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To work as a doctor in another EU country, you must apply to the authority that oversees the doctor profession in that country, providing proof of your qualifications. The authority must:

  • acknowledge your application within 1 month of receiving it, and ask you missing but necessary documents to process the application
  • assess your qualifications and decide whether to grant your application within 3 months (or 4 months for certain complicated cases in the area of non automatic recognition)

If you do not accept their decision, you can appeal to the relevant court in that country. As to the type of documents an authority may ask, please see also the Code of conductpdf Choose translations of the previous link 

Which qualifications are recognised?

Automatic recognition

Basic medical training and general practitioner qualifications

Basic medical training and general practitioner training are automatically recognised throughout the EU, entitling you to work in any EU country, if they are listed in respectively Annex V, points 5.1.1 and 5.1.4 of the Directive 2005/36/EC, which are conform to Art. 24 or 28 of the Directive, or benefit from acquired rights (Art. 23 and 30 of the Directive).

Specialist doctors’ qualifications

Some specialist doctors’ qualifications are automatically recognised in certain EU countries. These are listed in:

  • Annexes V, point 5.1 of the Directive on recognition of professional qualifications

All of the countries listed for each given field will automatically recognise each others’ qualifications in that field.

Non-automatic recognition

Even if your qualification does not meet the automatic criteria for recognition, it may still be recognised in another EU country, under the general system for recognition of qualifications. See article 10 to 15 of the Directive.

If there are major differences between the qualifications you have from your home country and the qualifications required to work in the EU country where you want to work, you may be asked to:

  • sit an aptitude test to check that you have the skills required in your chosen country
  • complete an adaptation period

Links – detailed rules

  • Directive on recognition of professional qualifications (2005/36/EC)
  • Automatically recognised qualifications – recent additions