- In a survey of 120 physician managers (PM) of the Israel Ministry of Health and the General Sick Fund (Kupat Holim), demographic and managerial characteristics and perceptions of what is important for effective performance were studied. Medical directors of hospitals, districts and Kupat Holim clinics were included. The majority of the respondents had some training in medical management. 33% are family physicians, 15% are internists, 33% have degrees in public health, 17% are board certified in medical management, and 8% are pediatricians. None of the district and hospital medical directors of the General Sick Fund is a woman, but 40% of medical directors in Ministry of Health districts are women. More than 50% of PMs are not satisfied with the dualistic management that exists mainly in the General Sick Fund. 42% of the respondents stated that 8 or more years after residency is the most appropriate time to assume managerial roles. The average score of those who chose medical management from the point of view of job satisfaction was 7.4 +/- 2.3, but the rated satisfaction from performance as a PM in the health care system today is 4.2 +/- 2.6 (on a 1-10 scale). The most important managerial characteristics perceived by the respondents were credibility, ability to communicate and delegate, and leadership.