[Basic research during residency in Israel: is change needed?].

Dana Fishbain, Yehuda Shoenfeld, Shai Ashkenazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A six-month research period is a mandatory part of the residency training program in most basic specialties in Israel and is named: the "basic science period". This is the only period in an Israeli physician's medical career which is dedicated strictly to research, accentuating the importance of medical research to the quality of training and level of medicine in Israel. From another point of view, one may argue that in an era of shortage of physicians on the one hand and the dizzying rate of growth in medical knowledge on the other hand, every moment spent training in residency is precious, therefore, making the decision of whether to dedicate six months for research becomes ever more relevant. This question is currently raised for discussion once again by the Scientific Council of the Israeli Medical Association. The Scientific Council lately issued a call for comments sent to all Israeli physicians, asking their opinion on several key questions regarding basic science research. Learning the public's opinion will serve as a background for discussion. A total of 380 physicians responded to the call and specified their standpoint on the subject, among them heads of departments, units and clinics, senior physicians and residents. The findings pointed to strong support in maintaining the research period as part of residency training due to its importance to medical training and medicine, although half the respondents supported the use of various alternative formats for research together with the existing format. Those alternative format suggestions will be thoroughly reviewed. A smaller group of respondents supported allowing residents a choice between two tracks--with or without a research period, and only a few were in favor of canceling the research requirement altogether. The writers maintain that the "basic science period" of research during residency training is vital and its contribution to the high level of specialists and high level of medicine requires its conservation. Nevertheless, alternative formats which might be suitable for some residents should be considered, and auxiliary tools to help residents fulfill their potential in research and raise the quality of written research papers should be constructed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-575, 625
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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