Dear patients, you do not know how to choose a doctor in Israel?
We are glad to welcome you on the website of the Israel Doctors Association! It is very important for patients to get first-hand information about Israeli medicine. We will tell you about the features of Israeli medicine. We hope this will help you organize your treatment in Israel so that you don’t feel sorry for the lost time and money.
What to choose – a clinic or a doctor?
Many of our potential patients who are planning to go for treatment to Israel from Russia and the CIS countries ask: which clinic should I choose? But there is a big mistake in this formulation of the question.
To understand this, you need to know how medicine is organized in Israel. The fact is that here, as in other western countries, large state medical centers – the so-called district clinics (these include the “Ichilov”, “Sheba” and “Hadassah” clinics) stick to the same standards in their work. Therefore, the level of patient care is approximately the same everywhere.
But what you really should pay attention to is the level of doctors who will treat you. Because it is possible that you, dear patient (although numerous websites that advertise medical services are usually silent about this), even if you chanced to find oneself in a well-known clinic, you will be treated by a regular doctor on duty. Often this happens to be a trainee doctor who is still far from a specialist. Is it worth paying a lot of money and travelling to distant lands – decide yourself.
Which Israeli doctors are considered the best? Let’s try to understand this question, somewhat difficult for foreign patients.
How can you become a doctor in Israel?
Let’s start with the basics – how the education and training of doctors in Israel takes place. The path to professional maturity is very long and difficult here.
“Natural selection”. A doctor in Israel is considered one of the most prestigious professions. Therefore, the competition in medical schools is higher than for any other specialty. It’s hard to believe, but more than 700 people claim one place at the medical faculty! By the way, there are no separate medical institutes and universities in Israel, and only 4 universities in the country that have received state permission have medical faculties: universities have to fight for the right to teach future doctors.
Student everyday life. After admission, the usual routine begins – lectures, seminars, exams, practice in hospitals. And so for seven whole years. Learning is very difficult, and most of the entrants are eliminated in the learning process.
“Rofe klali” – our first license. At last we graduated from the university. But this does not mean that we are already specialists. After the medical faculty, the doctor does not even have a license. And in order to receive it, one must have several years of internship in a hospital. Experienced doctors supervise such internships. After this, the young specialist passes the exam and receives his first license. He is assigned the qualification of a general practitioner – in Hebrew, “rofe klali”. But with such a license you cannot work in a hospital without the control of more experienced doctors: this is only the first step in a medical career.
“Mumhe” is the path to a true specialist. To get the right to work independently in the hospital, you need to go through another internship – the so-called “specialization”. It lasts 5 years. The bulk of the exhausting hospital routine, including long night shifts, lies on the shoulders of trainees. Those who have night shifts at work know that after such a duty the person is already not good for anything. And in this condition, the novice doctor has to accept patients.
After the internship, we, Israeli doctors, pass another exam and, if successful, we obtain the next license – a specialist doctor (in Hebrew “mumhe”). Now, 15-20 years after the start of studies, we can finally work in the hospital on our own.
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How to choose a doctor: 7 tips
“All this, of course, is very interesting,” – you will say. – “But how can we, patients, distinguish a real specialist from a half-educated or simply bad one, especially in a foreign country?” And how to find a doctor who will cure precisely our disease?
We present 7 tips from professionals.
1. Check the license. A specialist doctor should have two of them – a license of a general practitioner and a license of a specialist. Each license has its own unique number.
You can check the license of any Israeli doctor right here on this website (the site is in Hebrew; for translation, use online translators, for example, Google). If you cannot do it, send us the details of the doctor you are interested in – and we will tell you if the doctor has a license and what is his specialization according to the license. We also will inform you the most important thing – what is the length of work of the doctor in this specialization. We provide these services for free, because our website has been created to help you choose “your own” doctor.
2. Find out the doctor’s subspecialization. This is an additional specialization of the doctor that exists along with the main one. For example, an oncologist may specialize in treating a particular type of tumor, say, sarcoma. And a patient with sarcoma is better to get to such a specialist.
3. Check out the list of publications. The sites of reputable clinics usually list doctors’ publications in international professional journals. Firstly, in this way you will see that you really deal with an extra-class specialist who has made a significant contribution to world medicine. Secondly, the list of publications will help you determine the scope of the doctor’s professional interests and his subspecialization.
4. Assess the level of the doctor. Unfortunately (or fortunately), doctors in Israel do not have a clear rating, so you can’t say for sure who is the best specialist in the country on a particular medical problem. But there are indirect indicators of the level of a doctor. One of these indicators is his position. For example, if an ENT doctor leads the department of a large state hospital, it means that he has 20-30 colleagues, among whom he is the leader. Therefore, the chief of department of a large hospital (for example, “Ichilov”, “Sheba”, “Hadassah”) is always a specialist of a higher class than the head of department of a small hospital (“Wolfson”, “Kaplan”, “Assaf harofeh”).
5. Find out the doctor’s role in professional organizations. If the doctor is the chairman or deputy chairman of a professional association (for example, the Association of Urologists of Israel), then this is an indicator of his high qualification, given that the chairman of such an association is not appointed “from above”, but is elected by his own colleagues. It is good if the doctor is a member of various qualification commissions involved in issuing medical licenses. This also indicates confidence in him from the professional community.
6. Review your doctor’s resume. Pay particular attention to his internships at other hospitals. The higher the status of the hospital in which the doctor trained, the higher his qualification. Of course, you also should be interested in the doctor’s experience in each of the specializations.
7. Find out where the doctor’s primary job is. This is perhaps the most important question. The bulk of doctors in Israel work in state medical centers, and in their free time they are engaged in private medical practice. But there are doctors who have completely stopped the state “service” and earn their bread only by private practice. We do not advise you to consult such doctors. And here are our arguments.
- Cessation of professional development. No one monitors the regular professional development of such a doctor, while doctors in state medical institutions spend one day a week taking training courses — listen to lectures and make reports on advanced treatment methods. Unlike doctors at state medical centers, a doctor who has only private practice does not undergo lengthy internships abroad and does not participate in international conferences – figuratively speaking, he “stews in his own juice”, with all the ensuing consequences, which are very unpleasant for patients.
- Inability to withstand competition. It’s not easy to stay in a state clinic: because of high competition, usually the most qualified, active and competent doctors remain there. It happens that management dismisses doctors for poor-quality treatment or unwillingness to spend free time on constant study, reading professional literature and analyzing new treatment methods. Therefore, doctors engaged only in private practice are not valued in Israel.
We hope that our advice will help you choose the best doctor. If you are at a loss about your choice, get a free consultation on the choice of an Israeli doctor by filling out the form below, and we will recommend you the doctor who is most competent in your disease.