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Hadassah Profile: Dr. Shmuel Harris--From Aussie to Israeli
30-Mar-2009
Dr. Shmuel Harris joined Hadassah Medical Centerís Department of Psychiatry shortly after he immigrated to Israel from Melbourne, Australia. Psychiatry is the best fit for him, Dr. Harris says, because "I like listening to people, getting involved with them, and engaged in trying to help them."
 
Dr. Harris came to Hadassah through the recommendation of a fellow Australian who was already working in Hadassahís Department of Psychiatry. "A job is a major part of settling into a new country," he comments, "and I couldnít have been more fortunate in finding the job I did."
 
 Dr. Harris, the son, grandson, and nephew of physicians, attended medical school at the University of Melbourne, where he also interned for a year, specializing in psychiatry. While a medical student, he would spend his vacations in Israel, learning the language and getting to know the people and unfamiliar cultural mentality. He remembers the time he went to the Israeli Interior Ministry to change his visa classification from tourist to student. "The clerk looked at me," he recalls, "looked down at my papers, and said, without preamble: ĎI see youíre single. Would you like to meet my daughter?í"
 
By the time Dr. Harris left Melbourne to live in Jerusalem in 2007, he felt ready to slip into his new social and professional surroundings. "Iíve been very lucky," he says. "Knowing the language and the mentality has helped enormously. And Iíve walked straight into a job in my specialty at a superb hospital, where Iíve been made to feel totally welcome."

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