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David Meir-Levi, DO knows what it means to take great risks to achieve your dreams. He was born in what was then called West Berlin and reached a critical juncture in his life when he reached college age. “In Germany, you don’t go to college and then to medical school, you just go to university for medicine. The education is free, but there’s a big catch. You have to qualify for the program while you are still in high school,” he said.

Like most teenagers, Dr. Meir-Levi had no idea what he wanted to do, so when he finally decided his heart was set on medicine, the doors to the required education in Germany were closed to him. He had some distant relations in the United States and, since he had close relatives in the U.K., he was proficient with the language. After Gymnasium, the German form of high school, he traveled to the U.S. and decided to seek admission to Temple University.

For awhile he lived “in a little room” in a house with his mother’s cousin’s friends. Once established in Philadelphia, however, he made friends and eventually lived with roommates, just as most U.S. undergraduates do. At Temple, he double-majored in biology and psychology.

Upon graduation, he was accepted to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Although late to deciding to become a doctor, Dr. Meir-Levi never doubted he wanted to become a surgeon. “I like the thought process and the planning of surgery, and the technical skills required to make surgery a success,” Dr. Meir-Levi said. “I also like that there’s a definite resolution, an immediate solution to a problem.”

Although Dr. Meir-Levi is accustomed to teaching residents and students, he said his experience with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine students is different. “There is a wonderful cultural difference with this student body,” he said. “Most have done other things first. They’ve played the banjo in a band, got a master's in public health. They have some experience in the world. And it’s always a pleasure to work with them, because they are so motivated. I’d like to work with more of them.”
David Meir Levi