In order to practice medicine in Israel, you are required to hold a license issued by the Department of Medical Professions of the Ministry of Health (Misrad Habriut). To be eligible for a license, you must have completed your studies at a recognized medical school in the US, Canada or the UK, as well as one year of internship or clinical work (the length depends on your specialty). If you complete your internship prior to Aliyah, you must hold a valid, current medical license from your country of origin. If you have not completed one year of internship prior to Aliyah, you must pass an exam and do your internship (“staj”) in Israel before you can begin your residency.
(It used to be the case that doctors were required to take a Hebrew proficiency test as part of the licensing process – the good news is that this is no longer required in the case of physicians, albeit that it is still required for most other licensed medical professionals!)
Further good news is that several years ago Misrad Habriut started a pilot program, whereby potential Olim can begin the licensing process prior to making Aliyah. In order to qualify for this program, a number of steps must be satisfied:
1) Applicants must have received Aliyah approval from the Jewish Agency.
2) All licensing documents must be translated and notarized by an Israeli notary in Israel. If you visit Israel prior to your Aliyah, this is a good opportunity to have your documents authorized by an Israeli notary and even submitted to Misrad Habriut.
3) Your medical license can only be issued after you are issued an Israeli ID Card (Teudat Zehut) and submit a certified copy of it to Misrad Habriut (Note: an ID number, e.g. in case of a returning resident, is insufficient for this purpose).
Next Post: What documents do Misrad HaBriut really need, in order to obtain recognition as a foreign-trained doctor in Israel?
Simon M. Jackson is an Israeli notary, attorney and professional translator who specializes in assisting Olim Chadashim to acclimatize in Israel. He can be contacted by:
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