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The Medical School
for International Health


Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) was founded by the Government of Israel in 1969. The Negev region of
southern Israel is a semi-arid desert that comprises more than sixty percent of the country's land mass. Today BGU is a major center for teaching and research, with enrollment of approximately 20,000 students in five faculties: Engineering Sciences, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Business and Management; six institutes: Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Heksherim - Research Institute for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture, Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, The Homeland Security Research Institute, The National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, as well as the Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies.

The University has three campus locations: Beer Sheva (the main campus and two smaller facilities), Sede Boqer (55 kilometers south of Beer Sheva), and Eilat, Israel's southernmost town. 

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The Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School, 
Faculty of Health Sciences

In 1973, BGU was charged by Israel's Council on Higher Education with establishing a new medical school. From the outset, program founders were intent upon creating a medical school that was substantively different in focus, orientation, and scope of authority than traditional medical school programs in Israel or elsewhere.

A primary objective of the program - which came to be known as the “Beer-Sheva Experiment” - was to address the health care needs of the Negev, Israel’s southern desert region. Another unique feature is the Medical School’s emphasis on the inherent relationship between medical education and medical care.

Since its inception 40 years ago, the Medical School at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has established itself as a pioneer in training doctors who are uniquely prepared for the health challenges and population needs of the 21st century and thoroughly proficient in all aspects of international medicine. Through its outreach programs, Ben-Gurion University’s Faculty of Health Sciences has extended the reach of the Beer Sheva Experiment to help communities in Africa, Asia and the Far East to develop their health care systems. Under the sponsorship of the European Section of the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists, BGU has provided training for specialists in Anesthesiology and Critical Care. A similar training program to enhance Palestinian residency training in Anesthesiology was sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace.


Medical School for International Health (MSIH) 

In August 1998, the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences initiated a new program aimed to extend the school’s philosophy and influence to students from around the world. MSIH follows a four-year U.S. style curriculum that is taught in English by the medical school faculty. The affiliation between Ben-Gurion University's MSIH and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) is one to which both universities have made a major commitment of academic resources; it combines BGU's international reputation as a leader in a humanistic approach to community medicine with CUMC's reputation for excellence in medical education.  In addition to building a U.S.-style curriculum, a required Global Health and Medicine (GHM) track was launched. Centered on principles of effective cross-cultural medical practice, the GHM curriculum includes studies in international preventive medicine, geographic medicine, tropical diseases, global environment, and refugee and disaster medicine. The MD degree is awarded by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Over 500 graduates of MSIH have so far taken up positions as physicians in the US.