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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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August 2005
S. Berger-Achituv, T. Shohat and B-Z. Garty
 Background: The rate of breast-feeding in Israel has increased over the last two decades but is still lower than rates in other developed countries that have taken an active role in promoting breast-feeding.

Objective: To determine breast-feeding patterns and the association between sociodemographic characteristics and breast-feeding in the Tel Aviv district.

Methods: The mothers of infants aged 2, 4, 6 and 12 months, attending 59 well-baby clinics in the Tel Aviv district, were interviewed by telephone. Singleton infants who weighed less than 2,000 g and multiple-gestation infants were excluded from the study. The questions covered background data, sociodemographic characteristics of the family, and breast-feeding practices. Stepwise logistic regression was used to analyze the association between breast-feeding and various sociodemographic characteristics.

Results: Altogether, 78.5% of the mothers (1,307/1,665) initiated breast-feeding. The rate of breast-feeding at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months was 55.8, 36.8, 29.9 and 11.8%, respectively. Only 35.8% of the infants at 2 months and 11.2% at 6 months were exclusively breast-fed. The mean duration of breast-feeding was 5.2 ± 0.2 months. Grand multiparas (≥5 children) had a significantly higher rate of breast-feeding than women with one to four children (P < 0.001). More likely to breast-feed for 2 weeks or longer were women married to Yeshiva students (odds ratio = 5.3), women with ≥13 years education (OR[1] = 2.1), and women on maternity leave (OR = 1.6). The predictors for breast-feeding for 6 months or longer were similar.

Conclusions: Although the rate of breast-feeding initiation in central Israel was 78.5%, only 29.9% of the mothers continue to breast-feed for 6 months. Already at a young age, an appreciable number of breast-fed infants receive infant formula. Breast-feeding promotion should focus on less educated women, homemakers, and families with one to four children.


[1] OR = odds ratio

May 2005
N. Bitterman and I. Shalev
 Background: In light of changes in the medical profession, the different requirements placed on physicians and the evolving needs of the healthcare system, the need arose to examine the medical education curriculum in Israel. This survey, conducted by the Samuel Neaman Institute for Science and Technology summarizes 20 years of medical education in Israel's four medical schools, as the first stage in mapping the existing state of medical education in Israel and providing a basis for decision-making on future medical education programs.

Objectives: To characterize the academic background of graduates, evaluate their attitudes towards current and alternative medical education programs, and examine subgroups among graduates according to gender, medical school, high school education, etc.

Methods: The survey included graduates from all four Israeli medical schools who graduated between the years 1981 and 2000 in a sample of 1:3. A questionnaire and stamped return envelope were sent to every third graduate; the questionnaire included open and quantitative questions graded on a scale of 1 to 5. The data were processed for the entire graduate population and further analyzed according to subgroups such as medical schools, gender, high school education, etc.

Results: The response rate was 41.3%. The survey provided a demographic profile of graduates over a 20 year period, their previous educational and academic background, additional academic degrees achieved, satisfaction, and suggestions for future medical education programs.

Conclusions: The profile of the medical graduates in Israel is mostly homogenous in terms of demographics, with small differences among the four medical schools. In line with recommendations of the graduates, and as an expression of the changing requirements in the healthcare system and the medical profession, the medical schools should consider alternative medical education programs such as a bachelor’s degree in life sciences followed by MD studies, or education programs that combine medicine with disciplines such as law, engineering, computer science, etc.

November 2004
A.B. Jotkowitz, A. Porath and S. Glick
January 2004
August 2003
Y. Waisman, N. Siegal, M. Chemo, G. Siegal, L. Amir, Y. Blachar and M. Mimouni

Background: Understanding discharge instructions is crucial to optimal healing but may be compromised in the hectic environment of the emergency department.

Objectives: To determine parents’ understanding of ED[1] discharge instructions and factors that may affect it.

Methods: A convenience sample of parents of children discharged home from the ED of an urban tertiary care pediatric facility (n=287) and a suburban level II general hospital (n=195) completed a 13-item questionnaire covering demographics, level of anxiety, and quality of physician’s explanation. Parents also described their child’s diagnosis and treatment instructions and indicated preferred auxiliary methods of delivery of information. Data were analyzed using the BMPD statistical package.

