After winning a bid to help establish a military medical program last month, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is preparing to train physicians for the Israel Defense Forces. The university was chosen by the Defense Ministry to operate this special program beginning in October, after beating out Beersheba's Ben-Gurion University in the public bidding. Heading the program will be Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine, which is the oldest in Israel and has educated some of the top physicians and leaders of the medical establishment here. Prof. Ehud Razin, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, announced: "We are proud to be chosen to carry out this important national project here in Jerusalem. This is recognition that the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University is the leader in Israel." The Hebrew University, operating in conjunction with Hadassah, aims to train IDF doctors in an effective and well-managed medical program. "We want to help future IDF doctors be more prepared to deal with serious trauma and emergencies, among other things," Razin told In Jerusalem. While about 80% of the curriculum for the inaugural class will be shared with the 100 first-year Hebrew University medical students, the program will place great emphasis on army-related injuries. This includes sports medicine; management training; and treating trauma and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attack injuries. Some of the more general material will be covered within a new School of Military Medicine, which will include military physiology, military ethics, crisis management, emergency medicine and leadership development. In addition, the students will be encouraged to branch out into other fields, such as law, business administration and public health. There is a highly selective admissions process in which only 50 people will be accepted each year. "This May, we will have a meeting with all the candidates (hopefully more than 1,000) to begin the evaluation process," Razin said. "They will eventually have to go through two separate sets of basic training - one for the army and then one for the program. Within six years we anticipate that the program will bring 300 of the best students in Israel to the Hebrew University." Following the announcement last month, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat congratulated Razin and Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director-general of Hadassah Medical Organization. Barkat said, "The School of Military Medicine will contribute to the advancement and development of the city and will help rehabilitate the status of Jerusalem as an attractive and competitive place." He added that "The program's creation will also appeal to the number of high-quality students who are studying here." Tuition and housing for those participating in the program will be paid for by the IDF in return for a five-year commitment of service.

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