How to become a doctor in Switzerland? One question that must go through your mind if you have visited or heard of this beautiful country. Although every country has it’s rules and procedures. this article will guide you through Switzerland’s.
In Switzerland, the authorities or institutions responsible for recognising foreign
qualifications differ depending on the occupation or profession concerned. This
information sheet provides an overview of the various occupations and professions as
well as the corresponding authorities and institutions that you should contact when
applying for recognition.
Please note that your foreign qualification must be issued or recognised by the
national authorities of the country where you obtained it in order for it to be recognised
in Switzerland. It is also important to know that not all occupations and professions are
regulated in Switzerland. In such cases, recognition of your foreign qualification will not
If your occupation or profession is not regulated in Switzerland, you may carry out this
occupation or profession without having to apply for recognition of your foreign
qualification. Your ability to work will depend solely on labour market conditions. The
decisive factor in such cases will be your ability to find an employer to hire you.
If your occupation or profession is regulated in Switzerland, you will need to contact the
corresponding Swiss authority or institution to apply for recognition of your foreign
qualifications. Regulated occupations and professions include those that are subject to
legal restrictions and can therefore only be carried out by holders of a specific
Procedure for Graduates of Switzerland
At the end of the master in medicine, medical student should pass the Federal medical examination in human medicine ( l’examen fédéral en médécine humaine) to get the federal doctor degree which is organized by the Federal office of Public Health, this exam is essential to start Switzerland medical residency training.
Procedure for Graduates of foreign countries
To do the postgraduate training, EU and EFTA graduate medical student should apply for recognition of diploma by the Federal Office of Public Health
There are 2 kinds of recognition of diploma :
- Direct recognition: for the diploma which was awarded in a State/country which has signed a corresponding agreement with Switzerland.
- Indirect recognition: diplomas awarded in a third country and recognized by a State which has signed the corresponding agreement with Switzerland
EU member states
Austria, Begium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
EFTA member states
The following countries form part of the European Trade Association: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
- Graduate candidate from outside EU / EFTA countries
Switzerland doesn’t recognize the diploma of these candidates, however, there is a possibility to apply and get a federal diploma which will allow them to do the Switzerland medical residency training. The candidates should submit an application form along with required documents to sit for the Federal medical examination in human medicine ( l’examen fédéral en médécine humaine).
- For Swiss medical graduates
The postgraduate training is essential to practice medicine in Switzerland which leads to a postgraduate qualification in specialized medicine.
- For EU/EFTA medical graduates
Non-Swiss medical graduates from EU/EFTA countries in order to practice medicine in Switzerland require the recognition of their medical education diploma/degree with the 2 kinds of recognition process (direct and indirect discussed above).
- For medical graduates from outside EU/EFTA countries
A foreign medical graduate can get registration but they will work as an assistant physician if they meet all requirement. (see below documentation section)
Foreign doctors should have a specialist qualification (with appropriate postgraduate training) to work in Switzerland independently only after getting the Federal postgraduate title by The Commission on Medical Professions (MEBEKO) which sets the conditions for obtaining federal corresponding title after contacting the concerned organizations responsible for postgraduate training sector.
After getting the required qualification, doctors register MedReg to practice the medical profession in Switzerland (can find here registration to medical profession).
- For a medical student wishing to enrol in the basic medical education program
For local students (according to the faculty of medicine of Genève and French medical faculties)
Swiss national candidates must hold one of the following diplomas/titles:
- Maturity gymnasial certificate
- Swiss maturity certificate
- Degree from a HES
- Cantonal maturity certificate recognized throughout Switzerland
- Swiss professional maturity certificate completed by a certificate of additional tests
- Equivalent degree.
Candidates of foreign nationality
- Citizens and nationals of Liechtenstein
- Established foreigners in Switzerland or Liechtenstein
- Foreigners domiciled in Switzerland
- Whose parents are established in Switzerland
- Whose parents, domiciled in Switzerland, are nationals of an EU Member State (EU), provided they are under 21 or are dependents
- Who is married to a citizen or a Swiss national or whose spouse is either drawn-e in Switzerland for at least five years, be in possession of a Swiss work permit for at least five years
- In possession of a Swiss work permit for at least five years or whose parents are in possession of a Swiss work permit for at least five years
- Who has a Swiss maturity certificate or a cantonal certificate recognized maturity throughout Switzerland or a Swiss certificate of maturity with the certificate of additional tests
- Who have obtained a Bachelor of a Swiss University, after completing the entire university.
