Redesigning the Israeli Medical Internship Match

Slava Bronfman, Noga Alon, Avinatan Hassidim, Assaf Romm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The final step in getting an Israeli M.D. is performing a year-long internship in one of the hospitals in Israel. Internships are decided upon by a lottery, which is known as "The Internship Lottery''. In 2014 we redesigned the lottery, replacing it with a more efficient one. This paper presents the market, the redesign process and the new mechanism which is now in use. There are two main lessons that we have learned from this market. The first is the "Do No Harm'' principle, which states that (almost) all participants should prefer the new mechanism to the old one. The second is that new approaches need to be used when dealing with two-body problems in object assignment. We focus on the second lesson, and study two-body problems in the context of the assignment problem. We show that decomposing stochastic assignment matrices to deterministic allocations is NP-hard in the presence of couples, and present a polynomial time algorithm with the optimal worst case guarantee. We also study the performance of our algorithm on real-world and on simulated data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sixteenth ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC'15)
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 7 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Place of conference:USA


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