News and Events

Rambam Physicians Set to Train at Leading Medical Centers Worldwide

Publication Date: 5/19/2024 9:00 AM

In the coming months, 19 resident physicians from Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel, will pack their bags and relocate with their families to countries across four continents for one to two years. During this time, they will complete specialization-training fellowships made possible by the Rambam Knowledge Center and generous donations from the hospital’s friends.

Rambam executives and members of the fellowship committee: (left) Dr. Weissman, Advocate Besser, Dr. Esty Golan, Dr. Mekel, Professor Halberthal (center), and Professor Keidar with the fellowship recipients. Photography: Rambam HCC.
Rambam executives and members of the fellowship committee: (left) Dr. Weissman, Advocate Besser, Dr. Esty Golan, Dr. Mekel, Professor Halberthal (center), and Professor Keidar with the fellowship recipients. Photography: Rambam HCC.
Established in 2007, a unique Rambam scholarship initiative has enabled some 120 of the hospital’s residents to travel abroad and further their knowledge and skills. After having undergone a rigorous selection procedure, they are now set to commence fellowship programs at leading medical centers in the USA, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa.

The residents will return to Rambam with enhanced professional skills and experience in their chosen fields. As such, they will further contribute to the hospital’s role as the only tertiary medical center in Northern Israel.

Sitting on the fellowship selection committee are: Professor Michael Halberthal, Rambam’s director general; Dr. Michal Mekel, hospital deputy director and director of Endocrine Surgery Services; Professor Zohar Keidar, chairperson and director of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine, and Advocate Ziva Besser. They all attended the award ceremony on Thursday, May 16. Dr. Avi Weissman and Nissim Haim, hospital deputy directors and Esty Golan, PhD, managing director of International Relations also attended.

A record number of 19 scholarships were awarded for 2024. The scholarships were made possible through support from hospital management through the Rambam Knowledge Center (the Dr. Yaron Baral Memorial Scholarship Fund) and generous contributions from donors.

The Rambam Knowledge Center is a college on the hospital campus responsible for enhancing the training of hundreds medical professionals, including specialist physicians, residents, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, and those wishing to pursue a career as medical secretarial assistants. Advocate Ziva Besser, director of the Rambam Knowledge Center, founded the fellowship program.

On behalf of the fellowship recipients, Dr. Yaron Saiet a physician from the Department of Thoracic Surgery, moved the audience with his speech, “We now have another mission, one not previously required of us. This week, we marked Memorial Day and Independence Day, the most difficult ones since the State of Israel was established.” He went on to say that we experienced October 7th as Israelis—Jews and Arabs, parents, reservists, and doctors. “We watch with angst as delegitimization and protests on campuses unfold in institutions across the Western world, and Jewish and Israeli students and faculty are being excluded. My grandmother, Zipporah Piker, of blessed memory, was a Holocaust survivor who lived in Vienna before World War II. After the Nazi occupation, she was excluded from her medical studies and never completed her education. I will not allow history to repeat itself.”

Professor Halberthal, the director of Rambam, encouraged the physicians to bring back to Rambam the knowledge and added value that comes from exposure to the world’s leading medical centers. Dr. Mekel, the first participant in the Rambam Knowledge Center scholarship program in 2007, assured the participants that they would return with knowledge that would contribute to and enhance the Israeli healthcare system, while also enjoying personal growth and development during their time abroad.

The fellowship selection committee: (L-R) Prof. Halberthal, Dr. Mekel, Prof. Keidar, and Advocate Besser.

The fellowship selection committee. (L-R) Professor Halberthal, Dr. Mekel, Professor Keidar, and Advocate Besser.