Skip to main content
12.03.2023 | יט אדר התשפג

BIU's Azrieli Faculty of Medicine to Offer Six-Year Medical Program

The newly approved six-year MD degree curriculum at Bar-Ilan’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine will increase the number of doctors in Israel and include the extensive use of advanced learning technologies


For the first time in 50 years, the Council for Higher Education of Israel approved opening a new six-year medical studies program. The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, located in Safed, will lead the program on behalf of Bar-Ilan University.

Currently only the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, the Technion, and Ben-Gurion University operate a six-year medical study program. As a result, the number of graduates is insufficient to train the number of doctors needed in Israel, especially in the Negev and Galilee. The new program will solve this acute problem.

The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in Safed, which was established 12 years ago, currently teaches medicine in a four-year track intended for those with a bachelor's degree and in a three-year track intended for students who have begun studying medicine at institutions abroad. In addition to its many achievements in medical education, the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine  has conducted groundbreaking research, publishingits findings in leading scientific journals, and making presentations at international research conferences.

Now, following the new program's approval, the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine can launch a six-year program. The new program was developed by a team led by Prof. Karl Skorecki, the former dean of the faculty, and Prof. Peter Gilbey, a physician specializing in otolaryngology with a master's degree in medical education, who serves as the academic coordinator of the program.

In its first phase, students will receive a bachelor's degree in medical sciences and their MD degree in three additional years. The curriculum will include extensive use of advanced learning methods such as virtual reality (VR) and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) so that future doctors will experience the latest technologies in the field.

The teaching staff comprises some of the foremost researchers and doctors in Israel, including those returning to Israel from leading universities and medical centers worldwide, such as Yale University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the US National Institutes of Health.

Prof. Chaim Putterman, Acting Dean of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, said: "The program's approval is a dramatic move that strengthens Israeli medicine. The program will position Bar-Ilan at the forefront, training the next generation of doctors and reducing health gaps between the periphery and the center."

One of the most significant advantages of the programs is the connection to a diverse community of patients and exposure to a wide range of health challenges. Along with traditional training in the medical centers affiliated with the faculty (Ziv Medical Center, Padeh-Poria Medical Center), and the French, English, and Italian hospitals in Nazareth), the program leaders plan to allow students to choose training in the community as well.

To fulfill the faculty's goals, a new building that will serve as the center of medical education is being constructed in the heart of Safed. The building will include 5,600 square meters of advanced learning spaces, an auditorium, an innovative library, and leisure spaces, including a gym and cafeterias. The construction of the building was made possible due to the generous donations of the Azrieli and Rothschild Foundations and the support of the Israeli government.