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Travel awards to give medical students a chance to study in Israel

For 20 years the Phi Delta Epsilon Jewish Medical Fraternity Fund has provided scholarships to medical students at the University of Minnesota. Now three Medical School alumni and former members of the fraternity—James Gaviser, M.D. ‘68, Mace Goldfarb, M.D. ‘60, and Paul Schanfield, M.D. ‘72—are hoping to boost support for the fund and make travel to Israel possible for students for part of their medical training.

Through travel awards supported by the fund, students will have a chance to study at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, near Tiberias, Israel. Gaviser, who has participated for years in an exchange program with the teaching hospital, describes Poriya as “the Harvard of Israel.”

He believes this international medical experience will provide opportunities for both personal and professional growth. “We want students to have these opportunities to broaden themselves as individuals,” he says. “And we want to give them a different perspective of Israel than what they see in the news.”

Some members of the University faculty and staff in gynecologic oncology already have taken part in an exchange program with Poriya, sharing knowledge about treatment techniques and sparking new ideas for additional collaborations.

In partnership with the Medical School’s International Medical Education and Research office, the fraternity will bestow the fund’s first award of $2,000 this winter for travel in spring 2008.

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