A senior plastic surgeon at one of Israel’s largest hospitals, Soroka Medical Centre, committed suicide this week inside an operating room.
The surgeon, Alex Barazovsky, hanged himself in one of his department’s operating rooms shortly after his final surgery on Tuesday July 3rd. Barazovsky was the head of the Soroka’s plastic surgery department and its breast reconstruction unit.
He left a detailed suicide note blaming his decision to end his life on the Israel Medical Association. Barazovsky was in an ongoing feud with the association’s scientific council, as they had reportedly demanded that another physician be appointed to oversee his department’s adherence to stringent intern training guidelines.
In his note, Barazovsky said he found it difficult to handle the pressures of his surgery alongside additional intern training.
Barazovsky was a noted professional with extensive education and experience in the field of cosmetic medicine. He was a renowned physician, a member of the acceptance board for Ben Gurion University’s medical school (where he also taught) and an author of various scientific papers. He studied medicine at the National University of Uzbekistan in Tashkent, before specialising in plastic surgery at Soroka and commencing additional studies in Nottingham, England.
Barazovsky was a long-term employee of Soroka Medical Centre, beginning work there in 1992, and was appointed Director of the Department of Plastic Surgery in 2012.
On Wednesday morning, the IMA released a statement expressing “deep shock and great sadness” following Barazovsky’s death, and that it sent its “condolences to the family.”
Soroka Medical Centre released its own statement that said the hospital and its employees were “stunned and pained by the untimely death of Dr. Alex Barazovsky. We share in the family’s deep sadness, and embrace the department staff. We appreciated Dr. Barazovsky as a physician and as a person, and his care for the patients of the Negev. The hospital’s management will offer assistance to the family and to our staff as needed.”
The chair of the Israel Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, Meir Cohen said “We wish to send our warm embrace to the family and share in their profound sadness over this terrible and untimely loss. Barazovsky was a great person, a devoted department head and physician.”