Mordechai Alperin

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, H̱efa, Haifa, Israel

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Publications (8)13.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Immigrant physicians are a valued resource for physician workforces in many countries. Few studies have explored the education and training needs of immigrant physicians and ways to facilitate their integration into the health care system in which they work. Using an educational program developed for immigrant civilian physicians working in military primary care clinics at the Israel Defence Force, we illustrate how an outcome-based CME program can address practicing physicians' needs for military-specific primary care education and improve patient care. Following an extensive needs assessment, a 3-year curriculum was developed. The curriculum was delivered by a multidisciplinary educational team. Pre/post multiple-choice examinations, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE), and end-of-program evaluations were administered for curriculum evaluation. To evaluate change in learners' performance, data from the 2003 (before-program) and 2006 (after-program) work-based assessments were retrieved retrospectively. Change in the performance of program participants was compared with that of immigrant physicians who did not participate in the program. Out of 28 learners, 23 (82%) completed the program. Learners did significantly better in the annual post-tests compared with the pretests (p <.01) and improved their OSCE scores (p <.001). Most program graduates (90%) rated overall satisfaction as very good or excellent. In comparison with nonparticipants, program graduates performed better on work-based assessments (Cohen's d =.63). Our intensive, outcome-based, longitudinal CME program has yielded encouraging results. Other medical educators, facing the challenge of integrating immigrant physicians to fit their health care system, may consider adapting our approach.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions
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    ABSTRACT: Clinicians often fail to adequately meet prostate cancer patients' information needs, and patients may receive different kinds of information from their doctors. This study aims to describe urologists' attitudes regarding information sharing with prostate cancer patients and to compare these findings with the previously published attitudes of Israeli family physicians. A questionnaire (11 items) was mailed to 87 board-certified practicing urologists. Fifty-four physicians (66%) completed the questionnaires. Sixty-one percent of respondents stated that patients should be told the complete truth about their disease. Ninety-six percent of respondents felt competent at breaking bad news and stated they would discuss emotions with patients. The majority of physicians would provide general information when referring for a medical procedure, discussing treatment options or a patient's prognosis. Fifty-seven percent of respondents preferred that patients be autonomous in their decision making. Only 26% of respondents believed that family physicians should communicate medical information to patients at the preliminary diagnostic stages. There was no significant difference in the attitudes expressed by urologists and family physicians towards the amount of information they would share with prostate cancer patients and in their preferences regarding treatment decision making. Urologists in Israel recognize the importance of sharing information with prostate cancer patients. Although urologists share similar attitudes with family physicians, they do not recognize the role that family physicians play in caring for prostate cancer patients. Further studies are needed to design and implement effective ways to improve the communication and collaboration between urologists and family physicians for the benefit of prostate cancer patients.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of Cancer Education
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to describe family physicians' perceptions regarding the concerns of men with prostate cancer as well as their beliefs and attitudes toward information sharing and decision making with prostate cancer patients throughout the course of their disease. A questionnaire (44 items) was mailed to 780 board-certified family physicians registered in the 2003 computerized database of Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest health maintenance organization. Three hundred eighty-two (50%) physicians completed the questionnaires. Overall, respondents believed that patients have substantial concerns throughout the cancer trajectory and that the most troubling issue is the fear of disease progression. There were no significant differences in the amount of information physicians were willing to share with patients throughout the course of the disease. Sixty-four percent of respondents stated that they would tailor the information to the patients' wishes and characteristics. Seventy percent felt competent at breaking bad news and 74% would discuss emotions with patients. Fifty-five percent of respondents preferred that patients be autonomous in their decision making. Family physicians in Israel are aware of patients' concerns and recognize the importance of sharing information with prostate cancer patients. Further studies are needed to examine the practice of these attitudes and to verify whether they are compatible with patients' expectations in the relevant cultural and ethnic context.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2007 · Supportive Care Cancer
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    Gilad E Amiel · Lea Ungar · Mordechai Alperin · Zvi Baharier · Robert Cohen · Shmuel Reis
