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Cardiology in Israel’s Hospital with a Heart

11 March 2016

Shaare Zedek is famous as Jerusalem’s Hospital with a Heart. This past summer, medical student Moshe Loebenstein experienced the unique Shaare Zedek atmosphere when he completed a month-long elective in the Cardiology Unit at the hospital.

Moshe is in his final year of his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Melbourne. With the assistance of a grant from the Australian Jewish Medical Federation, he travelled to Jerusalem with his young family for a unique experience.

Moshe says, “”I chose Shaare Zedek because of its outstanding reputation and the opportunity to spend time in Israel.

“Cardiology is one of my specific interests, and Shaare Zedek has a centre of excellence in this field. During my month at Shaare Zedek, I participated in ward rounds, clinical visits and worked in the cardiac ICU ward. I was welcomed warmly and was made to feel at home as part of the medical team.

“The medical care at Shaare Zedek is comparable with that of any first world country.

“However, there are several features that make it quite a unique institution. The culture at Shaare Zedek is extraordinary.

“I worked with world class doctors who are experts in their field. Yet they never forget that the person they are treating is so much more than just a patient.

“When a patient enters, the staff do not simply ask for medical details. The doctors want to know all about the person. The first questions are not “What are your symptoms?” or “What drugs are you on?”

“At Shaare Zedek, the doctors ask about the person’s life. They want to know, “How are you doing? Are you married? How many children do you have? What do you do for work?”

“They definitely look at the totality of the person.

“Cardiology is a high stress field, and the priority is always on ensuring that the best possible care is offered to the patient. However at Shaare Zedek, every patient is treated as though they are a family member.

“While I was there, there was a young woman who had a long, complicated medical history. The medical staff offered her the best medical care, but while her life hung in the balance, you could feel the concern of the entire unit in the air. Each patient is not just another disease or just another heart. They are people.

“Shaare Zedek has limited resources, and as the hospital expands, there are huge demands being made on the staff and equipment.

“Shaare Zedek is known as the hospital with a heart. From my perspective as a foreign student, the way that they welcomed me, from the administration all the way to the Professor in charge of the entire unit was really quite amazing.

“I definitely had a better time and gained so much knowledge from their team because they made me feel so welcome.”

Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek,