SJEHG’s Medical Residency Programme was founded in 1993. It is the reason why the great majority of our doctors across our medical centres are Palestinian, and that all but one ophthalmic specialities are covered at our hospital by Palestinian doctors.
The residents spend the majority of their time at our main hospital in Jerusalem, where in 2015 we saw 42,700 outpatients and performed 3,800 major surgeries. As part of the four-year training programme, residents develop their clinical and surgical skills through an integrated programme of teaching, regular assessments, and six monthly examinations. Residents undertake three four month rotations in a year. The rotations are in different subspecialties, such as Paediatrics or Retina. Residents are also trained to perform cataract operations over the four years of their training, as this is by far our most performed operation. At the end of their residency, residents sit the Palestinian Board exam in ophthalmology and are then certified and licensed to practice as ophthalmologists.
Once doctors have completed the Medical Residency Programme, they can commence a Fellowship and specialise in a particular area of ophthalmology. After gaining experience as a Fellow, doctors can then go on to become Consultants in their chosen fields. In the past, doctors we have trained have subsequently undertaken Fellowships at the Israeli Hadassah Medical Center in West Jerusalem as part of our Joint Teaching Programme.
Since 1993, we have trained 32 ophthalmologists, of whom 14 currently work for us and have continued their subspecialty training. These include our Oculoplastic Specialist, two Corneal Specialists, two Vitreo-Retinal Specialists and the clinical director of our clinic in Anabta.
SJEHG is the only organisation that provides comprehensive training for Palestinian ophthalmologists. The training we provide is especially important due to the difficulties faced in leaving the oPt for training. All the individuals that we train are equipped to provide the highest levels of care to Palestinian communities. Our Medical Residency Programme has a significant impact across the region and ensures the lasting sustainability of our life changing work. Many doctors who complete the course are given future employment at SJEHG and those that do not work in other hospitals across the oPt, providing quality care for their own communities
We currently have five residents: Dr Islam Al-Hashash (fourth year resident), Dr Raja Al-Masri, Dr Mohammad Daraghmeh (third year residents), Dr Haneen Shalaldeh and Dr Radwan Juneidi (first year residents). Doctors are financially supported throughout the course and live on-site, so that their financial situations and where they live do not become a barrier to them undertaking the training.
By supporting the Medical Residency Programme you are investing in Palestinian doctors and their ability to provide essential sight-saving skills in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as previous trainees have done before them. Doctors at our hospital in East Jerusalem are also dispatched to our centres in Anabta and Hebron (in the north and south of the West Bank), to further confront avoidable blindness across the region and ensure our patients receive the best care, no matter where they live and the access issues they may encounter.