You can take the doctor out of the Merrimack Valley, but you can’t take the Merrimack Valley out of the doctor.
Jeffrey Goldstein, a longtime Lowell General Hospital oncologist, moved to Israel late last year, but he hasn’t given up his local roots.
The former Andover resident is using his new position as senior physician and residency director at the Sheba Medical Center outside of Tel Aviv to create an internship program of sorts for medical school students.
Over the summer, he brought two Andover residents — Ben Spieler and Justin Samuels — to Israel to study, do research and gain exposure to a new cultural milieu.
“They had a great time and did great work,” said Goldstein, who most recently lived in North Andover. “I told them they could only work four days and during the other three days they had to travel. I wanted them to see the area. They had a blast.”
The program was so successful, Goldstein said, he is hoping to expand it next year.
Spieler, who is currently attending the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, called Goldstein recently to tell him he had 32 students interested in coming over to Israel next year.
“We don’t have enough space,” Goldstein said, laughing.
Instead, the hospital, a world-renowned cancer treatment center, will be bringing in eight students from the U.S. who will be paired with eight Israeli medical school students to do research projects, primarily on prostate cancer.
“They will be looking at the side effects of different kinds of treatment and novel treatment ideas,” Goldstein said. “They will work together and at the end of the session will present their research during a gala event.”
The road to Israel, he said, was slightly unexpected. While Goldstein’s wife, Orit, who owns several commercial real estate properties in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence, had moved to Israel early last year, he hadn’t planned on making the move.