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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 97-108

A Screening Process Predicts Success Rates in Residency Re-training among New Immigrant Physicians in Israel

1 Soroka Medical Center, Faculty of the Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
2 Hebrew University, Hadassah Faculty of Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel

Correspondence Address:
H Reuveni
Department of Pediatrics, Soroka Medical Center, Beer-Sheva
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Objectives: To evaluate predictors of success in training programs for Israeli international medical graduates (IMGs) from the former USSR. Subjects: IMGs up to the age of 45 who passed a national licensing examination and a Hebrew knowledge exam were eligible for participation. Intervention: Each IMG participated in one of three programs that offered similar academic activities. In two programs there was a preliminary selection process and one program had supplementary teaching hours. Main outcome measures: Resident's self-evaluation of skills compared with evaluation by department heads. The evaluation included eight clinical skills, a general evaluation, and the passing rate for Phase I of the National Certification Exam. Findings: A total of 176 IMGs, all graduates from medical schools in USSR who immigrated to Israel from 1990 to 1996, and 20 heads of the participating departments completed the questionnaires. The response rate was 64% among the residents and 71% among the department heads. All residents had a similar level of self-esteem regarding clinical skills and considered themselves equal to or better than Israeli-trained residents. The department heads did not concur with this assessment, particularly for residents who participated in the program with no preliminary selection. Participants in the programs with preliminary selection received better evaluations from department heads than those in the program without and had significantly greater success in the written part of the board certification examination (p < 0.05). Discussion and conclusions: Re-training programs for IMGs should include a preliminary process for participant selection. The training program should be implemented in academic departments, in which case supplementary teaching hours are not required.

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