"There is no precedent for the importance of this role in Europe Israeli doctor," says Dr. Leonid Eidelman chairman of the Israel Medical Association, Dr. Goldik election of a president of Carmel.
An Israeli doctor has been elected to be President of the European Society of Anesthesiology (ESA) on Wednesday, in what medical officials say is a step forward for Israel-EU relations.
The ESA boasts over 18,000 members from 40 EU countries. The President of the prestigious organization is chosen only through a long elections process - which was held in Stockholm, Sweden this year - and is voted on by 44 representatives.
Dr. Zev Goldik, currently the recovery unit director at Haifa's Carmel Hospital, won by a 31-13 vote.
"I felt we were making history," Goldik said. "I hugged two representatives from Israel who were with me when the results were published and together we sang Hatikva [Israel's national anthem]."
Goldik stated that he felt "great pride" to be Israeli, and to represent Israel during both a rise in anti-Israel sentiment in Europe and a rampant economic recession there. He said that the position is a "great honor" and that he has "much appreciation for the level and quality of medical care that I bring with me from Israel."
To date, the highest positions reached by Israeli anesthesiologists in Europe until now were only to be appointed as heads of sub-specialization teams, and to be leaders of different professional groups.
Goldik's win brings together the international community as well.
"When the EU's Facebook page recently posted election results, I got 50 'likes' doctors from Arab countries like Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE," Dr. Goldik reflected. "I have quite a few colleagues - physicians from Arab countries - whom I do not have a [personal] relationship with, but we have excellent professional ties, and I intend to harness these relationships for the good of the State of Israel."