“The Rabin Medical Exchange Fellowship provided me with the opportunity to observe and learn from several surgeons with different styles, techniques, surgical indications and methods. In Israel, there are twenty medical centers all sharing a small pool of cases. Programs such as the Rabin Medical Exchange Fellowship enriched my experience and interpersonal skills beyond imagination.” - Dr. Yoav Rosenthal
Dr. Yoav Rosenthal, a fifth year resident in orthopedic surgery with a focus on shoulder and elbow surgery, recently returned to Israel having spent two weeks at the Desert Orthopaedic Center (DOC) in Las Vegas, Nevada as the Ofer & Shari Yardeni Rabin Medical Exchange Fellow, hosted by the Las Vegas Jewish Federation and Dr. Hugh Bassewitz.
At Desert Orthopaedic Center, under the guidance of Dr. Bassewitz, Yoav split his time between the Operating Room; learning interesting techniques in arthroscopic shoulder and knee surgery, trauma shoulder surgery, knee arthroplasty and spine surgery, and in the clinic; observing fascinating history taking, physical examination, injection techniques and patient guidance and education.
We are pleased to share, that upon his return to Rabin Medical Center, Yoav was appointed his department's chief resident. He is excited to take on this challenge, bridging the gap between the demands of department management and his fellow residents.
1. Describe how your fellowship opportunity has expanded your knowledge in your specific field.
In my department there is only one shoulder and elbow specialist who I admire and appreciate tremendously, but I am exposed to his specific technique and style only. This fellowship provided me with the opportunity to observe and learn from several surgeons with different styles, techniques, surgical indications and methods, providing me additional treatment options which I can choose from and tailor specifically to each patient.
2. What did you enjoy most about your fellowship opportunity in the United States hospital?
My time in clinic with the physicians; observing their office skills, and learning some new techniques to perform specific physical examination maneuvers. I was deeply impressed and inspired by their interpersonal relationship with the patients. Needless to say, I had a great time in the OR, learning new methods and later on discussing them with my superiors in Israel.
3. What were some of the challenges you faced while working at your hospital in the U.S.?
Meeting new people from different places and cultures is always a challenge (a fun and pleasant one, of course). I guess the biggest challenge is trying to prove oneself to other physicians, especially from the U.S.
4. Explain the major differences between the Israeli health care system and the United States private healthcare systems in terms of your specific field.
According to my understanding, there are two main differences between the systems for a surgeon. The first one is related to funding: The fact that the American system is private, more business-oriented and funded by insurance companies means patients receive a better quality of service, more operations in shorter waiting lists. This means that surgeons, also, operate much more. The Israeli system is public, inefficient with long waiting lists and little OR time.
The second difference is the patients themselves. I am under the impression (just according to my modest observations) that American patients are more interested in operations and probably trust their physicians more than Israeli patients do. Israelis are very reluctant to having surgery.
5. Is there a difference in the doctor/patient relationship, when treating Israeli Arabs?
I am very proud to say that many Arab physicians and nurses work in Rabin Medical Center, treating a vast Arab population (weather Israeli or Palestinian) that resides in the region. I don't feel that Arabs are being treated even slightly differently. The only difference is that Palestinians' treatment would be funded by the Palestinian Authority. I would like to mention that we have treated two Arab Terrorists in the past week that were injured by the IDF, and they weren't treated differently either.
6. Can you describe a specific incidence when your fellowship really impacted you or you learned something vital?
During an OR session, I had a very nice conversation with one of the ARTHREX representatives, working with Dr. Matthew Fouse. Matt told me about a big and important shoulder course taking place in Las Vegas during the weekend. I registered instantly and spent my weekend at this course that was taught by the best shoulder surgeons in North America. I knew their names, constantly reading their studies, and now I can proudly say I have heard them lecture in person. The contents of these lectures are priceless to me and I was extremely happy to participate in it.
Matt, also invited me to participate in a knee arthroscopy cadaver lab, which was very interesting. We barely have any cadaver labs in Israel. And it is actually the best method to learn how to operate, considering the fact the making mistakes on a cadaver is meaningless (to the patient…).
7. Is there one mentor, patient or instance that you came across during your fellowship that was particularly impactful?
I feel that my time with Dr. Matthew Fouse was very impactful. He is a very special physician: unique, unofficial, funny and knowledgeable. I appreciate that it was very important for him to teach me. He is also a fantastic surgeon and I had a great time in his clinic and OR.
8. How do you feel changed as a doctor, after your fellowship experience in America, now that you have returned to Israel?
I believe that I am more open-minded to other techniques and methods. This experience only emphasized more how necessary it really is, going on a long-term fellowship in the US.
9. Please share any story or anecdote about your time in the U.S. during your fellowship.
During my fellowship, I had the opportunity to hike a little and went on two daily trips: one to Red Rock Canyon which was beautiful and the other one was The Grand Canyon, which was absolutely breath-taking.
Following his interview, on December 15th, 2015 Yoav was able to put his new skills to use in Rabin Medical Center's O.R. In an email he shares with AFRMC "I am proud to mention that just today I have had an opportunity to utilize one of the techniques I learned in the operating room at Desert Orthopaedic, while operating on a young patient that had been injured in a terrorist attack."
Dr. Yoav Rosenthal had the pleasure of training with Dr. Huff (shoulder and elbow), Dr Hanson (sports and joint reconstruction) Dr. Fouse (sports), Dr. Miao (sports) and Dr. Bassewitz (spine) at Desert Orthopaedic Center (DOC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFRMC Thanks all of these doctors.