Far Rockaway Resident Receives Touro College Healthcare Award

Graduate of Physician Assistant Program Is an Academic Leader Who Started Late, but Finished at the Top

March 12, 2018
(left to right): Dr. Hylton Lightman, President of Total Family Care, with Yehuda Wolf

(New York, N.Y.) – Yehuda Wolf, a graduate of Touro College School of Health Sciences Physician Assistant (PA) program in New York City, received the School's prestigious Maimonides Award for demonstrating the highest professional ideals of a healthcare provider.

Wolf attended yeshivas in Chicago and Israel. At age 25, he was already married with a baby on the way when his wife encouraged him to enroll at Touro. "At that time, I had not a single college credit or any work experience. College was not on my radar," he said.

At Touro, he attended classes at night while working during the day. Advisors from Touro's Career Services worked with Wolf, helping him identify, he said, "what I'm good at, what I enjoy doing and which career really makes me tick." That career turned out to be Physician Assistant.

“I ultimately chose PA because I wanted to help people in a hands-on profession. I am inspired by advances in medicine and by problem-solving until the correct diagnosis is made. And as a PA, I can enjoy the financial benefits as well as time with my family.”

During his clinical rounds, Wolf gained experience at prominent hospitals like North Shore LIJ as well as Montefiore, Jacobi and NYU/Langone Medical Centers.

“Each environment taught me something new,” he said, “but what stuck with me the most is how often patients don’t understand or haven’t received a thorough explanation as to what’s going on in their healthcare. Taking the extra few minutes to talk and listen to patients can go a long way.”

Wolf says there is a misconception about the PA profession. “Many people think a PA is ‘half’ an MD, because they didn’t finish medical school and stopped halfway. I get the question: ‘when will you finish and be a doctor?’ -all the time!”

Prof. Sondra Middleton, Associate Program Director of the Manhattan PA program at Touro, was an instructor of Wolf’s and well aware of his abilities.

“It is rare to find the type of mature, focused and serious student like Mr. Wolf,” said Prof. Middleton.

“He quickly became an academic leader, helping his classmates get through difficult courses and supporting them in every way. He did this while earning excellent grades and maintaining a personal life as a husband a father. He was truly a remarkable student and I am proud to now call him my PA colleague.”

Wolf is currently working in a “busy and intense” practice, Total Family Care in Far Rockaway, and at a practice on weekends in Williamsburg.

"Yehuda is an asset to our staff," says Hylton Lightman, MD, President and Medical Director of Total Family Care in Far Rockaway, New York.  "Patients like his caring manner and professional demeanor."  

“Additionally, Yehuda has brought with him excellent training with a headset for excelling at health care,” continued Lightman.  

Moving forward, Wolf would like to remain in family medicine. “I find it important to be able to manage patients at all stages in life. I would also like to be involved in the education of future students, should the opportunity arise.”

About the Touro College and University System   

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to www.touro.edu/news