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Updated: Jul 15, 2023

Israel is closing American medical training programs to focus on creating more medical school places for Israeli medical students.

Today we reviewed latest news published by The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post which affects Israeli and foreign medical students. The Israeli government has decided not to allow foreign students to study medicine in Israel, so it is an end of the international students’ access to the medical universities in Israel like:

· Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine,

· Ben-Gurion Faculty of Health Sciences (BGU) in Beersheba,

· The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in Haifa.

Tel Aviv Haifa Faculty of Medicine

The decision of the Israeli government to stop accepting new international medicine students for American-accredited medical programs, which was approved by the Council for Higher Education, the Education Ministry, and the Health Ministry, was taken mainly due to the fact that the large number of Israelis students are not accepted at Israel medical schools, and they often choose to study medicine or dentistry in Europe. This sounds like protecting and securing more places for local medical students, rather than forcing them to go abroad. But…

Israel used to offer 900 places in medical schools which this year will be increased to 1200. In Israel still more than 70% of medical school applicants are rejected so as an alternative route to study medicine, medical students may need to choose to study medicine abroad in Europe.

Through our medical universities’ programs in Poland, many foreign nationals — including Americans, Canadians or Israelis — study medicine in English while living in Poland, and then sign on for their residencies in the United States or Israel. All medical degrees from the medical universities which we are working with, are recognized in majority of the countries in the world including US, UK or Israel.

Few interesting facts which we discovered:

· in 2021, 979 Israelis who studied medicine abroad received medical licenses in Israel,

· in comparison, the Israelis who both studied and received medical licenses in Israel only numbered 770,

There is a shortage of doctors in Israel and limited number of medical school placements. Based on the facts above, It is obvious that closing medical programs for international medical students is not going to close this gap. Surely, the closure of the American medical programs will not resolve the doctor shortage problem in Israel or dramatically reduce the number of Israeli medical students in programs abroad. In addition, foreign medical study program was a major source of income for the Israeli medical universities (it is going to be lost revenue for Israeli medical universities) as the foreigners were paying around $40,000 a year which is more than three times more than the cost of medical schools for foreigners in Poland.

If you are from Israel and you can’t secure a place in one of the medical schools there or you are one of the American or Canadian students who planned to study medicine or dentistry in Israel, contact Desire2Study for FREE advice to explore alternative entry routes into medicine, dentistry or medical school transfers.


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