Heart Of Sheba Medical Center

An interview with Hillit Cohen, Israel’s first female cardiac surgeon.

Dr. Hillit Cohen: Pioneer heart surgeon has “truly paved the way for other women.” Courtesy of Sheba Medical Center

Dr. Hillit Cohen is Israel’s first female cardiac surgeon, performing more than 200 complicated heart surgeries each year at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer Hospital in Tel Aviv. (Sheba Medical Center was recently named by Newsweek magazine as among the top 10 hospitals in the world.) She grew up in Rosedale, Queens. Her mother is Israeli and when she was 9, she and her family moved back to Israel to be with her mother’s relatives. She received her medical training at the University of Pavia in Italy. After graduating in 2004, she returned to Israel to do her residency in cardiothoracic surgery. A single mother of two boys, 3 and 5, she was interviewed during a recent trip to New York.


Q: Please tell me how groundbreaking it was to be Israel’s first female cardiac surgeon.


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