Background: Departments of family medicine in Israel were established in the 1970s. Until now, little or no effort has been made to characterize the productivity of Israeli board-certified family medicine physicians in publishing peer-reviewed scientific articles. Methods: Publications were identified by 2 methods. First, a PubMed search by names of current and past faculty from all the departments of family medicine in Israel (1975-2004). Secondly, all of the departments in Israel forwarded a list of all publications by their faculty (including those that do not appear in Medline). The abstracts of all publications were extracted and were separately and blindly evaluated by 2 reviewers. Publications were classified according to Medline citation, language, journal impact factor, and publication type. Results: A total of 1165 publications were identified and analyzed. More than half of the articles were published in the last 10 years. Seventy-two percent were cited in Medline. Publications in English encompassed 64.7% of the publications, Hebrew 34.6%, and 0.7% other. Approximately 6% of the articles were published in journals with impact factor ≥3, with research articles accounting for 46.9%. The publication output of family medicine in Israel averaged 85.4 publications per 1000 family medicine physicians per year. Almost 70% of the articles were published in non-family medicine journals. Academically affiliated, board-certified family medicine physicians published at higher rates, averaging 334.3 per 1000 academic family medicine physicians per year (data available for 2000-2004 only). Conclusions: Publishing and research are important to the development of family medicine as an academic profession, in which Israeli family physicians show significant productivity.