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July 05, 1991 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-07-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Hadassah Hospital, rather
than to any revision of the
exam. Of those who took the
course, 60 percent passed the
December exam, he said.
The charges of pandering
to Israeli doctors, moreover,
are "untrue, unfounded, and
unfair," he said. The deci-
sion to implement the exam
policy was made by an
academic committee and
was not designed to control
the market.
The doctors don't put much
credence in his words. They
want to see the requirement
for the exam dropped entire-
ly. They advocate obtaining
licenses by spending a period
of time in hospitals observ-
ing Israeli doctors and
perhaps taking a short theo-
retical course. The current
course, they complain, con-
tains much useless informa-
tion and teaches them no
new techniques.
Right now, the Health
Ministry shows no signs of
acceding to their demands.
"We don't anticipate any
changes in the policy," said
Dr. Vardy. And many
Israelis, even those who
sympathize with Soviet
causes, seem to side with the
Health Ministry.
Passing an exam "is what
every doctor has to do in
order to practice in the
United States, and also what
every lawyer has to do
here," said Galia Golan, a
professor of political science
at Hebrew University who
specializes in Soviet studies.

"You cannot permit
people to work
without checking
their credentials."
Natan Sharansky

"It's a perfectly legitimate
requirement, one not
designed to be discrimina-
tory, but to guarantee a cer-
tain level of practice."
Natan Sharansky, the
famous former refusenik
who now heads the Soviet
Jewry Zionist Forum,
agreed. "You cannot permit
people to work without
checking their credentials,"
he said. On the other hand,
however, he noted that it's
important to treat the doc-
tors with respect.
"What the doctors are say-
ing now is, 'Recognize our
past,' " he said. "We have to
find some way to respect
their past, while at the same
time protecting society from
bad doctors."
The real challenge, accor-
ding to Mr. Sharansky, lies
not in the physicians' ability
to pass the exam, but in

Israel's ability to make
proper use of the wealth of
brainpower that's come its
way. In a column that ap-
peared in the May 9
Jerusalem Report, Mr.
Sharansky noted that it is
virtually impossible for all of
the doctors in Israel to find
work in their professions
within the country's borders.
Rather than relegating
these talented people to
building houses or sweeping
streets, Israel could draw on
its unique resources to
create an international
medical project, he sug-
gested. As part of this pro-
ject, teams of Israeli doctors
would travel all over the
world, treating "earthquake
victims in South America,
sufferers from epidemics in
Africa."
Optimistic words, indeed.
But they may be small corn-
fort to Ilya Gorelick, who is
filled with anxiety over the
coming exam. "I don't know
what I'll do if I don't pass,"
said Dr. Gorelick, who
spends about 16 hours each
day studying for the exam.
"Clean streets, maybe."
"They sing (in `Hatikvah'),
`We haven't yet lost our
hope,' but I think that's not
so true," he said. ❑

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41

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