Change Maker

Dr. Eliezer Kinberg
PSAV, 2007 / A.A., 2009 / B.A.S., 2011

Lt. Eliezer Kinberg, a medical doctor and U.S. Air Force reservist, turned down a full scholarship offer from Florida Atlantic University in 2009 to serve a one-year term as Palm Beach State College student trustee. He knew that having that opportunity could open doors for him.

“It’s an experience that still shapes the way I think. It was a good foundation for me,’’ said Kinberg, who was PBSC’s student trustee in 2009-2010.

Kinberg had earned a Massage Therapy certificate in 2007 and was wrapping up his Associate in Arts degree when he chose to also complete his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Health Management at PBSC. Although he had begun working as a massage therapist, he was still mulling over his career direction and future. He later decided to pursue a medical degree.

“I saw medicine as a platform to effect change,’’ he said. “Some of those experiences of being on the Board of Trustees and seeing how policies are made led to that as well.”

After getting his B.A.S. degree in 2011, he went to New York Medical College to complete a Master of Science degree in Basic Medical Science.  The New York native, who attended high school in Israel, then began medical school at the University of Central Florida in 2013 on a U.S. Air Force Health Professions Scholarship. The scholarship covered full tuition in exchange for four years of service as an active duty physician, which he will complete after his residency. Through the scholarship, he became a commissioned officer.

He graduated from medical school this past May and is doing a five-year otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) residency, at Mt. Sinai in New York.

Kinberg, who met his wife, Belén, when they were students in the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College at PBSC, said serving as student trustee prepared him for leadership roles at the UCF College of Medicine, including serving as the student representative on the Curriculum Committee. He also chaired the Council of Student Members of the Florida Chapter of the American College of Physicians and was student representative to the Air Force Chapter of the American College of Physicians, and he was inducted into two national medical honor societies.

Kinberg said he made a good decision to choose Palm Beach State. “It’s a place where if you’re willing to work hard and put yourself out there, there are all the opportunities in the world.”