Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
BGU was founded by the Government of Israel in 1969 and is named after David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. The university is now ranked No. 31 in the QS World University Rankings Top 50 Under 50.
BGU has an international reputation for multidisciplinary research, a modern 21st-century campus and a dynamic student body of approximately 20,000.
The Faculty of Health Sciences
In 1973, Israel’s Council for Higher Education tasked BGU with establishing a new medical school. From the outset, program founders were intent upon creating a program that was different in focus, orientation and scope from traditional medical schools.
A primary objective of the Faculty of Health Sciences has been addressing the health care needs of the diverse populations of the Negev, Israel’s semi-arid desert region that makes up more than 60% of the country’s landmass. The faculty also stands out in its emphasis on the inherent relationship between medical education and medical care, with a focus on primary care.
The Faculty of Health Sciences has established itself as a pioneer in training doctors who are uniquely prepared for the health challenges and population needs of 21st-century global medicine.
Through its outreach programs, the faculty has extended its reach to help communities in Africa and Asia develop their health care systems.
BGU also provides training for specialists in anesthesiology and critical care, including one program under the sponsorship of the European section of the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists, and another, sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace, that enhances Palestinian residency training. As part of a research and teaching collaboration with Azerbaijan Medical University, BGU recently sent a delegation to train 31 Azeri doctors and researchers in clinical best practices.
The Medical School for International Health
In 1998, the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences, in collaboration with Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, initiated a new M.D. program aimed at extending the schools’ philosophies and experience to students from around the world. The M.D. program at MSIH follows a four-year, North-American-style curriculum taught in English by BGU faculty.
The affiliation between BGU and Columbia helps combine MSIH’s international reputation as a leader in humanistic approaches to community medicine with Columbia’s reputation for excellence in medical education. Centered on principles of effective cross-cultural medical practice, the MSIH curriculum includes studies in international preventive medicine, geographic medicine, tropical diseases, global environment, and refugee and disaster medicine. The M.D. degree is awarded by BGU.
Since the program’s launch, over 500 physicians have graduated from MSIH. Although most go on to enter the medical profession in the United States and Canada, many choose to relocate and practice medicine internationally. Graduates can be found in Haiti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Uganda and Kenya, among other countries.