A GUIDE FOR DOCTORS WITH FOREIGN QUALIFICATIONS LOOKING TO WORK IN EUROPE

This article will focus on a number of countries across the European Union and what steps you need to take in order to be able to legally practice medicine in them. The rules differ when it comes to looking to move to a country in Europe and practice medicine. The difference stems from whether you, as a doctor, have gained your qualifications in a European country or in a country outside of the European Union. It is most likely, that if you have achieved your educational qualifications for medicine in Europe, your license will be recognised in most, if not all, countries in Europe and the only thing you’ll have to do is register with the health authority in the region you want to work in. In the majority of the cases if you are coming from outside Europe and looking to work in Europe with foreign qualifications you will need a Visa, a work permit, and a residency permit. You will most likely also have to sit an exam to prove your skills in the field of medicine and you will have to also prove your language proficiency by taking the TOEFL or the IELTS, or another language proficiency test.  

BELGIUM 

If you want to work as a doctor in Belgium, you will need to have your degree recognised by the Ministry of Public Health. The Ministry of Public Health in Belgium will also oversee the exams and assessments that you will need to sit. The outcome of these exams will determine whether or not you will be granted the medical license that you need to practice in Belgium.  

On average a doctor in Belgium makes about £127,978 a year.  

CZECH REPUBLIC

To be granted a medical license in the Czech Republic you will need to have your qualifications recognised and you will need to pass the Approbation test. You will also be tested on your Czech vocabulary skills in the field of medicine.  

This test is divided into multiple parts. There is a written part that will test your knowledge on the topic of medicine. The second section will test your knowledge of the Czech laws and the health care system. The third part will involve a practical examination, here you will be required to practice as a doctor under supervision. The last part of the examination will be an oral test, which will test your Czech speaking skills.  

You will need to pay a fee of about £60 if you are to be employed by a company and about £75 if you are self-employed.  

As a doctor working in the Czech Republic, you can expect to make about £1,900 a month. 

DENMARK

If you want to work in Denmark and your medical license and qualification are from Europe, you will need to apply with the Danish Patient Safety Authority and prove your proficiency in the Danish language. 

If you have gained your qualifications outside of Europe, you might additionally have to take an exam or exams to prove your skills and knowledge. You might also be requested to take a course provided by the Danish Health Legislation.  

You will need to pay the licensing fee of about £135 to the Danish Patient Safety Authority which will oversee the evaluation of your application. 

As a doctor in Denmark, you can expect to make about £4,000 a month. This sum can go up with time and expertise.   

FINLAND

If you are looking to work in Finland with EU qualifications, you will need to apply for the license through Valvira, this will grant you a place in the Central Register of Healthcare Professionals.  

If you have gained your degree outside of the European Union, the process will be longer and before you are deemed qualified to be granted a medical license in Finland you will need to take part in an internship. Your qualifications will need to be recognised by Finish health authorities. And you will also need to sit a number of exams, all of which you will need to pass before you can apply for the license. 

You will need to pay about £210 to have your degree approved. And an additional £500 for the medical license.  

A doctor will make about £53,723 a year in Finland.  

FRANCE

To work as a doctor in France, you will need to be registered with the French Medical Council. To be able to register you will need to send in your diplomas, CV, and other achievements that you might have to prove your skills in the field of medicine. You might also be required to sit some tests to determine your skills and knowledge. 

The licensing fee is about £280. 

Doctors in France make about £3,440 a month.  

GERMANY

To legally practice medicine in Germany, you will need to sit an exam to determine whether you have the necessary skills and skills to practice medicine in Germany. Once you’ve passed these tests you will be allowed to register and gain the needed license that will allow you to work in Germany as a medical practitioner. 

You can make up to £6,000 a month working as a doctor in Germany. 

GREECE 

If you come from the European Union, all you have to do to be allowed to work as a doctor in Greece is register your degree and gain a license to allow you to practice.  

If you obtained your degree from outside the European Union, the process would involve you having to already have a job offer before you can start the process of getting a license to practice medicine in Greece. You will need to get your degree authorized by the DOATAP. 

You will need to pay a licensing fee of about £190.  

On average, a doctor in Greece can expect to make about £82,000 per year. This can go up to £100,000 a year depending on experience, the field of work, and your level of qualifications. 

