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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

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November 2021
Edward Kim MPH, Elliot Goodman MD, Gilbert Sebbag MD, Ohana Gil MD, Alan Jotkowitz MD, and Benjamin H. Taragin MD

Background: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) impacted medical education and led to the significant modification or suspension of clinical clerkships and rotations.

Objectives: To describe a revised surgery clerkship curriculum, in which we divided in-person clinical teaching into smaller groups of students and adopted online-based learning to foster student and patient safety while upholding program standards.

Methods: The third-year surgery core clerkship of a 4-year international English-language program at the Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel, was adapted by dividing students into smaller capsules for in-person learning and incorporating online learning tools. Specifically, students were divided evenly throughout three surgical departments, each of which followed a different clinical schedule.

Results: National Board of Medical Examiners clerkship scores of third-year medical students who were returning to in-person clinical clerkships after transitioning from 8 weeks of online-based learning showed no significant difference from the previous 2 years.

Conclusions: To manage with the restrictions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, we designed an alternative approach to a traditional surgical clerkship that minimized the risk of exposure and used online learning tools to navigate scheduling challenges. This curriculum enabled students to complete their clinical rotation objectives and outcomes while maintaining program standards. Furthermore, this approach provided a number of benefits, which medical schools should consider adopting the model into practice even in a post-pandemic setting

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.

December 2014
Geoffrey Goodman PhD, M. Eric Gershwin MD and Dani Bercovich PhD

We are overwhelmed by warnings about inevitable geophysical and human problems. Earth is beset by escalating, man-made, environmental crises and our exploding population will eventually lack water, food and vital materials. This suggests, together with increasing poverty, deepening social unrest and advanced techniques for mass killing, that civilization will break down long before atmospheric CO2 or resistant microbes become catastrophic. Despite intensive searching, life has not been found in space, even though thousands of planets have been found and life there may be as problematic and unpredictable as on Earth. The human brain is already a 'universe', with 85 billion neurons and a hundred trillion synapses, more than the stars in our galaxy. Understanding consciousness, the brain, its aging and pathologies, and eliminating the propensity for human aggression are urgent challenges. During 1958–2012, NASA spent $800 billion. In contrast, the annual cost of brain disease in the U.S. is $600 billion, more than cardiovascular disease and cancer combined. We suggest that a massive switching of financial and human resources is required to explore the full potential of the human brain. Visiting Mars can wait. We further propose a novel two-brain hypothesis: the animal 'brain' evolved as two fundamentally different though interdependent, complementary organs: one electroionic (tangible, known and accessible), and the other, electromagnetic (intangible and difficult to access) – a relatively independent, stable, structured and functional 3D compendium of variously induced interacting EM fields.

October 2012
G. Goodman, M. Eric Gershwin and D. Bercovich

The role of carbon in the development of life and as the structural backbone of all organisms is universally accepted and an essential part of evolution. However, the molecular basis is largely unknown and the interactions of carbon with nitrogen and oxygen in space are enigmatic. In 1985, the previously unknown form of carbon, coined fullerene, was discovered. We hypothesize that by virtue of the unique properties of fullerene, this hollow, ultra-robust, large, purely carbon molecule was the earliest progenitor of life. It acted as a stable universal biologic template on which small molecules spontaneously assembled and then formed, by further assembly, a surface mantle (here termed rosasome) of larger molecules. We submit that this process, by its inherent flexibility, initiated evolution, allowing the emergence of parallel diverse rosasome lines responding selectively to varying spatial environments. For example, rosasomal lines mantled with nucleotide and peptide layers are conceived as primordial forerunners of the ubiquitous ribosome. Moreover, the parallel independent and interdependent evolution of rosasome lines would be more rapid than sequential development, refute precedence of either DNA or RNA, and explain the evolution of integration of two subunits with different structures and functions in ribosomes and of the triplet nature of the codon. Based on recent astronomical data, this hypothesis supports the concept that life is not a singularity. This concept also suggests a potential vehicle for therapeutics, biotechnology and genetic engineering.


December 2011
G. Goodman and M. Eric Gershwin

Physicians have a great interest in discussions of life and its origin, including life's persistence through successive cycles of self-replication under extreme climatic and man-made trials and tribulations. We review here the fundamental processes that, contrary to human intuition, life may be seen heuristically as an ab initio, fundamental process at the interface between the complementary forces of gravitation and quantum mechanics. Analogies can predict applications of quantum mechanics to human physiology in addition to that already being applied, in particular to aspects of brain activity and pathology. This potential will also extend eventually to, for example, autoimmunity, genetic selection and aging. We present these thoughts in perspective against a background of changes in some physical fundamentals of science, from the earlier times of the natural philosophers of medicine to the technological medical gurus of today. Despite the enormous advances in medical science, including integration of technological changes that have led to the newer clinical applications of magnetic resonance imaging and PET scans and of computerized drug design, there is an intellectual vacuum as to how the physics of matter became translated to the biology of life. The essence and future of medicine continue to lie in cautious, systematic and ethically bound practice and scientific research based on fundamental physical laws accepted as true until proven false.

September 2010
B. Finkel, C. Goodman, Y. Melamed, R. Kurs and A. Bleich

Background: In compliance with public health measures initiated by the Israel Ministry of Health following an outbreak of influenza, amantadine was administered to all patients in the psychogeriatric department of Lev Hasharon Mental Health Center to reduce transmission and illness severity in this susceptible population.

Objectives: To evaluate the potential beneficial effects of amantadine on elderly hospitalized patients with persistent schizophrenia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective case review of the treatment effects of amantadine on the mental, cognitive and clinical states of elderly chronic schizophrenic patients who received concomitant amantadine treatment and were routinely evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Mini Mental State Examination, and Sandoz Clinical Assessment Geriatric Scale.

Results: No significant differences before and after amantadine treatment were noted. Conclusion: Amantadine did not influence the mental, cognitive and clinical states of elderly schizophrenia patients and thus can be considered as an anti-influenza preventive measure for this population, when indicated.

survey. A tailor-made CME program may have contributed to the improvement in skills and quality of care.

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