Rabin Medical Exchange Fellow Visits Las Vegas

Dr. Amir Amitai & Dr. Hugh Bassewitz

Dr. Amir Amitai, Chief Resident in Orthopedics at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel, recently completed a two-week fellowship in Las Vegas. Dr. Amitai studied with Dr. Hugh Bassewitz at the Desert Orthopedic Center in a fellowship that was arranged by the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas and sponsored by the American Friends of the Rabin Medical Center.

Dr. Amitai is the Ofer and Shari Yardeni Rabin Fellow in Orthopedics and is the second Rabin Fellow to spend time in Las Vegas in as many years. Prior to his service with the Rabin Medical Center, he was the Head of Paramedics for a manufacturing facility in Israel. Dr. Amitai served as a first lieutenant in a Special Forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces. He is a graduate of the Goldman Medical School at Ben Gurion University of the Negev where he received a Bachelor of Medical Science degree Amitai has given professional presentations on topics related to orthopedics in Turkey, Morocco, and Greece. In addition, he has completed professional training in the United Kingdom and the United States. In his spare time, Dr. Amitai is volunteer tutor to special needs children with the Israeli Ministry of Education.

During his visit, Dr. Amitai made numerous appearances in the community in addition to his time spent in clinic hours at the Desert Orthopedic Center and at various local hospitals. Dr. Hugh Bassewitz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation summarized his time with Dr. Amitai as "being a tremendous experience for not only his career, but also for everyone with whom he came in contact with during the course of the fellowship. Amir brought a very positive message of Israel to our community."

Dr. Amitai spent an evening with more than forty members of the Jewish Federation's Maimonides Society-Health Care Professionals Division in which he spoke about health care in Israel, attending medical school in Israel, the pros and cons of socialized medicine and the career path that he chose that led him to become an orthopedic doctor. The physicians and health care professionals in attendance engaged Dr. Amitai in a dialogue about these subjects as well as many others related to life in Israel in general.

Dr. Lisa Rosenberg, a member of the Maimonides Steering Committee, noted, "I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Dr. Amitai and hearing about medicine from his perspective. It gave all of us who were present many new insights into what happens in our field in the State of Israel."

Dr. Amitai spent a morning at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health of the Cleveland Clinic where he was given a tour of the facility to show how they are providing state-of-the-art care for cognitive disorders and for the family members of those who suffer from them. Dr. Amitai's visit included a personal meeting with Ruvo Center faculty members Dr. Jeffrey Cummings and Dr. Charles Bernick, both recognized as leading authorities in the treatment of cognitive disorders. Dr. Amitai had the opportunity to try on a boxing glove that was worn by Muhammad Ali, now a spokesperson for the clinic.

Dr. Amitai addressed a lunch gathering of students at Touro University of Nevada's Medical School. The medical students had the opportunity to meet Dr. Amitai and to learn about his experience as a medical student in Israel. More than fifty students heard Dr. Amitai talk about the similarities and differences of medical school between Israel and United States.The students asked cogent and thought provoking questions about common aspects of their respective medical education as well as Dr. Amitai's experience in treating both Palestinians and Israelis who have been injured in terrorist incidents. "Dr. Amitai gave us some very valuable insights into medical education and being a doctor in Israel. I was very pleased that we had such an outstanding turnout for his visit," said Sheperd Cohen, a Touro University student.

Dr. Amitai also attended the annual Las Vegas AIPAC Dinner and the Jewish Federation's United Event at the Tao Nightclub. "Having Dr. Amitai visit Las Vegas as the second Rabin Fellow was a tremendous pleasure for our Jewish Federation," said Elliot B. Karp, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation. "We were proud to host Dr. Amitai for the benefit of his medical education and our community. I am looking forward to this special Fellowship program continuing and possibly expanding in the years to come."

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