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עמוד בית
Fri, 31.05.24

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July 2021
Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Amitai Ziv MD MHA, and Howard Amital MD MHA
March 2021
Gideon Eshel, Gerhard Baader, and Eran Kozer

Background: In April 1937 it was forbidden for German Jewish students to sit for examinations. However, a few Jewish medical students were able to continue studying at Berlin University. The order to expel all Jewish students from German Universities was published on the morning after Kristallnacht (November 1938) and was strictly imposed.

Objectives: To identity the last Jewish medical students who managed, in spite of the severe restrictions, to continue their study and apply for the examinations in Berlin from summer 1937 through 1938.

Methods: Reviews of the dissertations written in the medical faculty of Berlin during 1937–1938 identified the Jewish students. We presented their demographic and academic characteristics.

Results: Sixteen Jewish students were identified: six Germans, six Americans, and four Eastern Europeans. Their average age was 18.7 ± 1.0 years, 22.5 ± 2.0 years, and 20.8 ± 2.5 years, respectively. The last Jewish student took the exams in July 1938 and submitted a thesis one month later. One German student was half Jewish. Five gained the rights to take the examinations as foreign students by renouncing their German citizenship. They were the main group affected by the government’s restrictions. The American and the Eastern European students were more protected by law.

Conclusions: Each of those groups had different academic careers. The Americans were the last Jewish students allowed to study in Germany. It seems that they were less aware of the national socialist atmosphere in the medical faculty in Berlin during 1937–1938.

August 2020
Yoram Sandhaus MD, Talma Kushnir PhD and Shai Ashkenazi MD

Background: Social distancing, implemented to decrease the spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), forced major changes in medical practices, including an abrupt transition from face-to-face to remote patient care. Pre-clinical medical studies were concomitantly switched to electronic distance learning.

Objectives: To explore potential implications of COVID-19 on future pre-clinical medical studies.

Methods: We examined responses of pre-clinical medical students to the remote electronic learning in terms of quality of and satisfaction with teaching and technical support, attendance to classes, and the desire to continue electronic learning in the post-epidemic era. A survey of responses from first-year students at the Adelson School of Medicine was conducted. To optimize the reliability of the survey, a single research assistant conducted telephone interviews with each student, using a structured questionnaire concerning aspects of participation and satisfaction with teaching and with technical components of the remote electronic learning.

Results: With 100% response rate, the students reported high satisfaction with the electronic learning regarding its quality, online interactions, instructions given, technical assistance, and availability of recording for future studies. Most of the students (68.6%) noted a preference to continue < 90% of the learning online in the post-outbreak era. A high level of overall satisfaction and a low rate of technical problems during electronic learning were significantly correlated with the desire to continue online learning (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: The high satisfaction and the positive experience with the electronic distance learning imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic implied a successful transition and might induce future changes in pre-clinical medical studies.

May 2016
Esteban González-López MD PhD and Rosa Ríos-Cortés MA

During the Nazi period, numerous doctors and nurses played a nefarious role. In Germany they were responsible for the sterilization and killing of disabled persons. Furthermore, the Nazi doctors used concentration camp inmates as guinea pigs in medical experiments for military or racial purposes. A study of the collaboration of doctors with National Socialism exemplifies behavior that must be avoided. Combining medical teaching with lessons from the Holocaust could be a way to transmit Medical Ethics to doctors, nurses and students. The authors describe a study tour with medical students to Poland, to the largest Nazi extermination camp, Auschwitz, and to the city of Krakow. The tour is the final component of a formal course entitled: “The Holocaust, a Reflection from Medicine” at the Autónoma University of Madrid, Spain. Visiting sites related to the Holocaust, the killing centers and the sites where medical experiments were conducted has a singular meaning for medical students. Tolerance, non-discrimination, and the value of human life can be both learnt and taught at the very place where such values were utterly absent.

October 2013
L. Avisar, A. Shiyovich, L. Aharonson-Daniel and L. Nesher
 Background: Sudden cardiac death is the most common lethal manifestation of heart disease and often is the first and only indicator. Prompt initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) undoubtedly saves lives. Nevertheless, studies report a low competency of medical students in CPR, mainly due to deterioration of skills following training.

