The dropout rate among 733 physicians who were licensed in 2000, 2002, 2004 and
2006 is relatively high, between 5.5 percent and 12% of those contacted in a
telephone survey, a new Ben-Gurion University study shows.
published in the latest issue of Harefuah
– the Hebrew-language journal of the
Israel Medical Association – was conducted by Dina Van Dyke, Keren Holtzman
Schweid, Telma Kushnir and health economist Prof. Gabi Bin-Nun.
doctors described as dropouts either left the field of medicine after studying
and training for many years, or left Israel altogether.
gives support to the demands of the Israel Medical Association, which is
involved in a bitter wage dispute with the Treasury and a fight over working
conditions and lack of manpower (especially in the periphery).
researchers followed up licensed physicians and found that 5.5% of those who
were licensed during those four years have since left the medical profession,
while the highest figure was 8% of those from 2000 and 2002. A total of 12% of
physicians who received their licenses between 2000 and 2006 are no longer
working as physicians in Israel.
Another 9% have applied to job placement
companies with an aim of changing their profession and leaving “doctoring” in
hospitals and community clinics.
While few were sorry about studying
medicine, and most enjoyed the challenge and interest in the profession, low
wages, poor physical conditions in medical institutions, poor work relations and
the difficulty of balancing their lives between home and work were cited as
problems. Nearly half of the doctors questioned were women, who constitute a
growing share of the physician population.
The researchers concluded that
a combination of significant intentions to leave medicine and/or Israel and low
satisfaction from wages, physical conditions and balancing the personal and
professional sides of their lives “paint a dismal picture regarding the
intention of those remaining in medicine and in Israel regarding their
profession”; they themselves are less likely to survive the health system and
more likely to end up in more prestigious and better-paying professions, they
Meanwhile, the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee
will hold a special session on the doctors’ sanctions during the current recess.
Committee chairman Haim Katz set it for Wednesday, May 11, the day after
“The Knesset must intervene and bring the two sides to
an agreed-upon solution that will bring an end to this harmful strike,” he said.
The strikes by doctors began some six weeks ago (but not every day and not
during the Pessah holiday.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and senior
Treasury officials have been invited to attend the session.
sanctions will establish a reduced Shabbat schedule at outpatient clinics,
inpatient wards and diagnostic institutes in hospitals in the southern part of
Exception committees will rule on treatment of urgent
Physicians working in the wards, clinics and institutes will be on
hand “to be present and give advice,” the Israel Medical Association said.
Affected with be Tel Aviv Sourasky, Assaf Harofeh, Wolfson, Barzilai, Kaplan,
Soroka, Josephthal, Hadassah Ein Kerem and Hadassah Mount Scopus and Shaare
Zedek Medical Center.
Psychiatric hospitals in Tel Aviv and southward
will also be affected. Health Ministry district health offices, municipal,
wellbaby clinics (tipat halav) and school physicians will not come to work
anywhere around the country. In every ministry district office, a medical
officer will be on duty to deal with emergencies.