Dr. Yael Shostock

Pulmonary Care at Columbia University Medical Center, November 2013

My name is Yael Shostak and I am about to finish my residency in Internal Medicine at Rabin Medical Center Beilinson Campus, and then I am going to start my fellowship in Pulmonology. I was born in Israel and lived most of my childhood in a little village called Kochav Yair, not far from Tel Aviv. I served four years in the army and my last position was the Headquarters of officers’ course.

I studied medicine at Sackler Medical School in Tel Aviv University and graduated in 2006. My internship began at Internal Medicine D at Rabin Medical Center, and from the first day in that department I knew I would stay there for my residency. I always considered Internal Medicine as the real essence of Medicine. It combines professionalism and great knowledge, humanity, and the opportunity to stand by the patients in their most difficult point of their lives with a tremendous ability to affect their health.

The senior Doctors in my department are very talented and I was privileged to be exposed to patients related to their expertise (Hepatology, Pulmonology and Infectious diseases). I think that one of the reasons I want to be a Pulmonologist is related to the personal example I got from the best clinician I have ever met.

Over the last year I was exposed to a very unique field – patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). This genetic disease affects a diverse population throughout the world and Israel as well. The median life expectancy of a newborn with cystic fibrosis has increased from 4 years several decades ago to around 40 years today. It means that half of their lives, CF patients are considered adults.

There are no adult CF centers in Israel. The pediatricians continue to take care of their patients even if they are in their forties and have other adult health problems.

The Pulmonary institute in Rabin Medical Center is the biggest in Israel and the only lung transplant center in the country. The director of the Institute suggested that we should establish the first program for adult Cystic Fibrosis patients in Israel.

Thanks to your generous donation I was able to be part of an adult CF center in Columbia Medical Center in New York for a month during the early summer. This “mini fellowship” allowed me to meet the adult CF clinic team in Columbia medical center. I was fortunate to be instructed by the director of the clinic, Dr Emily Dimango. Dr Dimango is a professional and experienced doctor, with inspirational communication skills, both with her patients and colleagues. 

Her enthusiasm, her ability to build special relationships with chronic patients all with great modesty, helped me realize exactly what I want to do in the future.

Thanks to this opportunity I learned a lot about the disease complications and advanced treatments in clinical trials, an exposure that I can’t get in our little country. Even during these days I consult Dr. Dimango regarding professional dilemmas and I really hope to preserve this relationship for our great CF community in Israel.

I thank you very much for your support in this fellowship which gave me the opportunity to enrich my medical experience as well as being an emissary of the hospital and of Israel. Apart from the knowledge and experience I have gained, I returned full of enthusiasm to establish such a center in Israel, A center which will provide the best medical care and fulfill the needs and expectations of adult CF patients.

Past Fellows