tishel’s diagnosis correct: Hypoplastic, left heart.

After two surgeries, the baby is now doing well.

“But if he had left the hospital without a diagnosis, he may have died at home.”

While his medical residency is grueling and takes a toll on his personal life, Dr. Tischel bears no regrets. “I love my job.”

That job includes being a part of the team at Assuta Ashdod. Dr. Tishel checked out Assuta Ashdod in its early days - just two months after it opened its doors.

“I chose to work at Assuta Ashdod because it’s a small hospital and it’s young. I knew I would have the opportunity to help build it.”

Dr. Tishel especially appreciates the family feeling that permeates the walls of Assusta Ashdod.

“I know almost everyone here. We all talk to one another, and the environment is just really warm and friendly.”

Sometimes our dreams about the future change or simply emerge anew as we grow up. For Dr. Tishel, that dream appeared later. But fortunately, for his patients— not too late.


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