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously described a breaking bad news (BBN) training program for primary care physicians [Ungar L, Alperin M, Amiel GE, Beharier Z, Reis S. Breaking bad news: structured training for family medicine residents. Patient Educ Couns 2002;48:63-68]. In this paper, we present the assessment of an educational intervention aimed at improving this important skill. The assessment tool was an eight station objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) utilizing standardized patients (SPs). Intervention and control groups of 17 general practitioners (GP) each were evaluated before and after an educational intervention, or a Balint group (control). Intervention group GPs significantly increased their average grade on the post-test as compared to the pre-test (58.5, S.D. 12.7 versus 68.4, S.D. 9.2), effect size 0.94. Improvement in the control group was minimal (pre-test 57, S.D. 10.4 versus 58.1, S.D. 9.5 for the post-test), effect size 0.23. Reliability of the OSCE was alpha = 0.81. The performance assessment used in this study proved to be a reliable and valid tool to assess the ability of physicians to break bad news. It provided evidence of the effectiveness of the intervention. BBN training can and should be evaluated by valid and reliable measures. SPs can serve as reliable evaluators of BBN training.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2006 · Patient Education and Counseling
  • Lea Ungar · Mordechai Alperin · Gilad E Amiel · Zvi Beharier · Shmuel Reis
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that physicians experience incompetence and difficulty in dealing with patients' feelings after they have broken bad news to them. During the past 10 years, we have implemented a longitudinal training program targeting these issues. The present article describes this training and discusses its contribution to doctors' skills at approaching distressed patients. In order to cope with breaking bad news to patients and their families, physicians should be skilled at crisis intervention and communication techniques. They should also be aware of their personal attitudes and emotional reactions when breaking bad news. Each session encompassed these areas, as well as the most prominent issues arising when breaking bad news. In a 1-5 Likert scale, the course received an overall score of 4.47 (S.D. 0.51). Participants noted that they had gained relevant communication skills for future patient encounters.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2002 · Patient Education and Counseling
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    U Milman · M Alperin · S Reis · R Van-Ralte · D Hermoni
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    ABSTRACT: Most of the published documents proposing teaching objectives for undergraduate clerkships were prepared by expert bodies. Seldom have the clinical teachers, who are critical to the learning process and to the implementation of the teaching objectives, been the actual proponents of its core content. To develop a national-scale proposal of teaching objectives for the family medicine clerkship in medical school, using a consensus method and the actual, community-based teachers as the expert body. The Delphi method was chosen for that purpose. In the first round all 189 family medicine teachers in Israeli medical schools were asked to propose five teaching objectives. In the second round the objectives, which were generated in the first round, were characterized by key words and were sent to the participants as a second round for ranking according to their importance. A total of 116 family medicine teachers (61.38%) responded in the first round and 91 of the 116 (78.5%) in the second round. They formulated 51 teaching objectives listed in order of importance, covering a wide array of themes and including knowledge, attitude and skills objectives. The most important objectives were common problems in primary care, recognition of the biopsychosocial model, and understanding the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. The structure of the list provides a unique insight into the relative importance of each objective in the context of the whole core content of the clerkship. Constructing a proposal for teaching objectives is feasible using the Delphi method and the field instructors as the selecting body. The process and its results can provide faculty with relevant and important suggestions on the content and structure of the family medicine clerkship.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2002 · The Israel Medical Association journal: IMAJ
  • L Ungar · M Alperin · G Amiel · Z Behrier · S Reiss
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    ABSTRACT: Physicians are frequently required to break bad news to their patients. Previous research has shown that inconvenience, incompetence, and difficulty in dealing with patients' feelings are the main complaints expressed by physicians after such an encounter. Current educational programs dealing with breaking bad news are usually short, given in lecture format, and are inadequate in addressing essential issues such as knowledge, personal beliefs and attitudes, and previous personal experiences of physicians in such situations. In the past 8 years our Dept. of Family Medicine has implemented a course in breaking bad news that addresses these issues. A senior family practitioner and a medical social worker conduct 14 sessions of discussions and role-playing for small groups of residents and primary care physicians. The program is based on: theory dealing with methods of managing stress and crisis intervention, clarifying personal attitudes, discussions of previous personal encounters of the participants, various modalities of communication, methods of addressing patients' feelings and emotions, and coping with the emotions of the one breaking the bad news. On a 1-5 Likert scale questionnaire the course received an overall score of 4.47 (SD 0.51). Participants noted that they gained relevant communication skills for future patient encounters. A reliable examination of practitioners' competence in breaking bad news is mandatory in order to assess the efficiency of such courses.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2000 · Harefuah
  • Gilad E. Amiel · Lea Ungar · Mordechai Alperin

    No preview · Article · Jun 2000 · Academic Medicine