IRELAND

If you want to work in Ireland and your qualifications are from outside of the European Union will need to have them verified. This can be done through the Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials. Once you have your qualifications verified you will be able to register for a medical license with the Irish Medical Council. 

The initial registration fee is around £340. You will also need to pay a yearly fee of £465. 

When working as a doctor in Ireland you can expect to make anywhere between £50,980 and £92,184 a year, depending on your level of experience and your specific field of work. 

ITALY

If you want to work in Italy and you have gained your qualifications within the EU, you will need to have your medical degree verified by the Ministry of Health. Once you’ve done this you will need to register your practice in Italy, and you will be able to work. 

The process is longer if your qualifications are from outside the European Union. You will additionally need to get your qualifications verified. And in most cases, you will need to undergo an assessment of your skills. 

A doctor in Italy makes about £107,000 a year. This can increase to an annual salary of £140,000. 

NETHERLANDS  

If you want to work as a doctor in the Netherlands, you will need to apply to BIG-register. With them, you will need to take the AKV test and the BI test. 

The AKV test will assess your general knowledge of medicine as well as your skills. The BI test will show at what level you are with your skills and how much work you need to do to get to the required level to be able to work in the Netherlands.  

You might also be required to complete a year-long internship in a hospital before you can obtain the license which will allow you to work as a doctor in The Netherlands. 

On average, doctors in The Netherlands make about £120,000 a year.  

NORWAY

To gain a license to practice medicine in Norway, you will need to submit in-depth information about the course or courses you have taken that led to you receiving your educational qualifications. Your degree will need to be reviewed by The Norwegian Medicines Agency. 

The processing fee is around £145. 

The average annual salary of doctors in Norway is about £160,000. This can go up to £204,000 a year. 

POLAND

If you want to work in Poland as a doctor and your qualification has been acquired outside of Europe, you will need to complete a year-long training program. You will also need to take the Doctor Verification Exam (LEW) exam, once you pass this you will be allowed to practice medicine in Poland for five years. 

People who work as doctors in Poland make on average £44,000 a year. This can go up to the annual salary of £56,670. 

RUSSIA 

Foreign doctors do not need a Russian medical license to practice in Russia.  

You can expect to make about £10,000 a year by working as a doctor in Russia. However, if you are working from Moscow, you will make more, about £18,000 a year. 

SPAIN

Your diploma is recognized in Spain if you have obtained it from within the European Union. The only thing you will need to do in order to be allowed to practice Medicine in Spain is to register with the College of Physicians. 

As someone who gained their qualifications outside of the EU, to be able to register for a medical license, you will have to get your degree recognised by the Ministry of Health. You will also be requested to sit an exam to determine your knowledge and skills. 

On average a doctor makes about £81,000 a year when working in Spain. Depending on how many years of experience you have and what specific branch of medicine you are working in your annual salary can go up to £105,000. 

SWEDEN

If you want to work as a doctor in Sweden with a foreign degree, there are a few ways that you can go about gaining a license to practice medicine. You will either need to complete clinical training, which will last about six months. Or you can go on to gain further qualifications through the Swedish educational system. 

The application fee for the license is about £185.  

You can expect to make anywhere between £3,000 to £7,000 depending on what specific medical field you are working in. But on average a doctor in Sweden makes about £5,500 a month. 

UK

To be able to practice medicine in the United Kingdom you will need to be registered with the GMC. You will need to have the necessary qualifications and documents to prove them. Additionally, you will also be required to have completed an internship in order to have evidence of your skill set. You will need to take the PLAB test which is comprised of two parts: a multiple-choice exam and a clinical exam. You will need to pass both parts before you can register for the medical license.  

You will need to pay £420 a year for annual registration.  

Doctors working in the United Kingdom make anywhere from £55,000 to £80,000 a year. Additionally, medical professionals trained to work in specific fields can make from £60,000 to £100,000 a year. 

This brings us to the end of this article. We hope that you leave feeling satisfied with the information we have provided. If you would like to read more about this topic, we have another article on working across Europe as a dentist. There will also be new articles coming out in the future about working as a doctor outside of Europe if that’s something you are interested in.  


If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?


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