Training immigrant doctors: issues and responses


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15 Scopus citations


Summary. An unprecedented wave of immigration of doctors to Israel, mainly from the former Soviet Union, posed for Israeli health leaders the problem of bringing them to a common and accepted Western level of performance. Stemming from the deep commitment which Israel has towards the immigrants, the state offers them a training opportunity to enhance their chances of being licensed and finding jobs in their profession. A 6‐month programme was launched by Ben‐Gurion University, later adopted by other medical schools and supported by the Government of Israel. The programme was designed to provide effective responses to the specific problems of the immigrant population, which are: lack of knowledge of local language, both everyday and professional; overspecialization in too narrow specialties; possession of clinical specialties which do not exist in the new country; insufficient updating in medical sciences and technology; unawareness of economic implications of health care; difficulty in originating new solutions to clinical problems, and lack of skill in answering objective test items. The programme is characterized by a protective environment, problem‐oriented learning, small‐group activities and emphasis on learning languages. The clinical problems are designed to emphasize the general practitioner's point of view of both common and emergency situations. The programme has achieved its goals, as judged by the success rate of its graduates in the National Licensing Examination as compared with the success of immigrant doctors who chose not to participate in the training. This success proves that training of immigrant doctors can be attained by a short programme if the learners’ needs are carefully analysed, the programme appropriately designed, and the staff is enthusiastic, devoted and determined. 1993 Blackwell Publishing

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993


  • Israel
  • educ, med, grad/*organ
  • educational measurement
  • foreign med grad/*educ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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