Marcia Javitt’s description of how she feels about moving to Haifa to become the head of radiology at the Rambam Health Care Campus – “I am pumped up” – can barely describe how excited she is.
Javitt and her husband, Jonathan, also a physician, have lived in Chevy Chase for 25 years, and her extensive resume features her previous work as adjunct professor of radiology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Services, as well as staff radiologist at the National Military Medical Center. Currently, she is working on a research project for which a paper was recently accepted for publication.
But the Javitts have known for a while that they wanted to move to Israel. They were simply looking for the right moment.
“Senior-level radiology department jobs are uncommon in Israel,” she said, especially for olim (immigrants).
Javitt said she was told by a friend that Rambam had an opening.
The medical center contacted her, she said, “and I ended up going and having a long conversation.”
Founded in 1938, Rambam is one of Israel’s largest medical centers.
“I think Rambam may become the pre-eminent health-care facility in northern Israel, and maybe even the entire country,” she said when asked why she chose the center.
Rambam is building several different hospitals on its campus, including a children’s hospital, she said.
In addition, the facility began construction in 2010 on an underground hospital that will be able to transform into a high-capacity emergency room within 48 hours, said Javitt. Planning for the hospital began in 2007, as a result of the high demand for emergency care during the 2006 war with Lebanon.
Javitt said she’s also pumped up to become part of Israeli society.
“When in Israel, I don’t have to concern myself about finding kosher food or being able to practice my religion,” she said. “I can feel at home [in Israel] in a way that’s difficult to achieve in different countries.”
Javitt’s first goal in her new job will be to learn Rambam’s culture, system and rules. “My plan when I get there is to listen rather than to talk. I need to be a student of the system before I can operate successfully within it.”
She expects the experience will be life changing.
“I can be made whole by feeling like a part of a community while practicing in my chosen field,” she said. “It’s more than just a job, it’s a calling.”