CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a new training program for immigrant physicians, designed to meet the need for more army doctors.
Fourteen MDs, all of whom emigrated from the former Soviet Union, will spend a year and a half at Kibbutz Lahavot Habashan in the Upper Galilee, with the goal of becoming fully proficient in Hebrew.
After the 18-month intensive ulpan (Hebrew school), they will serve as physicians in the IDF.
The new program, called "Doctors for the IDF 2008," is a joint undertaking by the health and immigrant absorption ministries, the Jewish Agency and the Upper Galilee Regional Council, in tandem with the Kibbutz Movement.
This is not the first training program initiated and hosted by the council, but it a first for the IDF, which needs to address the shortage of military doctors.
Doctors participating in the pilot program include specialists in endocrinology, anesthesiology, gynecology, psychiatry and pediatrics.
If the program proves successful, the Kibbutz Movement, which is cosponsoring the program with the Upper Galilee Regional Council, plans to train a second group of doctors next year.