Work and training abroad
The national ministries of health are usually the first point of contact for questions about obtaining a licence to practise or train abroad. National medical associations can also provide further information regarding specialty training, along with details about the appropriate agencies to contact within their respective countries. Certain countries have special registering authorities, for example medical councils, which are usually affiliated with the government department of health. Addresses may be found in our country directory. Please note that the country directory has been compiled from a variety of sources, and does not represent an exhaustive list of all contacts.
Specialty training abroad and examination of potential eligibility of specialty training periods completed abroad
It is strongly advisable to contact the department responsible for specialty training at the State Chamber of Physicians (Landesärztekammer) of which you are a member before leaving the country to carry out your training abroad. However, it is important to bear in mind that they will not be able to guarantee that any period of specialty training carried out abroad will be recognised upon return to Germany.
The content and structure of specialty training differs considerably from country to country. Transferring part way through a programme to a comparable course in another country is not always possible. In some cases, additional examinations are required. We recommend that you contact the relevant national authority directly to clarify any questions you have (see country directory).
Periods of specialty training completed can only be accredited in Germany if they have taken place for a minimum duration of 6 months in an appropriately remunerated position at an institution licensed for specialty medical training. The certificate issued upon completion of training should contain detailed information about the size of the hospital at which training took place, the activities of the department in which you were employed, as well as any activities carried out independently. The certificate should reflect the content of the specialty training regulations of the relevant State Chamber of Physicians.
Please be aware that the German Medical Association, representing the joint association of the State Chambers of Physicians, is not authorised to regulate or recognise periods of specialty training completed abroad. The State Chambers of Physicians, as corporations under public law, are the only bodies in Germany authorised to do so.
A physician must be a member of a State Chamber of Physicians before his or her specialist qualifications may be assessed for equivalence. For information concerning membership of the State Chambers of Physicians (compulsory or voluntary) please contact them directly.
The Department for International Affairs of the German Medical Association is often the first point of contact for physicians and patients seeking information from both Germany and abroad. The information provided by the Department for International Affairs as part of this service has a purely advisory character, and should not be considered as legally binding. The German Medical Association, the joint association of the 17 State Chambers of Physicians, is not authorised to provide legally binding information to third parties in individual cases. The German Medical Association is also not authorised to provide a binding assessment of the potential eligibility of periods of study or practice carried out abroad with regards to specialty training in the Federal Republic of Germany
The following links contain further information about working and training abroad, as well as a list of national medical organisations and responsible authorities in other countries.
- Work / training in the EU, EEA and Switzerland
- Country directory EU/EEA & Switzerland
- Work / training outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland
- Country directory non-EU / EEA & Switzerland
Finding work abroad
In order to find a suitable position abroad it is necessary to undertake comprehensive research.
For information concerning practicing or obtaining specialty training abroad, it is advisable to contact the national medical association of the country in which you wish to train. In some countries there are special authorities responsible for registration.
Advertisements for available positions abroad may be found in the national medical journals, newspapers or on hospital websites.
Our country directory of EU and non-EU countries contains lists of contact details for national medical associations and other relevant organisations abroad. You can request additional information about available positions abroad through the responsible medical authorities. References and links to the national medical press can often be found on the websites of the national medical associations.
Job advertisements abroad are also published in the jobs section of the German Medical Journal.
Other useful contacts:
- Federal Employment Agency - Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV):
Information Centre of the international service of the Federal Employment Agency
Tel.: + 49 228 713 1313
- EURES – European Job Mobility Portal
EURES provides information, advice and vacancy information for employers, jobseekers and citizens seeking training positions within the European Union.