blog_pj PJ Beran
PJ is a young man from Sydney,
who volunteered for Magen David Adom
during his gap year as part of the
Maccabi Sports Leadership Program.
He writes here about his experiences ….

June 2013


The sympathetic symptoms of a patient suffering from hypovolemic shock due to an uncontrolled bleeding wound, or the signs of struggle felt by all MDA Overseas Youth Volunteers as we learnt and studied the in’s and out’s of Emergency Medical Response theory and practice? Well technically the answer could be both, but after just completing the intense 10 day, 60 hour, MDA training course and achieving our qualification as MDA First Responders, our assisting service to the ambulance drivers and paramedics of MDA begins now, and thus, so does our capacity to correctly diagnose and treat patients.

For me, the 10 day training course from the 20th of June to the 30th of June was a wonderfully unique experience. The program selectively brought together a group of young, active and intelligent people from all over the world (Canada, USA, Holland and Australia) to the holy land of Israel – future and ‘current’ doctors along with other civic-minded tertiary students made for a truly outstanding cohort.

I found the content taught to not only be very interesting and engaging, especially some of the big picture concepts concerning how to best identify and treat different emergency patients, but also, invaluable in terms of how to practically save someone’s life in the future – inside or outside of the ambulance.

Over and above recommending this course to any civic minded people who want some hands-on volunteering experience, if you are a student who has just graduated high school and is still trying to pave your tertiary pathway, or if you’re a current tertiary student with a medical background, I highly recommend MDA as a world-class source of education and experience.

The 6 week program (10 day training course and 4 weeks volunteering) runs all year round. To any prospective student or parent, make sure you visit or contact for more information regarding the program details, costs and application process.

A special thanks must go to Reut, Avital, Itamar and Yair for their mateship, guidance and support throughout the rigorous training course. I am now very proud to be a part of the MDA family and I can’t wait to get the gloves on and start volunteering!