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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

December 2018
Tzvika Porges MD, Tali Shafat MD, Iftach Sagy MD, Lior Zeller MD, Carmi Bartal MD, Tamara Khutarniuk MD, Alan Jotkowitz MD and Leonid Barski MD

Background: Erythema nodosum (EN) is the most common type of panniculitis, commonly secondary to infectious diseases.

Objectives: To elucidate the causative factors and the clinical presentation of patients with EN (2004–2014) and to compare their data to those reported in a previous study.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of all patients diagnosed with EN who were hospitalized at Soroka University Medical Center (2004–2014). The clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics of the patients were compared to those in a cohort of patients diagnosed with EN from 1973–1982.

Results: The study comprised 45 patients with a diagnosis of EN. The most common symptoms of patients hospitalized with EN were arthritis or arthralgia (27% of patients). Patients with EN, compared to those reported in 1987, has significantly lower rates of fever (18% vs. 62% P < 0.001), streptococcal infection (16% vs. 44%, P = 0.003), and joint involvement (27% vs. 66%, P < 0.001). In addition, fewer patients had idiopathic causes of EN (9% vs. 32%, P = 0.006).

Conclusions: In the past decades, clinical, epidemiological, and etiological changes have occurred in EN patients. The lowering in rate of fever, streptococcal infection, and joint involvement in patients with EN are probably explained by improvements in socioeconomic conditions. The significantly decreasing rate of idiopathic causes of EN is possibly due to the greater diagnostic accuracy of modern medicine. The results of the present study demonstrate the impact of improvements in socioeconomic conditions and access to healthcare on disease presentation.

February 2013
A. Jotkowitz
 Throughout history religious figures have been intimately involved in caring for the sick. Not only have they prayed for the welfare of the sick and arranged for their care but in many instances provided medical care as well. With the advent of scientific medicine, the responsibility for medical care was transferred to trained physicians. A new phenomenon has recently emerged in Israel that has threatened this ‘division of labor’ between physicians and rabbis, namely, the establishment of medical navigation organizations. Medical navigation can improve access to highly specialized care and help build trust between doctors and patients. However, this system is accompanied by numerous ethical and professional difficulties. For example, it is not clear how referrals are made and to what extent the system should be regulated. The phenomenon needs to be further studied to determine its prevalence in Israeli society as well as its impact on the practice of medicine from the perspective of both physicians and patients.

January 2013
A.Z. Zivotofsky and A. Jotkowitz
September 2012
S.M. Glick and A.B. Jotkowitz

The recent paper by Giubilini and Minerva suggesting the ethical permissibility of infanticide of normal newborns, calling it “postbirth abortion,” represents a dangerous deterioration of generally accepted ethical norms. Their proposal represents a clear example of the so-called slippery slope and we caution against abandoning the age-old traditions of the medical profession assigning intrinsic value to human life from birth. This article discusses the proposed concept, makes comparisons with earlier similar trends of thought, and highlights the dangers of the proposal.

May 2012
L. Barski, R. Nevzorov, E. Rabaev, A.B. Jotkowitz, I. Harman-Boehm, M. Zektser, L. Zeller, E. Shleyfer and Y. Almog

Background: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a common and serious complication of diabetes mellitus (DM).

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical characteristics, hospital management and outcomes of patients with DKA.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients hospitalized with DKA during the period 1 January 2003 to 1 January 2010. Three groups were compared: patients with mild DKA, with moderate DKA, and with severe DKA. The primary outcome was in-hospital all-cause mortality. The secondary outcomes were 30 days all-cause mortality, length of hospital stay, and complication rate.

Results: The study population comprised 220 patients with DKA. In the mild (78 patients) and moderate (116 patients) groups there was a higher proportion of patients with type 1 DM (75.6%, 79.3%) compared with 57.7% in the severe group (26 patients, P = 0.08). HbA1C levels prior to admission were high in all three groups, without significant difference (10.9 ± 2.2, 10.7 ± 1.9, and 10.6 ± 2.4 respectively, P = 0.9). In all groups the most frequent precipitating factors were related to insulin therapy and infections. The patients with severe DKA had more electrolyte abnormalities (hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, hypophosphatemia) compared with the mild and moderate forms of the disease. While 72.7% of the entire cohort was hospitalized in the general medical ward, 80.8% of those with severe DKA were admitted to the intensive care unit. The in-hospital mortality rate for the entire cohort was 4.1%, comparable with previous data from experienced centers. Advanced age, mechanical ventilation and bedridden state were independent predictors associated with 30 day mortality: hazard ratio (HR) 1.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.11; HR 6.8, 95% CI 2.03–23.1; and HR 3.8, 95% CI 1.13–12.7, respectively.

