The Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine resides within the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine. The Faculty of Medicine was initially instituted as a Department of Parasitology in 1924. Since that time, it has developed into a major international clinical and research medical center.
The Mission of the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is to preserve its cutting edge in biomedicine through education, research, and community service, while maintaining scientific excellence at the highest international standards. This endeavor will be carried out by emphasizing basic human and ethical values together with local community and environmental activism; by exploiting translational research in basic sciences and clinical medicine; and by ensuring that our graduates play a pivotal role in the Israeli health care system, as well as global medical and clinical research.
The raison d'etre of the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is three-fold: excell in Bio-Medical Research, Medical Eduaction and Community Services. The Faculty of Medicine impacts nationally on Science and Research – as the leading medical research institution in Israel; on Jerusalem – as the leading health provider; on Israel – The Faculty's Graduates are Heads of Departments in Hospitals and Research Centers around the Country; on the Jewish People – with Research on Diseases specific to Jews; and on Regional Collaborations -Bi and Tri lateral Research programs with Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Kenya and Ethiopia.
The following is a brief synopsis of its history:
1924-1946: The Department of Parasitology was established by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with the help of the Jewish Physicians' Committee of New York in 1924, a year before the official opening of the University. This department was the forerunner of the Institute of Microbiology. Two years later, the Department of Bacteriology and Hygiene was created and over the next fifteen years, the Hebrew University and the Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America joined forces to expand these departments into the Pre-School of Medicine. Refresher courses were provided for practicing physicians and medical research got underway.
1946-1948: The University and Hadassah agreed to establish jointly the first fully-fledged medical school in Israel, with the University overseeing preclinical courses and the new Hadassah-University Hospital on Mount Scopus providing clinical teaching. The War of Independence in 1948 and the infamous Arab ambush of a medical convoy to Mount Scopus, in which 78 University and Hospital staff were killed, forced the evacuation of Mount Scopus.
1949-1964: Within one year, the Faculty, then with the only one medical school in Israel, was operating out of makeshift premises in downtown Jerusalem. Three years later 63 students who had begun their medical training overseas were awarded the Hebrew University's first M.D. degrees. The Schools of Pharmacy and Dental Medicine (later to be granted Faculty status) were added to the Faculty in 1953, in response to the needs of the rapidly growing population. In 1960, the Faculty's clinical departments moved to the new medical campus at Ein-Kerem, to be followed by the preclinical units in 1964.
1965-1980: Over the next few years, the Faculty grew to include three more schools – Nursing in 1975, Occupational Therapy in 1978 and Public Health and Community Medicine in 1980.
1990-2000: The Faculty of Medicine opened the School of Occupational Therapy on Mount Scopus and affiliated with two general hospitals – Kaplan in Rehovot, Shaare Zedek and Bikur Cholim (since 2013 annexed to Shaare Zedek hospital) in Jerusalem – and with three psychiatric hospitals as well (Herzog, Talbiya and Kfar Shaul). In addition the Faculty launched a Bachelor program in Medical Sciences that attracts 60 students annually. The program trains its graduate to pursue research career in Medical sciences and some of its graduate now hold faculty positions in all medical faculties in the country.
2000-present: The number of affiliated hospital and medical organization has increased and now includes the Clalit Sick Fund (Jerusalem district) that expands the capabilities of teaching and training in community medicine outside the hospital into community primary care clinics. In addition, Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot was affiliated to the Hebrew University School of Medicine.
The Faculty reorganized its research structure and established two research institutes. The Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) that encompasses all research disciplines in the School of Medicine and the Institute for Drug Research (IDR) based in the School of Pharmacy. These programs became possible with the construction of a new research building in Ein-Kerem campus that hosts fully equipped setae-of-the art research laboratories. Concomitantly, other research laboratories in the campus have been renovated to allow modern medical research, and this effort is still on-going. In 2000 the Hebrew University and the Ministry of Defense opened the First School for Military Medicine in Israel. The School integrates 60 students annually in the regular program in medicine with additional teaching and training in military medicine. This program is mutually coordinated with the IDF Medical Corps. Together with the number of graduate earning MD degrees has rose to over 180 annually. In parallel, the School of Pharmacy launched advanced programs towards Pharm.D, degrees and established a comprehensive teaching and training program in Clinical Pharmacy’ whose graduates are highly sought in all medical centers in the country.
Photo: Hadas Parush, Flash90