Information for physicians who completed their basic medical training outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland who wish to work or train in Germany

Physicians who have completed their basic medical training in a country outside the European Union and the EEA, be they citizens of a European country or not, may, according to section 10 of the Medical Practitioners’ Act (Bundesärzteordnung [PDF]), apply for a temporary licence to practise. The state health authority [PDF]  assesses applications on an individual basis in order to determine whether a temporary licence to practise may be issued.

The state health authorities evaluate whether the basic medical training and qualifications gained may be considered equivalent to the content of the basic medical training in Germany set out in the Licensing Regulations for Physicians (Approbationsordnung [PDF]). If they are found not to be so, the doctor will be allowed a period of adjustment (Anpassungszeit) before being required to take a proficiency test (Kenntnisstandprüfung). If significant disparities cannot be balanced by relevant knowledge, the areas where deficiencies exist will be identified through individual assessment and an aptitude test carried out.

In addition, proof of excellent German language skills is required, usually to CEF level B2 (intermediate). For questions relating to the application process and the necessary accompanying documents, please contact the appropriate state health authority [PDF]  directly.

Information concerning setting up practise in Germany can be found on the website of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the relevant state.

Speciality training qualifications from countries outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are not automatically recognised within the EU and do not come under the European directive 2005/36/EC [PDF] on the recognition of professional qualifications.

The State Chambers of Physicians are responsible for the assessment and recognition of periods of speciality training undertaken abroad. In the case of specialist diplomas from countries outside the EU, the department responsible for speciality training at the relevant State Chamber of Physicians assesses the content and duration of the training on an individual basis in order to determine whether it complies with the pre-requisites laid out in their speciality training regulations.

The regulations on speciality training of the State Chamber of Physicians, which are legally binding for their members, generally conform to the section 19 of the guideline regulations on speciality training of the German Medical Association:

Art. 19

Recognition of specialty training undertaken outside the territory of the European Union (Member State), outside the other Contracting States of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA State), and outside a state granted a corresponding legal entitlement by Germany and the European Union (Contracting State) as a specialist title

(1)
On request, anyone who holds evidence of specialty training issued in a third country receives recognition of the professional title if the level of specialty training is equivalent.

These persons bear the professional title provided for in these Specialty Training Regulations.

(2)
Article 18 Para. 3, third to fifth sentences, applies, mutatis mutandis, as regards verification of equivalence.

Evidence of the necessary knowledge, experience and skills is furnished by taking an examination.

Arts. 13 to 16 apply to the examination, mutatis mutandis.

The necessary knowledge, experience and skills must also be documented in accordance with the second sentence if the application can only be examined by expending an unreasonable amount of time or effort because the necessary documents and evidence cannot be submitted by the applicant for reasons beyond his/her control.

(3)
The provisions concerning time limits, documents and certificates, and information according to Art. 18 Para. 4, third and fourth sentences, Para. 5, first to sixth sentences, and Para. 6 apply to the recognition procedure, mutatis mutandis.

Art. 19a

Recognition of specialty training undertaken outside the territory of the European Union (Member State), outside the other Contracting States of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA State), and outside a state granted a corresponding legal entitlement by Germany and the European Union (Contracting State) as a subspecialty title or additional training title

(1)
Article 19 Paras. 2 and 3 applies, mutatis mutandis, in cases of recognition according to Art. 2 Paras. 3 and 4.

(2)
Article 18 Para. 3, fourth sentence, No. 1 does not apply. Substantial differences exist if the duration of the documented specialty training differs substantially from the specialty training regulated in these Specialty Training Regulations.