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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.07.24

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August 2016
Dani Bercovich PhD, Geoffrey Goodman PhD and M. Eric Gershwin MD

Immune function is the most basic physiological process in humans and indeed throughout the animal kingdom. Interestingly, the vast majority of textbooks of physiology do not include a chapter on immunity. Our species survival is dependent on the diversity of the immune response and the ability for antigen presentation and effector mechanisms to be enormously promiscuous. As physicians, we are likely all too aware of how brief our life span is and the myriad of diseases and events that shorten it. It is not surprising that we question where our life comes from and our relationship within the universe. Many hypotheses have been offered regarding the likelihood that intelligent life exists elsewhere. We propose that such issues be discussed in the context of basic biologic observations on earth, such as the sight of a dense flock of tens of thousands of starlings maneuvering in rapid twists and turns at dusk before settling in trees for the night. The mathematical likelihood for life elsewhere was proposed by Frank Drake in a classic equation whose 'thesis' has stimulated the search for alien civilizations and the nature of life. A fundamental gap in this equation is the presence of a diverse immune response, a feature essential for survival of Life, presumably also extra-terrestrially.

Daniel Hardoff MD, Assaf Gefen MA, Doron Sagi MA and Amitai Ziv MD

Background: Human dignity has a pivotal role within the health care system. There is little experience using simulation-based medical education (SBME) programs that focus on human dignity issues in doctor-patient relationships.

Objectives: To describe and assess a SBME program aimed at improving physicians’ competence in a dignifying approach when encountering adolescents and their parents.

Methods: A total of 97 physicians participated in 8 one-day SMBE workshops that included 7 scenarios of typical adolescent health care dilemmas. These issues could be resolved if the physician used an appropriate dignifying approach toward the patient and the parents. Debriefing discussions were based on video recordings of the scenarios. The effect of the workshops on participants’ approach to adolescent health care was assessed by a feedback questionnaire and on 5-point Likert score questionnaires administered before the workshop and 3 months after. 

Results: All participants completed both the pre-workshop and the feedback questionnaires and 41 (42%) completed the post-workshop questionnaire 3 months later. Practice and competence topics received significantly higher scores in post-workshop questionnaires (P < 0.001). A score of high to very high was given by 90% of physicians to the contribution of the workshop to participants understanding the dignifying approach, and by 70% to its influence on their communicative skills.

Conclusions: A one-day simulation-based workshop may improve physicians’ communication skills and sense of competence in addressing adolescents’ health care issues which require a dignifying approach toward both the adolescent patients and their parents. This dignity-focused methodology may be expanded to improve communication skills of physicians from various disciplines. 


June 2016
Ely L. Steinberg MD, Eitan Segev MD, Michael Drexler MD, Tomer Ben-Tov MD and Snir Nimrod MD

The progression from standard celluloid films to digitalized technology led to the development of new software programs to fulfill the needs of preoperative planning. We describe here preoperative digitalized programs and the variety of conditions for which those programs can be used to facilitate preparation for surgery. A PubMed search using the keywords “digitalized software programs”, “preoperative planning” and “total joint arthroplasty” was performed for all studies regarding preoperative planning of orthopedic procedures that were published from 1989 to 2014 in English. Digitalized software programs are enabled to import and export all picture archiving communication system (PACS) files (i.e., X-rays, computerized tomograms, magnetic resonance images) from either the local working station or from any remote PACS. Two-dimension (2D) and 3D CT scans were found to be reliable tools with a high preoperative predicting accuracy for implants.  The short learning curve, user-friendly features, accurate prediction of implant size, decreased implant stocks and low-cost maintenance makes digitalized software programs an attractive tool in preoperative planning of total joint replacement, fracture fixation, limb deformity repair and pediatric skeletal disorders.

September 2013
S. Harnof, M. Hadani, A. Ziv and H. Berkenstadt
 Background: Communication skills are an important component of the neurosurgery residency training program. We developed a simulation-based training module for neurosurgery residents in which medical, communication and ethical dilemmas are presented by role-playing actors.

