Student Spotlight: Studying Jewish Medical Ethics and Conducting Ob/Gyn Research

Lander College for Women Positions Rivka Kesler For a Successful Medical Career

December 01, 2021
Rivka Kesler
Rivka Kesler

What made you decide to come to Touro’s Lander College for Women?

I had heard good things about the staff and the students at Touro. I also really liked the environment. We have small classes and receive a lot of individual attention, which is conducive for growth in academics and as a person.

Can you describe your classes and your professors?

The classes are rigorous on every level. I was reviewing some things I’ve learned in my biology class with a friend who is in medical school, and she was shocked that I was learning it because that’s what she was currently learning in medical school.

My professors are experts in the field and make our classes even more relevant by bringing in current affairs and sharing their own work. Our professors are very dedicated to the students. They have answered my many questions about being pre-med, taking the MCATs, and going to medical school. They try to make themselves as available as possible, whether replying to an email within a day or chatting by phone if a student needs help. They want you to succeed and they'll do anything they can to help you.

Why did you choose medicine as your future career?

I chose medicine because I am passionate about helping people. I really love to make a difference in people’s lives and have a positive impact through healthcare. Medicine is very demanding, but at the same time, it’s very rewarding. With medicine, there are many diverse and unique ways to help people.

What are the lab facilities like?

Touro recently renovated the labs. They're beautiful and filled with state-of-the-art equipment. There’s always someone in the lab to help you understand the experiment or give a deeper explanation as to why something worked.

What are the Jewish studies courses like?

The Jewish studies department is split into three different sections. They have Bible classes, Tanach classes, and Torah classes. The classes take learning to a whole new level. I have learned about areas I never knew existed. For example, in a course in Jewish medical ethics taught by Rabbi Tzvi Flaum, we learned about transplants and all the halachic ramifications for which organs can be transplanted and when. There are some practical applications that as a physician, I will encounter throughout my career.

Have you taken advantage of Career Center services to get internships?

Yes! They are very helpful. They helped me get two internships, including a volunteer position at Mount Sinai in the emergency room, which was very exciting. They have also helped me get in touch with an emergency OB/GYN, with whom I’m now conducting research. The Career Center is always there to field dozens of questions, whether it’s for your resume, helping prepare for interviews, or helping search for jobs.

How do you like living in the dorm?

The dorm is a wonderful community. You get to know people from all walks of life. The dorm mother, Malkie Katz, is everything you could ever want from someone in that position — she's caring, warm, and responsible. If you ever need assistance, you can always go to her and she’s there to make you feel at home.