My name is Yoav Rosenthal, I am an Orthopedic surgery resident at Rabin Medical Center’s Beilinson Cmpus. I am 35 years old and live in Tel Aviv with my wife, No'a and my two year-old son, Uri.
I started medical school in the Technion, Haifa. Since my first year in medical school, I knew I was going to be an orthopedic surgeon since I was exceptionally attracted to human anatomy and biomechanics. Therefore, during medical school, I worked as a clinical anatomy instructor for four years (Three of which I instructed the American program's students in the Technion).
During my last year of medical school, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend a two-month rotation at Brown Medical School in Providence, RI. I enjoyed my time there very much, being exposed to the American medical system, which is very different than the Israeli system. I also got the opportunity to meet some members of the local Jewish community, since I was a guest of the head of the local Hadassah organization.
As for my professional experience, as a fourth year resident, I mostly operate on trauma cases. I am especially interested in shoulder and elbow surgery, thus I am extremely lucky to be studying from one of the top shoulder and elbow surgeons in Israel, Dr. Mark Loebenberg. I join him on most of his cases, which include shoulder and elbow instability, rotator cuff repairs, shoulder and elbow replacements and trauma.
During my observership period at the Desert Orthopedic Center in October 2015, I will be happy to join any shoulder and elbow surgeon in clinic and surgery. I am especially interested in joining Dr. Michael Miao and Dr. Lawrence Huff, if possible.
I am positive I will gain from this experience of seeing other surgeons, understanding their way of thinking and approach to different medical issues and observing them during surgery. Thereafter, I will be able to share these methods with the physicians I work with in Israel.
I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center to participate in this program, learn from the physicians at the Desert Orthopedic Center and have the chance to meet members of the Jewish community in Las Vegas.
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 Orthopedic Center (DOC) in Las Vegas, NV as part of his Rabin Medical Exchange Fellowship.
At Desert Orthopedic Center, 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 American 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 United States?
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 American 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. Please describe how Israeli Arabs are treated at Israel’s Rabin Medical Center?
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 example 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 experience 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. After your fellowship experience in America, now that you have returned to Israel, how do you feel changed as a doctor?
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 a personal story or anecdote about your time in the United States 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.
Yoav had the pleasure of learning with Dr. Huff (shoulder and elbow), Dr Hanson (Sports and joint reconstruction) Dr. Fouse (Sports), Dr. Miao (Sports) and Dr. Bassewitz (Spine) at Desert Orthopedic Center (DOC) in Las Vegas, NV