Objectives: To evaluate the retention of CPR skills and confidence in delivering CPR by preclinical medical students.

Methods: A questionnaire and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) were used to assess confidence and CPR skills among preclinical, second and third-year medical students who had passed a first-aid course during their first year but were not retrained since.

Results: The study group comprised 64 students: 35 were 1 year after training and 29 were 2 years after training. The groups were demographically similar. Preparedness, recollection and confidence in delivering CPR were significantly lower in the 2 years after training group compared to those 1 year after training (P < 0.05). The mean OSCE score was 19.8 ± 5.2 (of 27) lower in those 2 years post- training than those 1 year post-training (17.8 ± 6.35 vs. 21.4 ± 3.4 respectively, P = 0.009). Only 70% passed the OSCE, considerably less in students 2 years post-training than in those 1 year post-training (52% vs. 86%, P < 0.01). Lowest retention was found in checking safety, pulse check, airway opening, rescue breathing and ventilation technique skills. A 1 year interval was chosen by 81% of the participants as the optimal interval for retraining (91% vs. 71% in the 2 years post-training group vs. the 1 year post- training group respectively, P = 0.08).

Conclusions: Confidence and CPR skills of preclinical medical students deteriorate significantly within 1 year post-training, reaching an unacceptable level 2 years post-training. We recommend refresher training at least every year.


October 2011
M. Kritchmann Lupo and R.D. Strous

Background: Religiosity has been examined as a mechanism of stress management. Since many studies have shown a high rate of psychological morbidity among medical students during different stages of training, it is important to investigate whether religiosity may serve as a protective factor.

Objectives: To assess the association between religiosity and depression or anxiety in a sample of medical students and to compare the results with a matched sample of students from other fields of study.

Methods: This cross-sectional study examined a sample of Tel Aviv University medical students and compared them with students in other faculties at the same university for any association between religiosity and depression or anxiety. The subjects completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, a modified religiosity inventory, and a demographic and psychosocial variables inventory.

Results: Findings did not show a significant association between religiosity and depression or anxiety in the general sample (n=119). A positive significant correlation between religiosity and anxiety was found among medical students, with 29.4% of them reporting anxiety and 25.2% depression. While high rates of depression and anxiety were reported by students in the first to third years (pre-clinical years), there was a decrease in depression and anxiety in the fourth to sixth years (clinical years). However, higher anxiety and depression scores were noted among controls as compared to medical students.

Conclusions: In contrast to another recent investigation, a negative correlation between religion and depression/anxiety does not necessarily exist. An association between religiosity and mental health could have many theoretical and practical implications and requires further investigation. Similar to previous studies, the rates of depression and anxiety among Israeli medical students were comparable with those of other countries. These rates are considered higher than those in the general population and emphasize the importance of alertness to mental health issues among students, especially during the early study years.

August 2011
S. Orbach-Zinger, R. Rosenblum, S. Svetzky, A. Staiman and L.A. Eidelman

Background: There is a growing shortage of anesthesiologists practicing in Israel. This shortage is in contrast with the United States where anesthesiology has become a very desired specialty.

Objectives: To discover what factors attract Israeli students to choose a residency and how students view the option of choosing anesthesiology.

Methods: We sent questionnaires to students in the Israeli and American programs at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine asking about factors that influenced their choice of residency and the advantages and disadvantages of a residency in anesthesiology. Although the students were studying at the same medical school and hospitals, students in the Israeli program were planning to enroll in Israeli residency programs while students in the American program planned to apply for residency in the United States.

Results: A significantly larger proportion of American students (12.9%) were interested in an anesthesiology residency when compared with the Israeli students (0%) (P = 0.034). American students considered salary and working conditions to be advantages of the anesthesiology residency while Israeli students considered Israeli working conditions and salaries to be a disadvantage.

Conclusions: Whereas there is considerable interest among American students at Sackler Medical School in an anesthesia residency, there is little interest among Israeli students.

N. Halpern, D. Bentov-Gofrit, I. Matot and M.Z. Abramowitz

Background: A new approach for assessing non-cognitive attributes in medical school candidates was developed and implemented at the Hebrew University Medical School. The non-cognitive tests included a biographical questionnaire, a questionnaire raising theoretical dilemmas and multiple mini-interviews.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of the change in the admission process on students' demographics and future career choices.

