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עמוד בית
Sun, 16.06.24

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August 2010
A. Farfel, D. Hardoff, A. Afek and A. Ziv

Background: Simulation-based medical education has become a powerful tool in improving the quality of care provided by health professionals.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a simulated patient-based educational program for military recruitment center physicians on the quality of medical encounters with adolescent candidates for military service.

Methods: Twelve physicians participated in an educational intervention that included a one day SP[1]-based workshop, where simulations of eight typical candidates for military service were conducted. Assessment of the physicians' performance before and after the intervention was based on questionnaires filled by 697 and 508 military candidates respectively, upon completion of their medical examination by these physicians. The questionnaire explored health topics raised by the examining physician as well as the atmosphere during the encounter. The candidates were also asked whether they had omitted important medical information during the medical encounter.

Results: Pre- and post-intervention comparison revealed significant changes in the percentages of candidates who reported that they were asked questions related to psychosocial topics: school problems – 59.7% and 68.9% (P = 0.01), protected sex – 29.6% and 36.4% (P = 0.01), mood changes – 46.9% and 52.2% (P = 0.05) respectively. Physicians were perceived as being interested in the candidates by 68.2% of the candidates before the intervention and 77.5% after (P < 0.01). The percentage of candidates who reported omitting medical information decreased from 6.6% before the intervention to 2.4% after (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: A simulated patient-based educational program for military physicians improved the quality of physician-candidate encounters. Such programs may serve as an effective instrument for training physicians to communicate with adolescents.

[1] SP = simulated patient

A. Leiba, N. Dreiman, G. Weiss, B. Adini and Y. Bar-Dayan

Background: The growing numbers of H1N1 "swine influenza" cases should prompt national health systems to achieve dual preparedness: preparedness of clinicians to recognize and treat cases of human H1N1 flu, and national preparedness for an influenza pandemic. This is similar to recent contingency planning for an avian flu pandemic.

Objectives: To evaluate hospital personnel's knowledge on avian flu (zoonotic, sporadic, pandemic), comparing among nurses, residents and faculty, and between those who attended lectures or other educational modalities targeted at avian flu and those who did not.

Methods: A 14 item multiple choice questionnaire was designed to test crucial points regarding preparedness for human avian flu. The directors of 26 general hospitals were instructed by the Ministry of Health to improve knowledge of and preparedness for different avian flu scenarios, and to expect an official inspection. As part of this inspection, we distributed the questionnaires to nurses, residents and senior physicians.

Results: Altogether, 589 questionnaires were collected from the 26 hospitals. Examinees who participated in training modules (course, lecture or any training provided by the hospital) did somewhat better (scoring 78 points out of 100) than those who did not attend the training (70 points) (P < 0.05). Differences in nurses’ knowledge were even more striking: 66 points for the non-attendants compared to 79 for nurses who attended the lecture (P < 0.05).  Residents had significantly lower scores compared to nurses or senior physicians: 70 compared to 77 and 78 respectively (P < 0.05).

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.

May 2008
B. Gesundheit and D. Shaham

Since the beginning of medical history, ethics has interested medical practitioners. The subject has become particularly important in recent years due to the huge advancements in medicine and medical technology and has elicited much public interest. While international ethical principles and guidelines have been established, classical Jewish tradition has always placed great emphasis on bioethics. Prof. Avraham Steinberg’s monumental Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics presents the subject comprehensively and in depth. We propose a bioethics syllabus, to be integrated into the medical curriculum in three stages: i) preclinical – covering basic ethical concepts and principles, relevant history, and ethical codes; ii) clinical  – covering bioethical topics relating to the human life cycle; iii) prior to students' final examinations and further specialization – covering bioethical topics relating to their personal interests. Steinberg’s Encyclopedia is an ideal basis for the development of a professional course, including Jewish traditional aspects. Such a course would provide future physicians with a varied cultural and intercultural background, help shape their image, and improve the quality of medical care.


March 2008
Z. Shani-Gershoni, T. Freud, Y. Press and R. Peleg

Background: Acupuncture and public interest in this modality have increased over recent years in Israel and throughout the western world.

Objectives: To compare the knowledge and attitudes of physicians to medical students with regard to acupuncture.

Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was completed by internists and medical students at the Soroka Medical Center.

Results: There were 122 respondents in all, 57 of them women (46.7%). The study sample included 40 physicians (33%), 39 fifth year medical students (32%) and 43 second year medical students (35%). The majority of participants (93.4%) had never received training in acupuncture and 84.4% had never undergone acupuncture therapy themselves. In these variables there were no significant differences between the physicians and the students. The participants’ level of knowledge of acupuncture was very low, with 40% unable to answer even one question (of eight) correctly. Despite the poor level of knowledge and the lack of personal exposure to acupuncture, 90 participants (74%) believed that acupuncture has more than a placebo effect, and 57 (42%) believed it was important to include acupuncture in medical education. There were no statistically significant differences in the attitudes of physicians and medical students to acupuncture.

Conclusions: The level of knowledge and exposure of physicians and medical students to acupuncture is low. However, both groups have relatively positive attitudes to this modality as an acceptable treatment for health problems and were open to its inclusion in the medical school curriculum.

May 2007
D. Starobin, M. Bargutin, I. Rosenberg, A. Yarmolovsky, T. Levi and G. Fink

Background: Asthma control and treatment compliance are widely investigated issues around the world. Studies have demonstrated relatively low asthma compliance and control in 40–90% of asthma patients in different countries. There are no available data on the Israeli adult asthmatic population

Objectives: To investigate the level of asthma control and compliance in adult asthmatic patients.

