The Ethiopian-Jewish community in Israel is a unique subpopulation that largely immigrated to Israel from 1980 to 1992. Upon arrival, this community faced health inequities and difficult integration into Israeli society. BMJ Case Reports recently published a paper written by Jonah B. Cohen, a second-year student in the Medical School for International Health (MSIH). As part of his studies, Jonah was exposed to the Ethiopian community and examined the implications of various interventions on the health and well-being of this immigrant population. The article focuses on the Ethiopian-Israeli community from a global health perspective, highlighting the community’s history and health, while noting governmental and nongovernmental initiatives to enhance integration and establish successful health care intervention.
Factors essential to the well-being of the Ethiopian-Israeli community include integration into Israeli society, recognition of current health disparities, preservation of the community’s social capital, cross-cultural communication, culturally relevant community health projects, and a holistic approach to population health care analysis and intervention.
“We encourage the engagement of our students in field work adjacent to their academic studies, in order to expand their understanding of global health and promote their interest and participation in research activities,” said Dr. A. Mark Clarfield, the director of MSIH.
MSIH follows a four-year U.S.-style curriculum that is taught in English by the medical school faculty. In addition, there is a required global health and medicine (GHM) track. Centered on principles of effective cross-cultural medical practice, the GHM curriculum includes studies in international preventive medicine, geographic medicine, tropical diseases, global environment, and refugee and disaster medicine.