Methods: A questionnaire including questions on students’ background and future residency preferences was administered to first-year students accepted to medical school by the new admission system. Results were compared with previous information collected from students admitted through the old admission process.

Results: Students accepted by the new process were significantly older (22.49 vs. 21.54, P < 0.001), and more had attended other academic studies before medical school, considered other professions besides medicine, and majored in humanities combined with sciences in high school. Significantly more students from small communities were admitted by the new system.  Differences were found in preferences for future residencies; compared with the old admission process (N=41), students admitted by the new system (N=85) had a more positive attitude towards a career in obstetrics/gynecology (41% vs. 22%, P < 0.001) and hematology/oncology (11.7% vs. 4.8%, P < 0.001), while the popularity of surgery and pediatrics had decreased (34.5% vs. 61%, P < 0.001 and 68.7% vs. 82.5%, P < 0.001 respectively).

Conclusions: Assessment of non-cognitive parameters as part of the admission criteria to medical school was associated with an older and more heterogenic group of students and different preferences for future residency. Whether these preferences in first-year students persist through medical school is a question for further research.

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.

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.

January 2005
N. Notzer, H. Abramovitch, R. Dado-Harari, R. Abramovitz and A. Rudnick

Background: Many medical school curricula include training for ethical considerations, legal comprehension, implementation of patients' rights, awareness of cultural differences and communication skills (ELCE).

Objectives: To explore medical students' perceptions of their ELCE training during the clinical phase as well as the relationship between humanistic practice skills' experiences and the quality of clinical training.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in two cohorts during their clinical year period at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine at the end of their internal medicine and surgery clerkships in the 2002 academic year. The research tool was an 18 item Likert-type questionnaire (ELCEQ), based on the literature of biomedical ethics, legal aspects and behavior of practice skills. The content validation of the questionnaire was established by consulting experts among the school's faculty. It was circulated among the students by representatives of the Unit of Medical Education.

Results: The response rate was 88%. Students reported only a few opportunities for gaining experience in humanistic practice skills. A weak correlation was found between students' assessment of the quality of clinical training and their experiences in humanistic practice skills.

Conclusions: A wider and more relevant range of active experiences in humanistic practice skills should be available to students during the clerkships. Correspondingly, there is a need for the clinical faculty to find innovative ways to internalize their task as role models and ensure that students acquire and are able to practice those skills.

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.

February 2002
Netta Notzer, PhD and Ruth Abramovitz, MA

Background: The importance of health promotion and disease prevention in health policy and clinical practice is widely accepted in many countries. However, a large number of medical schools do not dedicate a significant part of their curriculum to these aspects. In Israel, there are no reports on the training of the future physician towards his or her role as health promoter in general, or in the areas of cardiovascular and cancer diseases specifically.

Objectives: To examine the preparation of Israel medical students for the role of health promoter in cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Methods: The study was carried out over 2 years in two of the four medical schools in Israel: the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva. The students (n=172, 70% response rate) were surveyed during 1999-2000 by means of a questionnaire, which included assessment of their training towards the role of health promoter, their clinical experiences and exposure to patients at different stages of illnesses at various medical sites, and the specific skills and relevant knowledge they acquired.

Results: Most of the students’ learning experiences occurred in hospitals with patients at the treatment stage and little time was dedicated to prevention, especially in the community. They demonstrated better knowledge, skills and satisfaction with their learning experiences in CVD than in cancer; and reported having insufficient exposure to several common cancer diseases and lacking examining skills for early detection of cancer. The students in Beer Sheva had significantly more interaction with patients at different stages of CVD and acquired more examination skills than the Tel Aviv students.

Conclusions: A change in the curriculum is urgently needed: namely training medical students in community settings and preparing them to promote the well-being of their patients, including prevention. Attention should be given to launching new learning modes in the pre-clinical and clinical curriculum. We propose that: a) pre-clinical courses include prevention techniques in CVD and cancer, problems of cancer patients, and some examining skills; and b) the clinical phase should integrate oncology concepts and total cancer and CVD care into existing clerkships in the hospitals and in the community.

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.

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