Conclusions: Patients with DKA in our study were generally poorly controlled prior to their admission, as reflected by high HbA1c levels. Type 2 DM is frequently associated with DKA including the severe form of the disease. The most common precipitating factors for the development of DKA were related to insulin therapy and infections. Advanced age, mechanical ventilation and bedridden state were independent predictors of 30 day mortality.
 

August 2010
R. Nevzorov, E. Shleyfer, A. Gourevitch, A. Jotkowitz, A. Porath and L. Barski
December 2009
A. Avriel, U. Fainberg, L. Fuchs, A. Jotkowitz, A. Smoliakov, L.S. Avnon and E. Shleyfer
September 2009
Leonid Barski MD1, Roman Nevzorov MD1, Alan Jotkowitz MD1, Elena Shleyfer MD1 and Yair Liel MD2
September 2008
L. Barski, S. Horowitz, E. Rabaev, A. Sidi, A. Porath and A. B Jotkowitz
May 2008
L. Barski, E. Rabaev, I. Sztarkier, J. Delgado, A. Porath, and A. B. Jotkowitz
December 2006
A. Jotkowitz, A. Porath, A. Shotan, M. Mittelman, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, B.S. Lewis, A. Caspi, S. Gottlieb and M. Garty, for the Steering Committee of the Israeli Heart Failure National Survey 2003

Background: Despite significant advances in the therapy of heart failure, many patients still do not receive optimal treatment.

Objectives: To document the standard of care that patients hospitalized with HF[1] in Israel received during a 2 month period.

Methods: The Heart Failure Survey in Israel 2003 was a prospective 2 month survey of patients admitted to all 25 public hospitals in Israel with a diagnosis of HF.

Results: The mean age of the 4102 patients was 73 years and 43% were female. The use of angiotensin-converting enzyme/angiotensin receptor blockers and beta blockers both declined from NYHA class I to IV (68.8% to 50.6% for ACE[2]-inhibitor/ARB[3] and 64.1% to 52.9% for beta blockers, P < 0.001 for comparisons). The percentage of patients by NYHA class taking an ACE-inhibitor or ARB and a beta blocker at hospital discharge also declined from NYHA class I to IV (47.5% to 28.8%, P < 0.002 for comparisons). The strongest predictor of being discharged with an ACE-inhibitor or ARB was the use of these medications at hospital admission. Negative predictors for their usage were age, creatinine, disease severity class, and functional status.

Conclusions: Despite the dissemination of guidelines many patients did not receive optimal care for HF. Reasons for this discrepancy need to be identified and modified.






[1] HF = heart failure



[2] ACE = angiotensin-converting enzyme



[3] ARB = angiotensin receptor blocker


November 2005
J. Delgado, A.D. Sperber, V. Novack, B. Delgado, L. Edelman, N. Gaspar, P. Krugliak, S. Odes, A.B. Jotkowitz, M. Faszczyk and A. Fich
 Background: The epidemiology of primary biliary cirrhosis has changed significantly over the last decade, with a trend towards increasing prevalence in many places around the world.

Objectives: To determine the overall prevalence of PBC[1] in southern Israel and the specific rates for different immigrant groups between January 1993 and October 2004.

Methods: Multiple case-finding methods were used to identify all cases of PBC in the study region. Age-adjusted prevalence rates were compared among the different immigrant groups.

Results: A total of 47 cases of PBC were identified with an overall prevalence of 55 cases per million. All patients were women, and all except for a Bedouin Arab were Jewish. Foreign-born patients comprised 70% of our PBC cohort even though they represent only 45.4% of the regional population. This predominance of immigrants did not change when the rates were adjusted for age (P < 0.001). The prevalence rates were 40, 177, and 58 cases per million for those born in Israel, North Africa or Asia, and Eastern Europe, respectively. The age-specific prevalence rate for women older than 40 years varied from 135 cases per million among those born in Israel to 450 among immigrants from Eastern Europe and the former USSR to 700 cases per million among immigrants from North Africa and Asia.

Conclusions: The prevalence of PBC in southern Israel is similar to that reported from some European countries. The rate is much higher among Jews than Arabs and among immigrants to Israel compared to native Israelis.


 



[1] PBC = primary biliary cirrhosis


November 2004
A.B. Jotkowitz, A. Porath and S. Glick
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