Objectives: To assess the first national simulation-based communication skills training for neurosurgical residents.

Methods: Eight scenarios covering different aspects of neurosurgery were developed by our team: 1) obtaining informed consent for an elective surgery, 2) discharge of a patient following elective surgery, 3) dealing with an unsatisfied patient, 4) delivering news of intraoperative complications, 5) delivering news of a brain tumor to parents of a 5 year old boy, 6) delivering news of brain death to a family member, 7) obtaining informed consent for urgent surgery from the grandfather of a 7 year old boy with an epidural hematoma, and 8) dealing with a case of child abuse. Fifteen neurosurgery residents from all major medical centers in Israel participated in the training. The session was recorded on video and was followed by videotaped debriefing by a senior neurosurgeon and communication expert and by feedback questionnaires.

Results: All trainees participated in two scenarios and observed another two. Participants largely agreed that the actors simulating patients represented real patients and family members and that the videotaped debriefing contributed to the teaching of professional skills.

Conclusions: Simulation-based communication skill training is effective, and together with thorough debriefing is an excellent learning and practical method for imparting communication skills to neurosurgery residents. Such simulation-based training will ultimately be part of the national residency program.

November 2008
July 2008
R. Baumal and J. Benbassat

Research in the acquisition of patient interviewing skills by medical students has dealt mostly with the evaluation of the effectiveness of various teaching programs and techniques. The educational approaches (i.e., the tutor-learner relationship and learning atmosphere) have rarely been discussed. These approaches may be grouped into: a) "teacher-centered" (didactic), in which the students are passive recipients of instruction; b) "learner-centered," in which the tutor functions as a facilitator of small group learning, whose task is not to teach but rather to ensure that all students participate in the discussions and share knowledge with other students; and c) "integrated learner-and teacher-centered" or "experiential learning," which consists of an ongoing dialogue between the tutor and the students. In this paper, we review the strengths and weaknesses of these educational approaches and attempt to identify the current trends in their use in the teaching of interviewing skills. It would appear to us that, until the 1960s, medical students acquired interviewing skills without any expert guidance. On the other hand, since the 1970s, there has been a tendency to offer and upgrade undergraduate programs aimed at imparting communication skills to medical students. Initially, these programs were didactic; however, during the last decade, there has been an increasing shift to teaching interviewing skills by promoting experiential learning.

July 2002
Yoshua Shemer, MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD
May 2001
Ayelet Berg, PhD, Dan Yuval, PhD, Michal Ivancovsky, MBA, Sima Zalcberg, MSc, Avigail Dubani and Jochanan Benbassat, MD

Background: Patients who feel involved in their treatment have better outcomes than those who do not.

Objective: To identify determinants of perceived patient involvement in obstetric care.

Methods: A retrospective study was undertaken in 1,452 (83%) of 1,750 women sampled in November 1995 from maternity wards of 14 general hospitals in Israel. A postal and telephone survey using a self-administered questionnaire included the following variables: hospital (identity number), patients' age, self-reported complications, previous deliveries, education, ethnicity, and number of obstetric interventions performed and/or considered. The main outcome measured was the reported involvement in decisions for obstetric interventions.

Results: Reported full involvement varied from 72% for epidural analgesia to 13% for forceps/vacuum extraction. Factor analysis identified two dimensions of perceived involvement: one for routine” interventions (enema, monitor­ing, IV line and episiotomy), which are performed in Israel mostly by midwives, and another for "special" interventions (forceps/vacuum extraction, epidural or other analgesia, and cesarian section) performed by physicians. Logistic regression identified hospitals, younger age, number of interventions, and Arab ethnicity as correlates of a perceived non-involvement in decisions for "special" interventions.

Conclusions: Clinical setting, age and ethnicity affected patient perception of involvement in decisions for obstetric interventions.

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