Trends in medical specialty choice among Israeli medical graduates, 1980-1995

Shmuel Reis*, Margalit Goldfracht, Ada Tamir, Riki Van Raalte, Tomas Spenser, Doron Hermoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Which medical specialties do Israeli medical graduates choose? Answers to this question can serve as an essential means of evaluating both Israeli medical education and the healthcare system. Objectives: To determine the distribution of medical specialty choice, its change over time and the possible influence of the medical school on the choice; to study the graduates' gender, gender variability in specialty choice and time trends in both; and to assess the choice of family medicine as a career among the graduates as a group, by medical school, gender, and time trends. Methods: The study population comprised all graduates of the four medical schools in Israel during 16 years: 1980-1995 inclusive. Data were obtained from the four medical schools, the Israel Medical Association's Scientific Council, and the Ministry of Health. Data allowed for correct identification of two-thirds of the graduates. Results: A total of 4,578 physicians graduated during this period. There was a significant growth trend in the proportion of women graduates from 22.6% in 1980 (lowest: 20.0% in 1981) to 35.3 in 1995 (highest: 41.5% in 1991). Overall, 3,063 physicians (66.8%) started residency and 1,714 (37.4%) became specialists. The four most popular residencies were internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and family medicine. Ten percent of Israeli graduates choose family medicine. Conclusions: The overall class size in Israel was stable at a time of considerable population change. Women's place in Israeli medicine is undergoing significant change. Family medicine is one of the four most popular residencies. A monitoring system for MSC in Israel is imperative.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)973-977
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Generalist career choice
  • Medical education in Israel
  • Medical personnel planning
  • Medical specialty choice
  • Women in medicine


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