How To Become A Doctor In Russia

How to become a doctor in Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world. It is a first-world country with a number of amenities, higher living standards and an exceptional healthcare system. It is well known that patients from all over the world travel to Russia to receive the best possible treatment. Many people aspire to practice medicine in Russia because of the country’s expanding need for medical professionals. In Russia, physicians are handsomely compensated as well. In this guide, I will provide insight on how to become a doctor in Russia.

Why become a doctor in Russia?

Russia has a number of top medical universities. The medical program degrees are recognized by WHO (World Health Organization) and MCI UNESCO. The tuition fee is affordable and so are the accommodation costs. In fact, most of the tuition fee is subsidized. It is one of the best places to practice in because of the demand, affordability, and revenue.

How to become a doctor in Russia

Choose sciences in high school

Both domestic and international high school students should major in physics, chemistry, biology, and math. This makes it easier to meet the requirements for medical schools. International students are required to pass the admission test in order to get admitted into the university. 

Aim for a medical university

It is recommended that you study medicine from Russia only. This is because Russia has one of the best medical schools that are affordable. The degrees offered by these universities are recognized by WHO. It is also relatively easy for foreign students to get admission. Studying in Russia will also help you get familiar with their language and the healthcare system.

Should you choose to move back to your home country, you can practice there as well after passing a couple of exams. 

how to become a doctor in Russia

Learn the language

While most medical universities use English as their primary source of communication, it is important for you to learn Russian as well. It will help in communicating with friends, colleagues and patients. 

Russian is one of the most difficult languages. It can be difficult if you are not familiar with other Slavic languages and especially if your native language is English. The alphabets and their dialects also differ from Latin. 

However, it is essential for you to be able to communicate fluently in Russian if you want to practice there. It is difficult to learn, but not impossible. With continuous effort, you will eventually learn it. In addition, you can become fluent by actively communicating in Russian with your peers. 

Choose your program

Russian medical schools grant four-year bachelor’s degrees. This degree allows you to practice nursing care only.

You must choose the 6-year specialist/general medicine degree if you want to work as a general practitioner or physician. Residency is necessary for further specialization which can take anywhere between two and four years depending on the field you pick.


All medical students are required to complete their internship which usually lasts for about a year. The internship is crucial because it gives students exposure and provides invaluable firsthand experience dealing with patients and working in a healthcare facility.

Different medical schools and hospitals offer internships based on different criteria. Generally, students are required to take some tests and interviews.

Medical License

Before you start practicing medicine, you need to earn your MD and medical license for which the students are required to pass a State Exam. A student receives accreditation if they can demonstrate that they are informed and competent to manage a safe practice. After receiving it, you can begin working as a general practitioner.

Agencies like Independent Agency for Accreditation and Rating (IAAR) and the National Accreditation Agency deal with accreditation. 


Residency is required for further specialization. It lasts anywhere between 2 to 4 years depending on the specialty you are opting for. For instance, surgical residency can last for 3 years while internal medicine residency can last for 2 years. 

Work visa for foreign nationals

If you are a foreign national wishing to work in Russia, then you must undergo the lengthy process of obtaining a work visa and work permit. You will be required to submit all the necessary documents at your nearest Russian consulate.

Foreign doctors who are highly paid and have a lot of experience can apply for HQS (Highly Qualified Specialist) visa which is a lot easier to obtain.

Finding a job

After obtaining a medical license, doctors can start their own private practice. Doctors who wish to apply for jobs in hospitals can do so in both the public and private sector. Although it is better to apply in the private sector due to better salary and facilities.

Russian hospital

How to become a doctor in Russia if you are a foreign-trained doctor?

Foreign-trained doctors can easily practice in Russia now without having to go through the tiresome process of applying for a medical license. Up until 2018, foreign doctors had to apply for a medical license which was a lengthy and complex process.

Since 2018, it has become easier to work in Russia. Although it is tough to get a job for fresh graduates and doctors with little to no experience. Highly experienced doctors may be able to get a job easily.

The takeaway

Russia is a first-world country with state of the art medical and health facilities. It is a great place to practice in due to better living standards and handsome salary. Medical education is also much more affordable as compared to many other places.

To sum it up, to become a doctor in Russia, you need to qualify for a good medical university, complete your MD, accomplish the internship, obtain a medical license and pursue residency if you wish to become a specialist. Foreign nationals need to get a work visa and work permit. 

I hope all of the information provided above about how to become a doctor in Russia clarifies any questions that you may have had. 

Recommended articles

Best Ways To Study For Physiology Exam

The Best Way To Study For Anatomy Exam


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here