Background: In light of changes in the medical profession, the different requirements placed on physicians and the evolving needs of the healthcare system, the need arose to examine the medical education curriculum in Israel. This survey, conducted by the Samuel Neaman Institute for Science and Technology summarizes 20 years of medical education in Israel's four medical schools, as the first stage in mapping the existing state of medical education in Israel and providing a basis for decision-making on future medical education programs.
Objectives: To characterize the academic background of graduates, evaluate their attitudes towards current and alternative medical education programs, and examine subgroups among graduates according to gender, medical school, high school education, etc.
Methods: The survey included graduates from all four Israeli medical schools who graduated between the years 1981 and 2000 in a sample of 1:3. A questionnaire and stamped return envelope were sent to every third graduate; the questionnaire included open and quantitative questions graded on a scale of 1 to 5. The data were processed for the entire graduate population and further analyzed according to subgroups such as medical schools, gender, high school education, etc.
Results: The response rate was 41.3%. The survey provided a demographic profile of graduates over a 20 year period, their previous educational and academic background, additional academic degrees achieved, satisfaction, and suggestions for future medical education programs.
Conclusions: The profile of the medical graduates in Israel is mostly homogenous in terms of demographics, with small differences among the four medical schools. In line with recommendations of the graduates, and as an expression of the changing requirements in the healthcare system and the medical profession, the medical schools should consider alternative medical education programs such as a bachelor’s degree in life sciences followed by MD studies, or education programs that combine medicine with disciplines such as law, engineering, computer science, etc.