Our community-centered orientation at the Faculty of Health Sciences is evident in the applicant screening process, based on individual interviews with candidates who fulfil basic requirements. The aim of these interviews is to identify candidates with unique qualities, world-views and experience which correspond to our faculty spirit.
From the very start of their medical education, our students receive a "hands-on" education, working, under appropriate supervision, in community clinics and hospitals throughout the Negev. At BGU, medical students learn not merely from textbooks, case histories and lectures, but by personal interaction with patients.
Our approach to medical education is also symbolized at each commencement ceremony. When the time comes for the recital of the Physicians' Oath it is not the graduates who take the pledge. Instead, the freshmen rise to pledge themselves as new practitioners of medicine. The graduates stand with them, reaffirming their own pledge taken seven years earlier, and saluting the new generation of students who are about to begin their medical careers.
The Medical Students Association of the Negev, Asran, was established just a year after the medical school's founding. Asran truly embodies the true meaning of "the spirit of Beer-Sheva," undertaking to support and assist in the implementation of the school's goals through involvement in a large number of community projects. These include: Ma'amatz, a high-school intervention and educational program on sexual violence; A Teddy Bear Hospital aimed at alleviating the "white coat syndrome" in children 4 to 6 years of age; Dr. Clown, a seven month training program in the art of clowning aimed at alleviating the pain, grief, fears and stress of a hospitalized child and Nitzanai Refuah, an affirmative action initiative that offers special pre-academic courses and tutoring to high school students from the Negev's development towns and Bedouin community seeking careers in the health professions.