How to become a doctor in Germany
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In the follwoing chapter, we describe how to find a job as a foreign medical doctor in Germany, get the German equivalent to your medical license and approval to work as a medical doctor inside Germany.
You come from an Arabic country, Asia or from the EU, you are a medical doctor and would like to work in Germany?
Because of the shortage of general physicians, medical doctors from abroad are in demand in Germany. However, you have to meet certain requirements.
Information for doctors from the EU / EEA / Switzerland
The completion of your medical degree in Switzerland or in any member state of the European Union means that your medical license is automatically recognized in Germany and you are able to practice medicine once you have proved you have a certain knowledge of the German language.
Since June 2014 to become a medical practitioner in Germany you need to have an approved Medical degree alongside the certification level C1 in the German language.
For information in the German language:
For information in other languages:
Informations for qualified physicians coming from other countries ( non-EU / EEA countries)
You have the opportunity to apply for a direct equivalence checking of your completed medical study abroad by the German Medical council in order to gain approval to work.
In most cases however applications from non-EU /EEA countries do not meet the requirements to successfully pass the equivalence check.
Alternatively you can send your documentation to the “Landesprüfungsamt für Medizinische Heilberufe“ which can then issue you with a temporary permit to practice medicine in Germany for a period of up to two years.
You also need to secure a placement as a „guest doctor“ (Gastarzt), which is normally run along similar lines to an unpaid internship (some clinics offer you free accommodation). It would of course be advantageous if you were able to apply for a grant from your country of origin. Prerequisite for a license to practice medicine in Germany is of course the C1 language certificate.
If you manage to secure an internship at a clinic inside of Germany you can then apply for work and residency permits.
The aim of this internship is to prepare you for the so-called knowledge exam in order to receive a permanent right to practice medicine inside Germany. This is an oral-practical exam that is regulated by the approved body. The exam itself should last at least 60 minutes in which you have to exam a patient in German in order to establish their medical history. Internal medicine and surgery are the main subjects that are tested. However knowledge of other fields is also required.
If you pass the exam successfully, you will receive infinite approval to practice medicine in Germany. You can then look for paying work in order to complete your 5 year residency before you can take the relevant exams to become a specialist in the field of your choice.
Your chances of finding a job in a German hospital are firstly dependent upon your language skills then upon your actual practical experience.
A brief summary of how to become a doctor in Germany (for non-EU Citizens)
1. Contact the Goethe Institute for the language course C1
2. Apply to clinics in Germany to get a post as a guest doctor (Gastarzt), with C1 language certificate, letter of application, CV and a certified copy of your medical license
3. Apply to the State department for medical practice „Landesprüfungsamt für Medizinische Heilberufe“ (LPA), to obtain a temporary license of medical practice „Berufserlaubnis“ that allows you to work as a guest doctor for up to 2 years in Germany
4. Within the period of the 2 years pass the medical knowledge exam to gain the equivalency of an medical degree in Germany in order to recieve infinite approval to practice medicine
5. Now you can apply to clinics for a paid job as a resident with the aim to become a specialist after 5 years. praktischArzt is looking forward to support you with job ads in Germany.
For more information in English you can also read:
You can also call the German phone hotline:
„Working and living in Germany“: 0049 30 1815 1111.
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