This is our last post in this series, in which we discuss: “What Happens Next?” –
(a) After you have submitted your specialty recognition documents to the Scientific Council (Moatza Mada’it) of the Israel Medical Association; and
(b) After your provisional license expires that you obtained from the Ministry of Health.
(a) Receiving Your Specialty License
Once the Scientific Council receives and processes your documents, they will send you a letter explaining what you need to do in order to be qualified as a specialist.
The Specialty Committee can take two or three months to meet and evaluate credentials. If the Scientific Council decides not to recognize the specialty immediately, it may ask for more course work, an extension of the residency (“Hitmachut”), or exams. This is up to the Committee and each applicant must be in direct contact with the Council to discuss his/her case individually.
The Council also requires that a specialist fulfill an “adaptation period” –Tekufat Histaglut (formerly called: Tekufat Histaklut – “observation period”) in a recognized department in Israel under supervision and present a letter of recommendation from the head of department or clinic in order for it to grant a specialty license. The observation period is usually 1 to 3 months long.
Once you finish your Histaglut, you need to submit the following forms to the Moetza Mada’it (IMA) in order to be recognized as a specialist:
• A signed letter from the head of the department where you did your Histaglut, stating that you have completed your Histaglut (you should make sure the beginning and end dates of your Histaglut period are mentioned in the letter).
• A form asking to be recognized as a specialist.
• Payment for recognition of your specialty.
• A photocopy of your license from Misrad HaBriut.
Two Important Notes:
• It is worth applying to the Scientific Council for specialty recognition before you make Aliyah (this can be done at the same time as you apply for your general license from Misrad HaBriut), for two reasons: (1) you will know beforehand how long you will need to wait in order to be recognized in your specialty in Israel; and (2) this shortens the licensing process because it eliminates many months of waiting for an answer from the Scientific Council after you receive your general medical license.
• In many specialties, the Israeli residency period is 12-18 months longer than the residency periods abroad. It is therefore highly recommended to work in a hospital following your residency, because this can be counted towards the residency period in Israel. In addition, if you are working in private practice but maintain a part-time affiliation with a hospital, this might also be counted towards your Israeli residency period.
(b) Receiving Your Permanent License to Practise as a Physician in Israel
Physicians initially receive a provisional (temporary) license, which is valid for 14 months. To receive the permanentlicense, you must have at least 12 months of experience working as a physician in Israel, and you must submit a letter of recommendation from a certified Israeli specialist who has observed your professional work. This specialist does not need to be in your field.
In order to receive your permanent license, you must therefore mail the following to Misrad HaBriut, at least 8 weeks before your temporary license expires:
1. Original temporary license (keep a copy!)
2. Letter from an employer who is a specialist, indicating that you worked for a period of at least 1 year. The wording of this letter comes in the envelope with the temporary license that you received from the Health Ministry (חוות דעת מקצועית לקראת קבלת רשיון קבוע).