[The social role of the faculties of medicine: physicians' perception of the dominant orientation of their medical studies and social involvement]. Academic Article uri icon


  • Medical education, based on the principles of social medicine, has the ability to contribute to reducing health disparities through the "creation" of doctors who are more involved in community programs. To compare the social and community orientation of graduates from the various medical schools. An online cross-sectional survey among 12,000 physicians who are graduates of Israeli medical schools was conducted in May 2011. The study encompassed 1,050 physicians, Israeli medical school graduates living in Israel and practicing medicine: 36% were Hebrew University graduates, 26% were Tel Aviv University graduates, 22% were Technion graduates and 16% were Ben-Gurion University (BGU) graduates. Higher rates of physicians who studied at the Technion and BGU are working or have worked in the periphery (approximately 50% vs. approximately 30% average of Hebrew and Tel-Aviv University schools). Among BGU graduates, 47% are active in community programs vs. 34-38% in other schools. Among physicians active in community programs, 32% of BGU alumni estimated that their medical education greatly influenced their community involvement vs. 8-15% in other schools. Hebrew University alumni graded their studies as having a higher research orientation. In contrast, BGU graduates graded their studies as having a higher social orientation, and had more positive attitudes on the role of the physician in reducing health disparities. Medical education with a social orientation will induce a socialization process that reinforces human values regarding the doctor-patient relationship and produce positive attitudes among future doctors regarding their social involvement. The findings emphasize the need to develop educational programs with a social orientation and to strengthen medical schools in the periphery.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014