Integration from foreign doctors into Germany
Medical language exam.
Since 2017, all doctors of foreign countries who whish to practice medicine in Germany are required first to pass the medical language exam (dt.: Fachsprachenprüfung). The medical language exam is held in each federal state of Germany (dt.: Bundesland) by the German Chambers of doctors (dt.: Ärztekammer). The required level to pass the medical language exam is C1 (“German for medical doctors”).
For doctors of foreign countries, passing this medical language exam is the most important part in their immigration process to Germany.
In order to be granted a permission to practice as a medical doctor in Germany, you need to pass first this medical language exam.
To prepare for the medical language exam, you should follow this guideline:
ATTENTION: Please do not assume that you can first visit the specialized course “German for medical doctors C1” and then general German language courses. That would be a waste of time.
Only if the application includes all required documents, the German health authorities will make an appointment for you to take part in the medical language exam at the German Chambers of doctors (dt.: Ärztekammer).
Difference between the German health authorities and the German Chambers of doctors
- permanent licence (dt.: Approbation)
- a temporary one for maximal 2 years (dt.: Berufserlaubnis).
Working permission for foreign doctors from outside the EU
Doctors from countries outside of the EU are initially receiving a temporary licence (dt.: Berufserlaubnis) to practice medicine in Germany for the following 2 years. During this time, the German health authorities will evaluate your curriculum. If your curriculum is considered to be equivalent to the German curriculum (dt.: Gleichwertigkeitsprüfung), you will receive a non-restricted, permanent licence to practice medicine in Germany (dt.: Approbation). However, if your curriculum is deemed to be non-equivalent, you will have to take an examination of your medical proficiency. The examination usually takes 90 minutes, wherein you will be asked questions from the fields surgery, internal medicine and one subject of your choice.
Working permission for foreign doctors from another EU-country
All doctors who have studied in a country that is a member of the EU (independent from their native country) are generally entitled to receive a permanent licence to practice medicine in Germany (dt.: Approbation). It will be also recognized if you have merely completed a part of your medical professional training in a EU-country (e.g., earning a medical specialist degree).