Ob/gyn is increasingly a female specialty

Health Scan: Jerusalem to get International Center for Autism Research and Education; diets can help hospitalized elderly.

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December 19, 2010 04:10
4 minute read.
A doctor treats a patient at an Israeli hospital.

A doctor treats a patient at an Israeli hospital.. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi)

 
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Obstetrics/gynecology is increasingly become a female specialty, according to four (male) researchers at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, who wrote an article on the subject in the latest issue of the Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ).

Drs. David Robinson, Boris Kaplan and Mark Glazerman noted that during the past few decades, a “quiet revolution” has taken place in the specialty. While in the 19th century, women were refused admission to medical schools around the world due to their gender, half of all medical students here today are women – and the trend is even more pronounced in ob/gyn, they write.

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Studies have shown that women who have to undergo gynecological exams prefer that a woman do it. Women with a conservative background, especially those who are religiously observant – are much more keen on having a woman doing a pelvic exam. In the US two decades ago, only 12.3% of ob/gyn residents were women; the percentage rose to 37.4% in 1999, and has risen steadily since then, they wrote. In 2007, the Israel Obstetrics and Gynecology Society had 1,198 members, 80% of them men, but among young residents studying the specialty, 54.3% were women. That statistic clearly shows where the future is going.

The authors didn’t object to the trend itself, but worried that since most women physicians have families and prefer not to work full time, this will lead to a shortage of specialists and a reduction in ob/gyn research. This will require an increase in the number of ob/gyn residents in hospitals, they write, adding that male ob/gyns should not be discriminated against, and that acceptance for residency should be decided solely on the basis of ability and knowledge. Medical literature has not seriously examined this phenomenon, perhaps because it is not politically correct, conclude the authors.

JERUSALEM TO GET AUTISM CENTER

The non-profit International Center for Autism Research and Education (ICare4autism), based in New York, plans to take over Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus campus of the Bezalel Academy of Art in 2013. It will then convert it within about four years into a center housing state-ofthe- art autism research facilities to serve as a platform for global collaboration; the world's first university-level school of autism studies – a model school applying the latest research, technology and design to the needs of pupils across the autistic spectrum, and a foundation to support transformative global collaborations in autism education and treatment.

The agreement-signing ceremony was held recently at the Jerusalem Municipality, and was hosted by Mayor Nir Barkat.



Bezalel, which will retain its original building in the center of town, will build a new campus on the former Russian Compound parking lot.

ICare4autism’s president Joshua Weinstein, who held a major autism conference in the capital earlier this year, said: “To tackle the global autism epidemic, we need a community of researchers, educators and advocates that reaches across borders. Our new center will give us the ability to convene and empower that community.”

Weinstein is the founder of ICare4autism, which encompasses Shema Kolainu, the Center for Children with Autism in New York City, and Tishma – a Jerusalem school and center for autistic children.

SMOKING KILLS IN OTHER WAYS

Tobacco kills 10,000 Israelis a year, or 27 per day. Smoking-prevention activists noted sadly that on Thursday, December 2nd, another 42 were added to that list: the victims of the Carmel Forest fire who burnt to death in and around the Israel Prison Service bus. They explain that a 14- year-old youth from Usfiya has admitted that he smoked a nargilah, removed a burning charcoal and threw it, causing the horrendous conflagration. Besides the lack of rain and the unpreparedness of the Fire Service due to a chronic lack of resources, says Dr. Leah Rosen, a tobacco-prevention expert at Tel Aviv University, “the source of this tragedy was smoking. Unintentional fires [in homes, hotels and other places] are one of the recognized side effects of smoking,” she stated.

SAVING ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DIET

Intense, individually tailored dietary treatment for hospitalized elderly people has a significant impact on mortality, according to a new study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba.

Just published in the prestigious Journal of American Geriatric Society and including 259 hospitalized adults aged 65 and older who were nutritionally at risk, it showed higher death rates six months after discharge (11.6 percent) of the control group compared to the intervention group’s rate of 3.8%. The latter group received intensive nutritional treatment designed and implemented by a registered dietician.

BGU researcher Dr. Danit Shahar explained: “This is the first study that used an individually tailored dietary treatment for acutely hospitalized elderly people. The results indicate that intense dietary treatment reduces mortality and can help reduce the need for re-hospitalization.”

In the study, a dietician met each patient upon admission to the hospital.

The dietitian then followed the patient in his home, visiting three times after discharge. The case-manager dietitians were the decisionmakers regarding appropriate treatment, and set treatment goals. The basic approach was to develop a menu based on inexpensive food sources and recipes. While the overall dropout rate was 25.8%, after six months the rise in the mini-nutritional assessment score (an indicator of nutritional status) was significantly higher in the intervention group than among the controls.


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