Methods: This cross-sectional study of consecutive adult asthmatic patients visiting the pulmonary clinic used a combined questionnaire that included demographics, data on asthma severity and management, and asthma control and compliance scores. Each patient was interviewed and questionnaires were filled out during a routine visit.

Results: The study group comprised 142 males (35.4%) and 259 females (64.6%). Compliance was found optimal in 8 patients (2%), fair in 146 (36%), partial in 156 (39%) and poor in 92 (23%) of the participating asthmatic patients. Asthma control was found optimal in 26 (7%), fair in 124 (31%), partial in 122 (30%) and poor in 129 (32%) patients. Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish origin, higher level of education, and treatment protocol including either single fixed-dose inhalers or short-acting beta-agonist bronchodilators significantly improved compliance in our cohort. Socioeconomic status and compliance were found to positively affect asthma control, whereas active smoking negatively affected asthma control in the study patients.

Conclusions: The figures of optimal asthma control and compliance to treatment in Israeli adult asthmatics are low and worse than reported in other studies abroad.

January 2007
B. Chazan, R. Ben Zur Turjeman, Y. Frost, B. Besharat, H. Tabenkin, A. Stainberg, W. Sakran, R. Raz

Background: The association between antibiotic use in the community and antimicrobial resistance is known. Attention has recently focused on the type of agents being prescribed.

Objectives: To implement, evaluate and compare the efficacy of two community interventions programs – continuous versus seasonal medical education – oriented to primary care physicians with emphasis on appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs.

Methods: From October 2000 to April 2003 we conducted two interventions: a) a monthly educational campaign in selected clinics promoting appropriate diagnosis of common infectious diseases and prudent antibiotic use (continuous intervention group); and b) a massive educational campaign, conducted before two consecutive winters, promoting the judicious use of antibiotics for treating respiratory infections (continuous intervention group and seasonal intervention group). Sixteen similar clinics were randomized (8 to each group). The total antibiotic use was measured as defined daily dose/1000 patients/day, and compared between the groups. 

Results: The total use of antibiotics decreased between 1999-2000 and 2002-2003 in both groups, but slightly more significantly in the continuous intervention group. The DDD/1000 patients/day for the seasonal group in 1999-2000 was 27.8 vs. 23.2 in 2002-2003; and for the continuous group 28.7 in 1999-2000 vs. 22.9 in 2002-2003, a reduction of 16.5% and 20.0% respectively (p<0.0001). The main change in antibiotic use was noted for broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Conclusions: We present a successful community intervention program aimed to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. Amplification of this type of intervention is imperative to stop the increase in antimicrobial resistance.

October 2005
Y. Waisman, L. Amir, M. Mor and M. Mimouni.
 Background: The Pediatric Advanced Life Support course of the American Heart Association /American Academy of Pediatrics was established in Israel in 1994 and has since been presented to over 3,108 medical and paramedical personnel.

Objectives: To assess the achievements of participants in the PALS[1] course, as a cohort and by professional group, and their evaluations of different aspects of the course; and to describe the educational modifications introduced to the course since its introduction in Israel on the basis of our teaching experience.

Methods: The study sample consisted of physicians, nurses and paramedics from all areas of Israel who registered for PALS between January 2001 and December 2003. Participants took a standardized test before and after the course; a score of 80 or higher was considered a pass. On completion of the course, participants were requested to complete a 24-item questionnaire evaluating the quality of the course as a whole, as well as the lectures, skill stations, and instructors’ performance. Items were rated on a 5-point scale. Results were analyzed using the BMPD statistical package.

Results: Altogether, 739 subjects participated in 28 courses: 13 attending (in-hospital) physicians (1.8%), 89 community pediatricians (12%), 124 residents (16.8%), 304 nurses (41.1%), and 209 paramedics (28.3%). About half (48.9%) were hospital-based, and about half (47.9%) had no experience in emergency medicine. A passing grade was achieved by 89.4% of the participants; the mean grade for the whole sample was 87.2%. The mean test score of the residents was significantly better than that of the nurses (P < 0.05) and pediatricians (P < 0.01). The median evaluation score for four of the five stations was 5, and the mean overall score for all items was  4.56 (range by item 3.93–4.78).

Conclusions: PALS was successfully delivered to a large number of healthcare providers in various professional groups with very good overall achievements and high participant satisfaction. It significantly increased participants’ knowledge of pediatric resuscitation. We therefore recommend the PALS course as an educational tool in Israel.


[1] PALS = Pediatric Advanced Life Support

August 2005
A. Strulov
 Until the end of the 1980s almost no intensive intervention plan was applied to narrow the vast gap (over 100%) in infant mortality between Jews and Arabs in the Western Galilee region of Israel. A special committee appointed by the Ministry of Health instituted measures to reduce the gap, including monitoring mortality rates by establishing an online and real-time computerized information system to analyze the information without delay. Based on the epidemiologic findings, an intervention program was implemented, using health education to reduce mortality due to seasonal infections – gastroenteritis in summer and upper respiratory and hyperthermia in winter. Within 1 year these infections had abated, resulting in significantly reduced mortality. The next step was the development of an ultrasound preventive campaign using sophisticated sonography to screen pregnant women in risk groups for lethal congenital defects and convincing them to discontinue the pregnancy. These two measures reduced infant mortality dramatically. The campaign has been widened to the entire northern district and is presently addressing, as a primary prevention, the traditionally difficult problem of consanguineous marriages – the major cause of congenital defects in the Arab population.

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