"For our small country of seven million, we have a truly remarkable and impressive hospital," Dr. Josh Schroeder, fifth year orthopedic surgery resident at the Hadassah University Medical Center, told his audience at Hadassah's New York Headquarters in February.
"Many of us," he explains, "spend time at other larger institutions and get exposed to the most difficult cases, and we learn new ways of doing things. Although many of the medical procedures we perform are routine, our ability to diagnose with extreme skill helps us stand apart."
Dr. Schroeder, who was born at Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus, is also an active member of the Young Hadassah International Board and Past Chair of Young Hadassah Israel. "I believe we have more work to do at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical School in informing residents about Hadassah, the Women Zionist Organization of America—its history and all that Hadassah does," he says.
Dr. Schroeder, who grew up in Jerusalem, together with his American-born parents and five siblings, served as an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer in joint teams with the Palestinians in post-Oslo Accord attempts at regional cooperation in the Bethlehem district. He now serves as a reserve military doctor in the IDF. Dr. Schroeder also spent several months volunteering in a refugee camp in Uganda and was a fellow at the AO Research Institute in Davos, Switzerland, where he specialized in cartilage and disk regeneration.
When asked why he chose orthopedic surgery, he responded:
"It is a great feeling as an orthopedic surgeon to be able to generate such positive results and to be able to truly help people. Prof. Iri Liebergall [chair of Orthopedic Surgery at Hadassah] is engaged in extremely advanced work--stem cell therapy and beyond. We hold our own in competing with top orthopedic departments from around the world. Hadassah sits around the table with the most important players. Hadassah is a unique setting; it provides doctors with time in their schedules to do research, to write papers, and to develop new treatments. Rather than remain satisfied with our work, we continually seek ways of doing what we do better. "
Dr. Schroeder explained that one of Hadassah's greatest breakthroughs is finding ways to heal fractures quickly through stem cell therapy. In some cases, he related, "we have been able to cut peoples' healing time in half." He noted too that computer-assisted surgery and robotics enables Hadassah's orthopedic surgeons to increase their levels of precision and to achieve stronger results.
Commenting on the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, Dr. Schroeder said that it will "provide a level of medical care that will be incomparable" in Israel. "People will come from institutions around the world to see the new Tower Hospital," he said. "We will set a standard and be a model for the world. Over the next decade, I believe that the medical world will be astonished by what we have accomplished."
Dr. Schroeder noted that the Hadassah Medical Center is hosting an international conference prior to Moving-In Day (March 19), which will feature six Israeli companies that will share information about their new developments in orthopedic technologies.
"I'd like to thank you all for the tremendous work you do," Dr. Schroeder said in conclusion. "Your support means so much to me and to all of us at Hadassah. Your important contribution is critical to enabling us to continue our important work in orthopedics and beyond."