Employment in the EU, Norway and Switzerland for doctors outside of EU

Doctors and medical staff coming from a non-EU country often have several ideas about how difficult or easy it is to get a license to work in the EU or EEA environment. To help you understand what job opportunities are available in the EU for doctors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and other non-EEA countries, we list you necessary steps and actions you need to take to get a job in:

Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium and France.

In order to successfully obtain a license in any of these countries, it is necessary to have an identical foundation: motivation and patience in the process. Given that the initial part of the licensing process in many countries can take as long as 6 months, in some cases, even more, we advise all the candidates to apply only when they are sure which country they want to apply for and to do their best to succeed and get the license on time.

UK and Ireland

We have already written about the UK and Ireland in our previous blogs (instructions on how to join the GMC register, how to register as a doctor in Ireland).

Medical staff who have completed their education outside of the EU will need to verify education through EPIC. EPIC is an ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) organization used to ensure the integrity and authenticity of diplomas and certificates worldwide, and in direct contact with institutions, verifies and compares education standards around the world. This rigorous procedure ensures that every doctor applying for registration in a chamber of another country has the same subjects passed as a doctor who has completed his or her home education. They ask you to provide them with documentation such as a diploma and a certificate of internship and compare everything you have learned and passed with standards in the UK and Ireland. This link provides process instructions through EPIC, and here you have an additional explanation of what to do when EPIC confirms your qualifications.

In this part of the process, you may need to pass several additional subjects so that the chamber can accept your diploma as valid. Once you have passed the differential courses, as well as language courses, it is possible to complete your registration and obtain a license in the country you want.

Germany

To obtain a medical license in Germany, the so-called “Approbation” requires knowledge of the B2 level language and certain provinces require knowledge of medical German at the C1 level. Candidates begin the application process by contacting the competent medical authority for the province in which they plan to work, and a list of provinces and competent authorities’ contacts is available at the link.

The competent authority, which is responsible for granting a working medical license, compares the qualifications of non-EU doctors with the German standard. If there are significant differences between the two education processes and the doctor does not have enough professional experience to fill in any shortcomings, the candidate will be referred to the proficiency tests, so-called “Kenntnisprüfung”. This test covers family medicine, general surgery, pharmacology and emergency medicine, and the candidate may have to take additional tests depending on their specialization. The Kenntnisprüfung is an oral exam that lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, and involves solving imaginary cases for the committee to assess the candidate’s knowledge qualitatively, and can be taken up to a maximum of 2 times. After passing this test and sometimes another oral exam, “Fachsprachprüfung”, which checks the applicant’s medical dictionary and readiness to communicate with patients, the applicant can obtain a license and can start working in Germany.

 

Austria

In addition to evidence of C1 language proficiency, except for the applicant having previous medical experience in a German-speaking country of at least 3 years, Austria is also seeking the certification of a diploma through the medical universities of Vienna, Graz or Innsbruck. The candidate should contact one of these universities personally to equate their medical education with the Austrian standard. After equalizing education, each candidate must pass a national exam that is standard for all future physicians who have received their education in Austria to have a right to obtain a license.

 

Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the countries with the most rigorous licensing process for both EU nationals and non-EU nationals. Knowledge of the language used in the canton in which the candidate plans to work is required at a minimum B2-C1 level. These languages include German, Italian and French.

Candidate should contact MEBEKO to be recognized for external medical education. However, to qualify for medical practice in Switzerland, the candidate has three options:

  1. Studying at one of the Swiss medical faculties, to which the candidate must apply personally and apply for admission to the last 3 years of the faculty.
  2. Working for a minimum of 3 years as a resident in Switzerland, after which the applicant is required to pass both parts of the national medical examination.
  3. Work at least 5 years as a resident in Switzerland, after which the candidate must pass the written part of the state medical exam.

After completing the study, or passing the state exam, the candidate may obtain a license allowing the practice of medicine within the borders of Switzerland.

