Interviewing Visiting Rabin Medical Exchange Fellow, Dr. Amos Levi

Our latest Rabin Medical Exchange Visiting Fellow at the Mount Sinai Heart Center in New York City during August 2014, Dr. Amos Levi, took a moment to chat with us. Dr. Amos Levi would like to thank the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center for their full support to make this visiting Rabin Fellowship a reality.

Here is what our Rabin Fellow, Dr. Levi had to say:

  1. Please provide an overview of your fellowship at your hospital and the role you played during your stay.
    I spent a month at the Mount Sinai Heart Center in Manhattan, NY. During this time, I joined the morning rounds in the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit and observed procedures in the catheterization laboratory. I was fortunate enough to actively participate in clinical research study led by Dr. Roxana Mehran. In addition, I was able to take part in academic activities held at Mount Sinai Heart Center throughout my fellowship.
  2. Describe how your fellowship opportunity has expanded your knowledge in your specific field.
    Mount Sinai Heart Center puts forth tremendous effort to teach and update all fellows and interns. The Center held frequent meetings and conventions with some of the greatest minds of contemporary medicine. During my fellowship, I was able to work closely with esteemed cardiologists Dr. Valentin Fuster and Dr. Paul Ridker which was extremely inspiring for me as a medical professional and cardiologist.
  3. What did you enjoy most about your fellowship opportunity?
    The most enjoyable aspect of my fellowship opportunity was seeing the impressive and expansive catheterization laboratory in action. On a more personal level, I was amazed by the diversity of doctors at Mount Sinai and really enjoyed socializing with fellows from all around the globe.
  4. What were some of the challenges you faced while working at your hospital?
    Arriving to a new country and medical facility is always challenging. However, I felt that I was able to adapt quickly and seamlessly to my environment.
  5. Do you feel international medical relationships and fellowship programs are vital to the future of medicine and research?
    As medicine advances it becomes more focused and technological which leads to the development of global clinical and academic excellence centers. A large percentage of the most reputable Medical institutions are located in the United States. That being said, our returning Rabin Medical Exchange fellows who have studied at these outstanding institutions become the leaders of the medical research and clinical innovation in their fields and for that we are grateful. This relationship is by no means unilateral – many fellows bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the hospital.
  6. Explain the major differences between the Israeli health care system and the United States private healthcare systems in terms of your specific field.
    One major difference between the health care systems of Israel and the United States is universal medical insurance for all Israeli citizens. Those who cannot afford health care in Israel are able to receive health care benefits compared to the situation in the United States. However, this has been changing rapidly in the past years as Israel’s public spending on medicine is declining.
  7. What are the key issues and challenges in your field – not only in the Unites States and Israel, but worldwide?
    Thanks to the significant achievements and discoveries over the past 30 years in cardiology, the incidence and mortality rates from Ischemic Heart Disease (i.e. heart attack) has declined. Currently, the most important frontier in cardiology is heart failure, a disease in which the capacity of the heart to drive blood into the tissues is critically reduced. This situation could be caused by many factors including past heart attacks, valvular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Once the heart is irreversibly damaged, not much can be done to reverse the situation. However, modern treatment is focused on alleviating the symptoms and preventing further deterioration. Cardiologists hope that the ongoing research on medical and surgical therapy for heart failure will lead to a cure.
  8. What are your future plans at Rabin Medical Center when you return to Israel?
    Upon my return to Israel’s Rabin Medical Center, I will begin my three year residency in cardiology. In the distant future, I wish to become an Interventional Cardiologist and to continue with clinical research.
  9. Would you recommend this fellowship to your peers?
    I would strongly recommend the Rabin Medical Exchange fellowship to all of my colleagues at the Hospital! My recent fellowship has been one of the highlights of my residency and has granted me the unique opportunity to see new aspects of my work in cardiology I was not aware of before. Furthermore, the chance I was given to meet fellow doctors abroad can only lead to great future medical research collaborations.

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