Personality Profile

Imagine building a good life in your country for years and suddenly leaving it all behind for the sake of extending help to more people in another part of the world – that is the story of two Israeli doctors who journeyed to Palau after receiving a request for their services.

Orthopedic surgeon Louis Schorr and his wife, Ophthalmologist Yehudit Schorr-Welt, packed their bags in August last year to move to Palau together with their two children.

The decision to move came after Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs got a request from Palau’s Ministry of Health (MOH) that Palau is in need of doctors with their specializations. Without casting second thoughts, the couple set out on a travel to Palau, motivated by a selfless aim of extending their help to another group of people.

Before coming to Palau, Louis had served as Orthopedic surgeon in Israel for nine years while Yehudit had also been an ophthalmologist in their country for seven years. And with just once call, they flew to Palau, which they both admitted, was a place they had never set foot in before.

“The experience here is very different from what we have [in Israel]. We knew no one here…we gain[ed] the experience through motion and we begin to understand about how things are being done in Palau,” the orthopedic doctor said, adding that it took them a little time to adjust with their work here as Palau’s health system is different from that of Israel and the population here also has different needs.

But these changes in the working environment did not hamper them to do their best in helping out many Palauans who suffer diseases that are covered by their specialties.

According to the two doctors, with the help of Fish ‘n Fins owners Tova and Navot Bornovski, whom they only came to know when they arrived here, they settled in Palau.

With a contract term of only one year here in Palau, the two are making the most of their time here to help as many people as they could by scheduling days intended for checking up patients and doing surgeries, among others.

In an interview yesterday, the two expressed their desire for more Palauans to know of the services they are rendering.

“I don’t think that the whole population is really aware about this. There are a lot of people that [already] know about it but there are still more that don’t know about it,” Yehudit said.

Yehudit and Louis narrated in the interview that when they first came in Palau, they learned that there was not an orthopedic surgeon that worked here for several years after the one from Burma who used to practice the same profession here for about 20 years left the position.

But for the field of Ophthalmology, it was the first time ever that a continuous ophthalmologic service was done in the hospital here when they arrived, the two shared, explaining further that ophthalmology-related services were only done here by special teams from abroad who do annual operations here for a period of one week only.

Being only here for seven months, the two had contributed a lot to the health system of Palau and had already been able to help hundreds of Palauan patients who had sought their help.

The two also took notice of Health Minister Emais Roberts’ efforts in raising the quality of health services in Palau.

For the two doctors, their experience here was a big change in their life and they consider it as “a nice opportunity of helping another population.”

The two expressed that they will never forget their experience here as this has been a significant part of their career experience. They even added that even when their term here would finally come to an end, they are still willing to help in their own little ways.    (Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter) [/restrict]