Sweden

One of the prerequisites for obtaining a doctor’s license in Sweden is language proficiency at the C1 level. With knowledge of the language, every doctor who has completed his education outside the EU needs to undergo additional specialized training to adapt to the Swedish system and make up for any differences in education. For the competent authority to accept the diploma, it is necessary to forward a translated (in Swedish or English) version of the diploma to Socialstyrelsen, which will give the candidate feedback whether they accept or reject the equalization of education. All candidates must pass a proficiency test to confirm their knowledge of general medicine. After the proficiency test, the applicant must take a course in Swedish medical law and law, and if the prerequisites are satisfied, the candidate may begin specialist training whose completion may be practised independently in Sweden.

 

Denmark

As with the application conditions for the UK and Ireland, the candidate’s education is compared to the standard in Denmark with the help of the ECFMG. After successfully equalizing education, or taking additional tests if necessary, the candidate is required to submit documentation confirming their knowledge of the Danish language. Language tests, Prøve and Dansk 3, are held in Denmark twice a year between May and June, and November and December, and a minimum score of 10, 7, 7 are required. Language tests can be passed before the start of the application, however, the results do not may be older than 12 months if the candidate has stayed outside the country during that time.

The next step is to become familiar with the Danish healthcare system and the legislation in medicine. These courses are held 4 to 5 times a year, last for 3 days, and at the end, the candidate must pass a written test confirming knowledge of the material. The final placement gives the candidate a job opportunity for training purposes, the “evalueringsansættelse”, the duration of which depends on the specialization and, of course, whether the candidate has the previous specialization in the home country. By completing the training process, the doctor has the right to obtain a full-fledged license which permits the independent practice of medicine in Denmark.

 

Norway

Doctors who want to work in Norway start the registration process at the Norwegian Health Authority, or as the Norwegian call it “Helsedirektoratet”. The Helsedirektoratet is also working with the ECFMG to identify and equate candidate education with what is required in the Norwegian health education system. After the candidate has created an account in EPIC and submitted the necessary documentation, the ECFMG will instruct the candidate who is required to take additional courses for certain qualifications where there is a deficit. Once the education is in line with the Norwegian standard, the candidate is required to pass the Bergen Norwegian language test with a minimum score of 500/B and also take a medical law course.

Once the candidate has fulfilled all the requirements, he/she is given the possibility of employment in the position of specialist, which, of course, if the doctor demonstrates satisfactory knowledge and skills, gives the right to obtain a full medical license upon completion of the specialization.

France

France has a special name for doctors coming from outside the EU Member States, and that name is PADHUE (prakticiense diplome hors Europeenne). Each year, the State Ministry of Health determines the number of doctors from outside the EU who are eligible to start the licensing process in France, and the list of required documentation and the application process are on the link.

The whole process is carried out through two main phases, of which the first phase consists of equalizing education, taking additional tests and examining language skills. The second phase is the evaluation of education in a hospital setting and involves working as an assistant physician for three years. After this period, the candidate may take an oral examination before a committee recommending the applicant to the Ministry of Health, whose approval also means the final right to obtain a license.

Alternatively, you can complete your education in France and, depending on your level of specialization, can last from 1 to 3 years. In order for a doctor to compete for the possibility of obtaining an education at French universities, it is necessary to apply through the French Embassy in the home country, and since positions are restricted among the applicants, the selection is made.

 

Belgium

Equalization of education in Belgium is carried out by a competent authority called NARIC. This competent authority is responsible for comparing the candidate’s education with the standard in Belgium. The process starts at the link.

Once the education is equalized, the applicant must apply for a license to practice medicine in Belgium, and the same is done through the form which needs to be sent to visa@health.fgov.be. Once a doctor has received a certificate, he can officially become a medical practitioner in Belgium.

Each of these countries has a different culture and offers a different possibilities for all residents, it is up to you to choose what works best for you and begin the process of obtaining a license, and we will do our best to find the position that suits your wishes once you get your license and set your goals in the new environment and the new workplace. However, if you consider all these processes to be complicated, there is another way to obtain a medical license in one of these countries. Namely, all health professionals who have a diploma in the Republic of Croatia and who have been employed and work continuously for a minimum of 3 years in Croatia are entitled to automatic recognition of qualifications as well as health professionals coming from the EU 🙂

Email: info@incor.hr
Facebook: @incordoo

Who brings you presents, Santa Claus through the chimney or Nisse through the door?

