Medical Licensing Exam (and exemptions)

  • If you make Aliyah before completing one year of internship, you will be required to take a medical licensing exam in order to be eligible to enter the Israeli staj program.
  • If you have completed USMLE step 1 and step 2 CK you will be exempt from the exam.
  • All other physicians (from the USA and Canada) who hold a recognized foreign MD and have completed a recognized internship will be exempt from the Israeli licensing exam – provided they passed all sections of the USMLE.
  • Graduates of foreign medical programs in Israel (Sackler, BGU, TeAMS) are considered American physicians and the same rules as above apply.
  • If you, unfortunately, didn’t pass the exam and think that you have reason to submit an appeal, please follow the instructions delineated here –

Misrad HaKlita reimbursement for the licensing exam

Misrad Haklita offers a reimbursement (up to 500 NIS) for Olim who took the governmental licensing exam for physicians. Your eligibility lasts for 10 years from your date of Aliyah. The reimbursement is ONLY given retroactively and will be paid back ONLY after submitting the receipt for your exam to your local Misrad Haklita office. Please contact your local Misrad Haklita office for more information.

If you didn’t participate in a Misrad Haklita preparation course for the governmental licensing exam, you may be entitled to reimbursement for 2 exams (if needed).

Medical Licensing Exam for Physicians Who Just Graduated Medical School

The licensing exam for physicians who have just graduated from medical school in Israel has certain requirements and procedures. However, if you graduated from a U.S., Canadian, or U.K. medical school and completed a residency or internship before moving to Israel, you are exempt from taking the exam. For those who completed medical school but did not start a residency or internship, a one-year internship (Staj) is mandatory before entering a residency program. To qualify for an internship spot, passing a specific licensing exam is necessary. The following provides an individual’s impression of the exam:

The exam is conducted twice a year, during summer/autumn and winter/spring. Registration should be completed approximately two months before the exam date. To register, applicants need to submit various documents, including their MD diploma, official transcripts, certification of study commencement and completion dates, program syllabus, Teudat Zehut or passport copy, passport photos, healthcare worker questionnaire, and an exam application. Original documents should NOT be sent. Only notarized copies that were certified by a licensed notary in Israel should be sent, as well as an additional copy (a total of two copies). Documents in languages other than Hebrew and Arabic must be translated into Hebrew by a qualified translator in Israel.

The exam is administered by the Israel Medical Association, Tel: 03-610-0444. Registration is done through the Agaf Rishui Mikzaot Refuah department of the Health Ministry, which has offices serving different regions. After submitting the documents, applicants should wait for confirmation. In case of delays or concerns, contacting the office is recommended.

The exam itself is computerized and consists of two sections with 110 multiple-choice questions each, with 2.5 hours per section, and a 30-minute break in between. You can take the exam in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and other assorted languages. The pass mark is 60%. It is mentally challenging, similar to the USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK exams. Preparing for the exam can involve using question banks like UWorld and online resources such as Online Med Ed. Clinical knowledge and practice questions are vital for success.

After taking the exam, results are typically available on the IMA website after about six weeks. They may not send you an email right away, so check your profile daily, on the IMA website, starting a month after the exam. This will let you know if you passed or at least make sure that you don’t miss your appeal date, in the unfortunate scenario that you failed the exam. In case of a borderline score (between 55 and 59), an appeal process is available, which involves reviewing the questions, comparing answers to recommended textbooks, and submitting appeals for each question.

Regarding Staj and residency, Olim Chadashim (new immigrants) are entitled to some funding from Misrad Haklitah for a duration of six months, which can help secure a residency spot. Opening a Pincas Hitmachut before starting residency is essential to ensure the time spent in residency is counted. Additionally, individuals with a research background (e.g., published papers) may qualify for funding from Misrad L’Klitah B’Madah, Tel: 02-675-2767, for up to three years after Aliyah. If you can find a residency that can start you on a regular Teken (standard salary) immediately, you should do so as the salary from Misrad Haklitah is lower.

It is worth noting that if you have already passed the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams before applying for Staj, you may be exempt from taking the Israeli licensing exam, saving time and enabling an earlier start in your medical career in Israel.

For more information and personalized assistance, it is recommended that you contact the relevant office (e.g., IMA, etc.) and consult with Nefesh B’Nefesh by emailing us at [email protected].

How can we help your Aliyah?