On Tuesday evening, March 1, Dr. Gabriel Farkas, a graduate of both Ben-Gurion University’s Medical School for International Health (MSIH) and Yeshiva University, addressed students at Stern College for Women. He highlighted his experience going to medical school in Israel and then transitioning to practice in the United States. Dr. Farkas graduated MSIH in 2014 and is currently an anesthesiology resident at New York Medical College in Westchester.
Dr. Farkas explained there are minimal differences between his experience at MSIH and U.S. medical schools in years one and two. In year three, when clinical rotations are a vital part of the curriculum, there are subtle differences, such as language. As a third-year medical student in Israel, he was able to be very hands-on in his clinical rotations. Dr. Farkas remarked that a student’s later success will largely be based upon their personal effort; if one studies and does well on their USMLEs, they are likely to succeed. Year four includes electives that are taken in the United States followed by the capstone global health clerkship.
MSIH, one of Ben-Gurion University’s two medical schools, is located on its dynamic Beer Sheva campus. It is an English language, North-American style medical school that incorporates global health coursework into all four years of study. The first three years of instruction take place in Beer Sheva, Israel. Fourth year electives typically take place at Columbia University Medical Center, its affiliated hospitals and other locations in North America. This is followed by an eight-week global health clerkship in a resource-poor setting at approved sites throughout the world. Previous locations include India, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Peru. Students are prepared to take the USMLE Steps 1 and 2, and many MSIH alumni have completed residencies at prestigious institutions across the United States, Canada and Europe.
Through a short slide presentation, Dr. Farkas relayed many of the advantages of going to school in Beer Sheva, including the beautiful city, close proximity to beaches and Israel’s other main cities, and exposure to students from the Israeli medical school who share their unique perspective of emergency medicine, as most have served in the Israel Defense Forces. Dr. Farkas mentioned it was a tremendous benefit not having any classes on Jewish holidays and easy access to kosher food at all times.
Also at the event were Beth Chesir, MSIH Admissions Coordinator, and Kelly Coleman, MSIH Recruitment Coordinator, who addressed additional questions about the program and the application process.
If you were unable to attend the event and would like to learn more about attending medical school in Israel and Ben-Gurion University’s Medical School for International Health, please contact either Ms. Chesir or Ms. Coleman at [email protected] or [email protected] or call the MSIH office at (212)995-1231. An additional information session will be held at Yeshiva University on March 20.
Beth A. Chesir resides in Teaneck, NJ, and is the admissions coordinator for Ben-Gurion University’s Medical School for International Health.
By Beth A. Chesir