Results: Full understanding was found in 72% and 78% of the parents at the respective centers for the diagnosis, and in 82% and 87% for the treatment instructions (P  = NS between centers). There was no statistical correlation between level of understanding and parental age, gender, education, level of anxiety before or after the ED visit, or time of day. The most contributory factor to lack of understanding was staff use of medical terminology. Parents suggested further explanations by a special discharge nurse and written information as auxiliary methods.

Conclusions: Overall, parental understanding of ED discharge instructions is good. However, there remains a considerable number (about 20%) who fail to fully comprehend the diagnosis or treatment directives. This subset might benefit from the use of lay terminology by the staff, institution of a special discharge nurse, or use of diagnosis-specific information sheets.

[1] ED = emergency department

February 2003
M. Oberbaum, N. Notzer, R. Abramowitz and D. Branski

Background: Complementary medicine is gaining popularity, yet medical school curricula usually ignore it.

Objectives: To determine whether senior medical students are interested in learning principles of complementary or alternative medicine, to check their degree of familiarity with it, and to suggest a format for such studies in the medical curriculum.

Methods: Senior medical students (n = 117) were surveyed by an anonymous questionnaire.

Results: Seventy-nine percent of the senior medical students were interested in studying complementary or alternative medicine in medical school, and 65% were interested in applying these techniques to treat patients. Eighty-seven percent of students were familiar with some techniques of complementary medicine.

Conclusions: Senior medical students are interested in studying complementary and alternative medicine in medical school and in applying these techniques in practice.

August 2002
Shabtai Varsano, MD

Asthma in Israel is a growing medical problem, affecting at least 7% of children and 3.7% of the total population. Mortality rates in the age group 5-34 years were on a rise between 1976 and 1990 but show a marked decrease in recent years, perhaps due to the sharp increase in sales of inhaled corticosteroids. There is also a recent indication that the relatively high crude mortality rate among women is declining (from 3.68 and 4.58 per 100,000 in 1997). In spite of better asthma education and management there is still a gap between available medical knowledge and medical therapy and its utilization for benefit of the asthmatic population in Israel.

July 2002
Ronen Rubinshtein, MD, Eyal Robenshtok, MD, Arik Eisenkraft, MD, Aviv Vidan, MD and Ariel Hourvitz, MD

Recent events have significantly increased concern about the use of biologic and chemical weapons by terrorists and other countries. Since weapons of mass destruction could result in a huge number of casualties, optimizing our diagnostic and therapeutic skills may help to minimize the morbidity and mortality. The national demands for training in medical aspects of nuclear, biologic and chemical warfare have increased dramatically. While Israeli medical preparedness for non-conventional warfare has improved substantially in recent years especially due to extensive training programs, a standardized course and course materials were not available until recently. We have developed a core curriculum and teaching materials for a 1 or 2 day modular course, including printed materials.

June 2002
E. Michael Sarrell, MD, Avigdor Mandelberg, MD, Herman Avner Cohen, MD and Ernesto Kahan, MD, MPH

Background: Primary care physicians' adherence to accepted asthma guidelines is necessary for the proper care of asthma patients.

Objectives: To investigate the compliance of primary care physicians with clinical guidelines for asthma treatment and their participation in related educational programs, and to evaluate the influence of their employment status.

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 1,000 primary care practitioners (pediatricians and family physicians) in Israel.

Results: The response rate was 64%. Of the physicians who participated, 473 (75%) had read and consulted the guidelines but only 192 (29%) had participated in an educational program on asthma management in the last 12 months. The younger the responding physician (fewer years in practice), the more likely his/her attendance in such a program (P<0.0001). After consulting the guidelines 189 physicians (40%) had modified their treatment strategies. Significantly more self-employed than salaried physicians had read the guidelines and participated in educational programs; physicians who were both self-employed and salaried fell somewhere between these groups. This trend was not influenced by years in practice.

Conclusions: All primary care physicians should update their knowledge more often. The publication of guidelines on asthma must be followed by their proper dissemination and utilization. Our study suggests that major efforts should be directed at the population of employed physicians.

December 2001
Shlomo M. Monnickendam MD, Shlomo Vinker MD, Simon Zalewski MD, Orli Cohen MD and Eliezer Kitai MD, and Research Group of the Department of Family Medicine, Tel Aviv University

Background: Patients’ consent to being part of medical education is often taken for granted, both in primary and secondary care. Formal consent procedures are not used routinely during teaching and patients are not always aware of teaching activities.

Objective: To investigate patients’ attitudes and expectations on issues of consent regarding participation in teaching in general practice, and the influence of a student’s presence on the consultation.

Methods: The study took place in 46 teaching practices during the sixth year clinical internship in family medicine. Patients completed questionnaires at the end of 10 consecutive eligible consultations. The questionnaire contained data on the willingness to participate in teaching, the preferred consent procedure and the effects of the student’s presence. The doctors were asked to estimate the sociodemographic level in their clinic area.

Results: A total of 375 questionnaires were returned; the response rate was not affected by the clinic’s sociodemographic level. Overall, 67% of the patients had come into contact with students in the past; 3.2% of the participants objected to the presence of a student during the consultation; 15% would insist on advance notification of the presence of a student, and another 13.9% would request it; 4% stated that the presence of students had a detrimental influence on the physical examination and history; and 33.6% would refuse to be examined by a student without the doctor’s presence.

Conclusion: Most patients agreed to have a student present during the consultation; some would like prior notification; a minority refused the student’s presence. A large minority would refuse to be examined without the tutor’s presence. Our findings need to be taken into account when planning clinical clerkships.

Shmuel Reis MD, Margalit Goldfracht MD, Ada Tamir DSc, Riki Van Raalte MA, Tomas Spenser FRCGP and Doron Hermoni MD

Background: Which medical specialties do Israeli medical graduates choose? Answers to this question can serve as an essential means of evaluating both Israeli medical education and the healthcare system.

Objectives: To determine the distribution of medical specialty choice, its change over time and the posible influence of the medical school on the choice; to study the graduates’ gender, gender variability in specialty choice of family medicine as a career among the graduates as a group, by medical school, gender, and time trends.

Method: The study population comprised all graduates of the four medical schools in Israel during 16 years: 1980-1995 inclusive. Data were obtained from the four medical schools, the Israel Medical Association’s Scientific Council, and the Ministry of Health. Data allowed for correct identification of two-third of the graduates.

Results: A total of 4,578 physicians graduated during this period. There was a significant growth trend in the proportion of women graduates from 22.6% in 1980 (lowest: 20.0% un 1981) to 35.3 in 1995 (highest: 41.5% in 1991). Overall, 3,063 physicians (66.8%) started residency and 1,714 (37.4%) became specialists. The four most popular residencies were internal medicine. Ten percent of Israeli graduates choose family medicine.

Conclusions: The overall class size in Israel was stable at a time considerable population change. Women’s place in Israeli medicine is undergoing significant change. Family medicine is one of the four most popular residencies. Amonitoring system for MSC in Israel is imperative.

Uzi Milman MD, Mordechai Alperin MD, Shmuel Reis MD, Riki Van-Ralte MA and Doron Hermoni MD BSc

Background: Most of the published documents proposing teaching objectives for undergraduate clerkships were prepared by expert bodies. Seldom have the clinical teachers, who are critical to the learning process and to the implementationof the  teaching objectives, been the actual proponents of its core content.

Objective: To develop a national-scale proposal of teaching, objectives for the family medicine clerckship in medical school, using a consensus method and the actual, community-based teachers as the expert body.

Method: The Delphi method was chosen for that purpose. In the first round all 189 family medicine teachers in Israeli medical schools were asked to propose five teaching objectives. In the second round the objectives, which were generatedin the first round, were characterized by key words and were send to the participants as a second round for ranking according to their importance.

Results: A total of 116 family medicine teachers (61.38%) responded in the first round and 91 of the 116 (78.5%) in the second round. They formulated 51 teaching objectives listed in order of importance, covering a wide array of themes and including knowledge, attitude and skills objectives. The most important objectives were common problems in primary care, recognition of the biopsychosocial model, and understanding the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. The structure of the list provides a uniqe insight into the relative importance of each objective in the context of the whole core content of the clerkship.

Conclusions: Constructing a proposal for teaching objectives is feasible using the Delphi method and the field instructors as the selecting body. The process and its results can provide faculty with relevant and important suggestions on the content and structure of the family medicine clerkship.

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