US doctors to receive automatic Israeli license

The exemption from the local licensing exam will be retroactive, granting a license to whoever has passed the USMLE in the past decade.

January 17, 2013 03:59
1 minute read.

AN ISRAELI doctor 370. (photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)


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The Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee approved on Wednesday an exemption for US physicians who have passed American MD exams (USMLE) and who want to settle and work in Israel.

The exemption from the local licensing exam will be retroactive, granting a license to whoever has passed the USMLE in the past decade.

This is the first time that Israeli health authorities have accepted foreign test results for an MD license.

But someone who has taken an Israeli licensing exam and failed may not ask to take the USMLE exam and receive an exemption; he will be able, however, to resit the local exam instead.

The new rules will go into effect when they are published in the state gazette Reshumot within the next few weeks.

Dr. Amir Shannon, head of the Health Ministry’s Medical Professions Licensing Department, said, “We are trying to make it easier for Israeli graduates who completed their medical studies in the US and also for new American immigrants. The easing of conditions is apparently due to the growing shortage of doctors in Israel.”

Tzipi Livni Party MK Rachel Adatto, a gynecologist, said she opposes giving “discounts” to doctors to get a medical license. Whoever started Israeli medical studies is entitled to undergo them again and again, and there is no reason for him to take the USMLE, she said.

Hadash MK Dr. Afu Agbaria said medical students should be allowed to take the licensing exam over and over like a driver’s license test.

Committee chairman Haim Katz said that he will “continue to act to relieve the lack of medical manpower and help doctors who do holy work.”

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