The first Israeli Druse physician to become a professor is Dr. Jamal Zidan, head of the oncology department at Ziv Medical Center in Safed. He received his title from the Rappoport Medical Faculty of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, and he has worked at Ziv since 1979, when he was an intern.
"We are proud of this appointment," said Ziv director-general Dr. Oscar Embon. "Prof. Zidan is among the most respected doctors in Israel and abroad. The research studies he is involved in contribute much to cancer research, and his colleagues and many patients will testify to his professionalism, investment and sensitivity."
Zidan, married and a father of four, was born in Beit Jann in the North and still lives there. He is the fifth of 10 children in his family, who are all farmers. As a boy, he worked in his family's vineyard and orchards during school vacations to help his family.
After he finished his medical degree with honors in Hungary, he became an intern at Ziv and studied the speciality of cancer at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. In 1990, he began to work once a week at the Safed hospital. Four years later, he opened Ziv's oncology service and in 1997 launched the hospital's oncology institute named for Suzy Eban, longtime former head of the Israel Cancer Association.
He is a member of international and Israeli professional organizations in his field and academic oncology societies in the US and Europe. He also conducts many clinical studies and lectures frequently at international medical conferences. He has devoted much effort to equalizing the conditions of treatment for cancer patients in the Galilee with those in the center of the country, and today, care for oncology patients at Ziv is excellent, with shorter queues than in other oncology institutes around the country.