Meyer Children’s Hospital, Rambam Campus / Technion Medical School, Haifa, Israel

In November-December 2012, I spent my six week elective placement in the Paediatrics A department of the Meyer Children’s Hospital in Haifa. I had been searching for a paediatric placement, preferably in a dedicated paediatric hospital, in Israel, in which speaking Hebrew was not a requirement! The Meyer Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in Northern Israel and so seemed like an excellent choice where I could spend my placement.

The Rambam Campus primarily serves Haifa’s population, but also serves the wider population of Northern Israel. The hospital had a mixture of Jewish, Arab Muslim and Arab Christian doctors and patients, who were all treated together. Haifa itself is well known for the levels of religious co-existence and this was certainly the case within the hospital walls.

The department to which I was attached was a general paediatrics department and so I was exposed to a wide variety of paediatric conditions. Professor Shehadeh, the Director of this department, has a particular interest in type 1 diabetes, and therefore there were always a number of patients with newly diagnosed diabetes on the ward. The hospital is affiliated with the Technion Medical School and there was a firm of medical students on the ward together with me.

The day often started with a ward round, which was always attended by a very large number of doctors. Where conversations took place in Hebrew, one of the doctors or medical students was always happy to act as translator. During the placement I attended a number of the medical students’ bedside teaching sessions. All the doctors and medical students spoke English to a very high level and the medical students’ bedside teaching sessions were almost always conducted in English in order that I could join them. I was also able to clerk the patients on the ward who could speak English and then discuss the cases with one of the residents. All of the doctors and medical students on the ward were extremely friendly and helpful.

I particularly enjoyed being in the hospital during the festival of Chanukah. There was a strong holiday spirit with a seemingly constant flow of Chanukah treats for the children, including visits from all of Haifa’s sports teams! Another highlight was that the hospital is on the beach …..which is where a great deal of my free time was spent

During my elective I also had time to explore both Haifa and Israel more widely and spend time with friends who had made aliyah and moved to Israel permanently. A weekend spent at the Dead Sea was particularly memorable.

I had a rewarding, interesting and exciting time on my elective and would like to thank the Association for their support.

Amy Taylor
University College London

Published in General News, on June 26th, 2017


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