News & Events

The New Guard at MSIH

Dr. Alan Jotkowitz MSIH Director

MSIH is pleased to announce the appointment of two new directors to lead the school as it moves into its third decade.

New Director – Dr. Alan Jotkowitz

Alan Jotkowitz MD has been appointed the school’s new director, assuming his role on January 1st, 2019. Dr. Jotkowitz, an internist and graduate of Yale School of Medical, served as MSIH’s Deputy-Director for Academic Affairs for 10 years under the outgoing director, Dr. A. Mark Clarfield, who retired in November. Stepping into Dr. Jotkowitz’s shoes to head up the school’s Academic Affairs is Dr. Benjamin Taragin, a radiologist who received his degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Dr. Taragin moved to Israel two years ago after practicing for 15 years in the US.

“We’re really excited about the School’s future,” said Jotkowitz. “We’ve hit the ground running with the introduction of several new initiatives. Our primary mission is, and should always be, to train medical students for careers in Global Medicine. The challenge for us at MSIH is to continue to do this in the most innovative and effective way we can. We are working hard at developing new programs and relationships with institutions in Israel and overseas to accomplish this goal. “

Biomedical Engineering

One example is the joint project with Ben-Gurion University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. MSIH students have already begun working with budding engineers to develop inexpensive and sustainable devices for use in low-income medical environments. The MSIH-BioMed Initiative isn’t restricted to students from a technical background. Anyone can present a medical-related issue for brainstorming.

Dr. Jotkowitz plans to strengthen MSIH’s global health content – especially the School’s connections with partner institutions abroad.

“Genuine exchanges are part of our philosophy and we’ve always strived to make the partnerships with our Global Health clerkship sites a two-way experience; as well as MSIH 4th years doing their clerkships abroad, we encourage partner faculty to come to BGU. In October last year – at our 20th anniversary celebration – we had visitors from eight of our partner sites. On the student front, we’ve managed to expand our scholarship program to allow us to bring medical students from Ghana as well as the existing programs with Mexico and Ethiopia.”

Plans for the Future

Among Jotkowitz’s academic plans for the school are:

  • A special drive to encourage students to participate in research.
  • Extended integration of medical simulations into the curriculum.
  • Point-of-care ultrasound instruction.
  • A shift from lecture-focused classes to case discussions and flipped classrooms.
  • Increased attention to the “art of medicine” in the curriculum and the importance of mindfulness for physician well-being.

Please join us in welcoming Drs. Jotkowitz and Taragin into their new roles. We are all so very excited to see what the future holds under their leadership.

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