IDF Chief Of Staff Praises Hebrew University Military Track That Specially Trains Doctors To Army Service

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The Jerusalem Post header
Lt.-Gen. Benny GantzIDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz is pleased by the Hebrew University Medical Faculty’s Tzameret “military track” to produce doctors specially trained to serve in the IDF, he said on a visit to the campus facility in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood last week.

Gantz praised the initiative and progress in the training of military physicians and researchers of the future with excellence as the common goal.

The seven-year academic program, established by Hadassah Prof. Shmuel Shapira and run on the Ein Kerem Campus, was launched at the end of 2010 with 50 men and women

, mostly Jews and a minority of Druse students.

The need for the military medicine track became apparent from the serious lack of IDF physicians, due partly to the small number of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and the retirement of many such immigrant physicians at present and in the coming years.

Gantz told his hosts from HU, the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Council for Higher Education (which approved the track) that Tzameret “showed foresight” in preparing medical students for leadership. In addition, the students deal with medical problems and situations unique to military service.

Prof. Emanuel Trachtenberg, chairman of the council’s powerful planning and budget committee, said the IDF “has distinguished itself over the years not only because of its military achievements but also because of its capabilities for protecting its fighters.”

He noted that the shortage of physicians in the military had existed for many years and that a solution to this problem required an extraordinary effort.

“Tzameret is an excellent example of cooperation between organizations [to achieve common goals]. Considerable effort has been made to work out the agreement with the university. The current accomplishments are, it is hoped, only the first of many cooperative achievements to follow in the future,” Trachtenberg said.

IDF participants in the visit included the head of the tactics and logistics division, Maj.-Gen. Kobi Barak; IDF surgeon- general Brig.-Gen. Prof. Yitzhak Kreiss; chief of operations of the IDF planning division Col. Dr. Ophir Cohen Marom; deputy IDF surgeongeneral Col. Dr. Dudu Dagan; head of the academic branch of IDF Medical Corps Lt.-Col. Dr. Michael Hartal; head of the medical branch of the Defense Ministry Lt.-Col. Dr. Arik Eisenkroft; and head of course planning Maj. Dr. Gal Yaniv.

HU President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, rector Prof. Asher Cohen and dean of the Medical Faculty Prof. Eran Leitersdorf represented the university at the event, while representing the Hadassah Medical Organization was new director-general, Avigdor Kaplan, Hadassah Ein-Kerem director-general Dr. Yuval Weiss and Shapira.

Gantz held a 30-minute discussion with Tzameret students and affixed a mezuza on the doorpost of the new Institute of Research in Military Medicine.

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