Most toddlers learn that Santa Claus comes from the North Pole, but children in Scandinavia are taught that he is further south… Finland, Sweden, and Norway compete in where Santa Claus’ hometown is actually.

While children in Finland think his home is in the mythological Korvatuntura (Ear Mountain) in Lapland, children in Sweden believe he comes from the small town of Mora, and children in Norway claim he was born hundreds of years ago under a stone in Drobak on the Oslo Fjord. The Danes teach their children that Santa Claus is in Greenland.

Every year since 1960, Finnish radio broadcaster YLE broadcasts a video broadcast of Santa leaving his log cabin on a sleigh drawn by a white reindeer in his red robe.

The largest city of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi, has been named the official city of Santa. It was created based on a bribe, generating large revenues from tourism, as much as $ 230 million, and attracts 300,000 visitors every year.

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas in Europe, is based on Saint Nicholas of Peace, a fourth-century Greek bishop who lived in the province of the Byzantine Empire, now Turkey.

Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes base their Santa Claus on the mythological gnomic character known as ‘tomte’ or ‘nisse’ in Scandinavian languages. Unlike the Finns, who call it ” joulupukki ” which means Christmas goat and is a derivative of ancient pagan mythology.

Interestingly, in Scandinavia, Santa Claus does not have the habit of going down the chimneys to put presents under the Christmas tree, but instead meets with the children and gives presents to them, at their home, on December 2nd.

Mora, a city in central Sweden, has been the home of Santa Claus since 1984, with about 50,000 people visiting Santaworld ie Tomteland annually. We can also call it a fantasy world. Next to Gesdundaberg, lies a true fairytale land where among the lakes and waterfalls is the Troll empire, fairies, and Santa’s own village. And everything is real! Kids can play with elves, hunt trolls and the adventure has no end!

What is the story behind these characters?

Santa Claus rules over the earth and good things, protecting them with his heart of gold. Evil trolls rule the Empire of Trolls, who are also envious. They make a mess and the team infuriates the village residents. The gnomes are hiding in the woods, fairies dancing between the trees as the trolls set traps … That’s why you, as a visitor, are here to help the people of Tomteland stop the bad intentions and traps of the trolls. In addition, there are always other fun events, such as musicals, dance and theater performances, that you can attend and have fun with. You can dance around the Christmas tree, sled, take pictures with the characters of this fairy tale and sip glögg (Swedish cooked wine) in front of the fireplace in Santa’s workshop.

Can you believe Tomteland received 400,000 letters last year ?!

Below, we bring you some more magical places for you and your family to experience the true spirit of Christmas.

The Danish Christmas season, ” Jul ”, starts on December 1st and lasts until the end of December. The main feast for them is ” Juleaften ”, ie Christmas Eve.

In Copenhagen, you can visit the world-famous Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park and enjoy a unique Christmas atmosphere, a music show and 60 stalls with festive decorations, lamps, desserts, and national dishes. The Højbro Plads Christmas Market, decorated with 80,000 lamps, is also one of the prettiest tourist attractions in Copenhagen at Christmas time and you can take pictures with Santa for free!

The holiday season in Sweden is also called ” Jul” and starts in December and lasts until Saint Knut’s Day, 13 January. One of the most important holidays for them is St. Lucia’s Day, December 13th. In Swedish Lapland, you have the opportunity to observe one of the most fascinating phenomena in the world, the northern lights. In the village of Sami, you can take a short ride on reindeer sleds and later feed them. Gothenburg Festival begins on November 30 at 5 pm. The celebration includes a fire show, a concert and a small exhibition of artwork.

In Norway, you can visit the Spikersuppa Christmas Market where there is a beautiful ice skating rink and other attractions such as the Ferris Wheel or celebrate Christmas with your family at the Oslo Philharmonic Symphony. Each year they prepare two music concerts with an extraordinary choir. Music will be played, from the movie known to us all, Home Alone and Polar Express.

