Thank You From Our Latest Rabin Medical Exchange Fellow: Dr. Hagar Banai

Our latest Rabin Medical Exchange Visiting Fellow at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City this past summer, Dr. Hagar Banai, took a moment to chat with us. Dr. Hagar Banai would like to thank the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center for their full support to make this visiting Rabin Fellowship a reality.

Dear Friends of the Rabin Medical Center,

I have recently finished my residency in Internal Medicine and will soon begin a second residency in Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases in Rabin Medical Center. During my residency, I had a lot of exposure to patients with liver diseases, perhaps due to the fact that Professor Tur-Kaspa, the head of Internal Medicine Department D, where I've received my training, is a hepatolgist. In the past months, I have been seeing patients in Rabin's Liver Clinic, in addition to my every day work in the internal medicine department.

This past summer I've had a wonderful opportunity, thanks to the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center, to be a Rabin Medical Center Exchange Fellow at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

During my three week exchange fellowship, I joined the liver service at The Mount Sinai Hospital, a large and multi-disciplinary service which includes outpatient clinics, a specialized inpatient ward, an ambulatory day care center, and a transplantation center.

The Recanati / Miller Transplantation Institute at The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the leading transplant centers in the US, with over 100 liver transplantations each year, and is a referral center for many hospitals in New York, which transfer their transplant candidates to be managed there. As a transplant center, it provides care for a large volume of patients with a variety of liver diseases.

Coming from Rabin Medical Center, Israel's leading transplant center, it was very impressive and educating to see how a large scale transplant center in the US works. During the period of time I was there, I had the chance to see how the liver doctors and their team fight for their patients' lives, getting them through liver transplantation, and together with the transplant surgeons, give them a chance to live.
It was remarkable to see such a professional and well organized team, treating thousands of patients, while maintaining a personal and compassionate approach to each patient.

My experience at Mount Sinai's hepatology clinics was interesting and exciting, as I had a chance to follow patients being treated with novel hepatitis C medications, treatments that will soon change the way hepatitis C patients are treated worldwide. From a chronic disease causing liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, viral hepatitis C is now becoming a curable disease.

I can honestly say this has been a remarkable experience both professionally and personally, contributing to my knowledge in liver diseases and liver transplantation, and to my patient approach. Upon returning to Israel, my plans for the near future are to begin a fellowship in Rabin's gastroenterology and liver division, with an emphasis on hepatology, and further on down, to be a part of a liver transplantation team. I believe that being a Rabin Medical Center fellow in Mount Sinai has been an important part in my training and education, and I would like to thank everyone who had made this possible.

With gratitude,
Dr. Hagar Banai

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