- The Departments of Family Medicine in Israel were established in the late 1970's. Currently, there are 12 departments of Family Medicine (FM) dispersed throughout Israel each academically affiliated with one of the four Medical Schools. The number of Family Medicine specialist physicians has increased in the past decades from 140 specialists in 1975 to 1,187 in 2004. The number of academic specialist physicians is approximately 213 for the years 2000-2004. An evaluation of the publication rate of family physicians analyzed a total of 1,165 publications (1975-2004). Over half of the articles were published in the last 10 years. Seventy-two percent were cited in MEDLINE. Publications in English encompassed 64.7% of the publications, Hebrew 34.6%, and 0.7% other. About 6% of the articles were published in journals with impact factor = 3 with research articles accounting for 46.9%. The publication output of FM in Israel is high, averaging 85.4 publications/1000 FM physicians/year. Almost 70% of the articles were published in non-FM journals. Academically affiliated FM board certified physicians published at higher rates averaging 334.3/1000 academic FM physicians/year (data available for 2000-2004 only). In this editorial the reasons for physicians to engage in research are reviewed as well as the incentives and barriers in place. In addition, the network model and research center models are discussed as possible solutions. Outlooks for the future are outlined.