- Foreigners whose parents are a diplomat in Switzerland
- Refugee recognized by Switzerland
- Foreigners licensed G for at least five years without interruption, or whose parents are licensed G for at least five years without interruption
Eligibility according to German and Fribourg medical school
- Passing aptitude test (test d’aptitude pour les études en médécine).
- Eligibility to practice medicine in Switzerland
- Hold a title accepted in Switzerland
- Having the exercise of civil rights
- Not convicted of a crime
- Be physically and mentally fit
- Have liability insurance
- Eligibility for Switzerland medical residency training
- Should have a federal diploma or diploma recognized by the Federal Office of Public Health.
If he/she doesn’t possess it he/she should sit for the Federal medical examination in human medicine ( l’examen fédéral en médécine humaine)
- Procedure to study medicine (according to the faculty of medicine of Genève)
The detailed procedure for admission into University of Geneva can be found here and here
- Procedure for entry into Switzerland medical residency training
Foreign medical graduates can enter into residency training but they are required to for the Federal medical examination in human medicine ( l’examen fédéral en médécine humaine) (see below examination and documentation section)
Local medical graduates after getting the federal diploma, The Federal Council, after consulting the Commission of the medical professions, sets the duration of postgraduate training for different titles corresponding postgraduate academic medical professions. Rather than fixing the duration, it can determine the extent of the training required including setting the number of required postgraduate education credits.
- Procedure for licence
Foreign medical graduates who haven’t completed their residency training they can get registration in Switzerland but can work only as assistant doctors at first. later on with experience, if they pass the exam they can work as general practitioners. (see below documentation section)
To get a license to practice medicine in Switzerland doctors should have already completed residency training abroad and should hold the title of specialist. After getting registered doctor should MedReg.
The license of the academic medical profession is issued by the cantons, the registry assists them by giving them the means to easily access data from such professions.
For more information, they can contact [email protected]
- For Switzerland medical residency training for medical graduates outside EU/EFTA countries
- Fill the application form for obtaining a federal diploma
- Curriculum vitae
- Proof of nationality (passport copy)
- Copy of diploma and official translation in French, German, Italian or English
- List of exams passed during studies (transcript) and official translation
- If available, evidence of professional experience abroad and official translation in French, German, Italian or English
- If available, proof of professional experience in Switzerland. Necessary information:
- beginning and end of the activity; 2) function; 3) Occupancy rate
- For License/registration of doctors outside EU/EFTA Countries
- Fill the application form for authorization to practice
- Original or certified copy of the medical degree (French translation if in a foreign language)
- Original a recent criminal record in the country of origin (if less than 6 months in Switzerland) and Swiss (not older than 6 months)
- Medical certificate attesting to the physical and mental fitness to practice
- Recent curriculum vitae
- Detailed plan of training
- Certificate of good knowledge of French (B2 level required)
- For direct and indirect recognition of diploma of medical graduation from EU/EFTA countries
- Application form for direct recognition of diploma and Application form for indirect recognition of diploma
- Certified copy of passport or identity card
- Curriculum vitae
- Certified copy of (the) degree(s) in the original language
- Original or certified copy of the official translation of (the) degree(s), if the original was not issued in French, German, Italian or English
- Certified copy of any certificates accompanying the diploma in the original language
- Original or certified copy of the official translation of (the) certificate (s) complementary, if the original was not issued in French, German, Italian or English
- Proof of mastering one of the official languages of Switzerland (French, German, Italian)
- Maturity in the corresponding language, language certificates (at least B2 according to the CEFR), professional activities in one of the linguistic regions
- For recognition of postgraduate diploma from EU/EFTA countries (for licence and registration)
- Application form for direct recognition of postgraduate title and Application form indirect recognition of postgraduate diploma
- Certified copy of passport or identity card
- Curriculum vitae
- Certified copy of postgraduate medical degree
- Original or certified copy of the translation of the postgraduate degree, if the original was not issued in French, German, Italian or English
- Certified copy of the certificate of compliance with the European Directive issued by the competent authorities
- Original or certified copy of the official translation of complementary certificates if the original was not issued in French, German, Italian or English
The federal medical examination is organized by the Federal Office of Public Health and is composed of:
- The theoretical part including all spectrum of knowledge; multiple choice questions in two parts
- Clinical skills test: This is an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) exam.
The fee of federal medical examination is organized by the Medical Commission
The average salary is 120000/160000 euros/year
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Hope this article on how to become a doctor in Switzerland answered all your queries. those unanswered can be left in the comments below. Merci Merci vielmal Dangge.