If you find these customs interesting, feel free to contact us and find out how you can experience them firsthand 🙂

Email: info@incor.hr
Facebook: @incordoo

Customs throughout the year in Norway

Norway is a country filled with interesting culture and history. There are many famous Norwegian events celebrated throughout the year. Below we bring you the most popular Norwegian festivals.

For starters, we want to introduce you to Bergenfest. Judging by the name, we are sure you have assumed that this festival is being held in Bergen, Norway from June 21-24. But what you didn’t know is that it is a modern music festival celebrated with various concerts throughout Bergen. Many music artists from all over the world come to Bergen to perform.

The next festival in line is Bollywood Fest. It is being held in Oslo, December 7-14. It is a multicultural film event where actors and actresses gather and act, ie, perform at shows that have an emphasis on Indian culture.

How does Extreme Sports Week sound to you? Usually, it is celebrated from June 24 to July 1, in Voss. It’s Sports and Music Celebration Week. You can go paragliding, parachuting, rafting, rafting, kayaking, cycling and much more.

We know what you are thinking of… Which festival is next? The Frozen Waterfall Festival held in Lillehammer, usually in February. Can you believe that musicians hold concerts using ice-made instruments ?! It truly is a wonderful sight for anyone who has the opportunity to attend this fantastic event.

The Hell Blues Festival is a unique festival celebrated every September in the Norwegian village of Hell. It takes place in the area around Hell’s train station and focuses on Blues music. The stages are set and only the Blues are performed. In addition to music, there is a wonderful art exhibition.

We would like to introduce metal music lovers to Bergen Metal Festival “Hole in the Sky”. It is a popular music festival celebrated in Bergen from 24 to 27 August. This festival focuses on metal music coming from different musicians and artists.

More interested in Jazz? Visit the Molde Jazz Festival, which takes place in Molde, in July each year. It is known as one of the oldest jazz festivals in Europe and is attended by famous jazz musicians from all over the world.

Did you know that Tromso is one of the best places in the world to look at northern light? Therefore, you should not miss the Troms Northern Lights Festival, from January 26 to February 2. While watching the sky lit by different colors, opera, jazz, chamber music, audio-visual art, and symphony concerts are performed in the background.

Every year from June 13 to 17, the Norwegian Short Film Festival takes place in Grimstad. Filmmakers from all over the world are coming together and competing for the best movie. It is also a good place for young film industry students to meet and to learn from each other and well-known, experienced directors, screenwriters.

The most unique festival in Norway, most often held in May in Trondheim, is the Beard and Mustache World Championship. Yes, you read that right. It is a beard and mustache competition where men from all over the world compete in different categories to represent their country. And that’s not all, partial beard, full beard, mustache, natural/false beard.. are just some of the categories in which they compete.

Let’s move on to something more familiar to us. Although Norway is a predominantly Christian country, Christmas was not celebrated until the 11th century. Imagine, before that, people were celebrating yuletides in the middle of winter and drinking beer in honor of the Norse gods, waiting for warmer weather to return. Because of this, until today, Christmas time in Norway is called ” juletide ”. The house is decorated with a creature from mythology – Nisser, who is believed to be a household member and often appears in Christmas fairy tales and is also considered to be some sort of nisse, ie Julenisse. One of the “newer” customs is that almost everyone, every year on Christmas Eve, watches the short film “Dinner for one”.

Romjulen is the period between Christmas and New Year. During this time, shops are usually closed or work part-time and Norwegians and their families are going skiing and sledding.

In the end, how do Norwegians celebrate the New Year? As they love and enjoy fireworks, huge fireworks are organized on the street and this is one of Norway’s favorite traditions. They also prepare rice pudding for the New Year and hide only one almond in it. They serve it in small bowls and it is believed that the person who comes across the almond in their pudding will be followed by luck and fortune in the coming year.

What do you think about that? … maybe your lucky almond will mean finding a new job right through us? 😉

If you find these customs interesting, feel free to contact us and find out how you can experience them firsthand 🙂

Email: info@incor.hr
Facebook: @incordoo