How to Become a Medical Doctor in Austria (9 Steps)

The steps of becoming a doctor in Austria can be difficult, but it is doable. In this article, we will go over things that might help if you want to become a doctor in Austria.

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1. Why Be a Doctor In Austria?

Austria is a beautiful landlocked country in Central Europe, famous for being home to some of the world’s most famous musicians such as Mozart and Beethoven, who spent most of their life in the country’s capital – Wien. Due to the stunning mountain terrain, Austria is also a top destination for winter sports and tourism.

Austrian art and culture are very well known around the world, and many foreigners decide to move to the country and start a new life in one of the most beautiful countries on Earth, both in terms of the natural beauty, as well as the very developed economy and high standards of living. Austria is an important member of the European Union and other important world organizations.

In addition, being a doctor in Austria can be helpful if you want to move to other countries. You can basically move into any country in the EU, pass tests, and become a doctor there because Austria is part of the EU.

2. Learning German

The official language in Austria is German. Generally speaking, the German language that is spoken in Austria is exactly the same as the one spoken in Germany, with a few differences in certain words and pronunciation. Learning German can be a challenging task, even for people who are native English speakers, and requires months, if not years of dedication and practice to fully master it. However, thanks to it being a very important language in the world, there are many resources to learn it, and you can do so without even going to Germany or Austria, and attend German classes in your home country instead.

If you want to become a medical doctor in Austria, your level of German will, of course, need to be of a certain level so you can communicate with your colleagues and patients. To prove your proficiency in the language, you will either need to have completed medical training in a German-speaking country or worked as a German-speaking health professional for at least 3 years. If you don’t meet those requirements, you will need to pass a German language test which is held by the Austrian Medical Chamber.

3. Study Medicine in Austria if possible

Austria has historically had some of the world’s most recognized universities, and starting your medical education there will set you on the right track to becoming a medical doctor in Austria. This will allow you to get better at the language, immerse yourself in the culture, and make your life a lot easier when the time for getting a medical license comes.

That being said, medical degrees are among the most sought after in Austria, which means that there are yearly quotas for how many students can be accepted in each University. You will also need to pass an entrance exam, which is different depending on the medical field you are applying for. Your level of German needs to be at least at a C1 level to attend most medical programs in Austria, which means that you will have to learn it before applying, probably throughout high school. The duration of medical education in Austria is the same as in most other countries – 6 years.

Learn how to study medicine in Austria by reading this article.

4. Pass the Required Language and Medical Tests

Thanks to Austria’s global political outlook, becoming a doctor in Austria is not as difficult as in some other countries, especially those outside the EU. However, there are still some requirements before you can register with the Austrian Medical Chamber. First, you will need to be either an EU/EEA resident, or have a residence visa. You then need proof of good character and fitness (health) to practice, as well as demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the German language. I

f you haven’t completed your medical training in a German-speaking region, you will probably have to go through a Language test first, before being accepted for the final exam by the Austrian Medical Chamber. For graduates of non-EEA medical programs, they will also have to prove that their training is of the same standards as the one in Austria. This is done by applying for recognition of the degree with the Commission for the Accreditation of foreign training.

5. Complete your residency

All medical graduates are required to finish a 3 or 6-year residency or “Turnus” after the completion of their studies. This can be done at a university hospital or a medical facility that possesses a teaching license. The 3-year residency grants you the ability to work as a medical doctor in Austria, while the 6-year residency is reserved for aspiring specialists.

6. Getting Medical License in Austria

After fulfilling all of the before-mentioned requirements, future doctors are admitted to the final exam that is mandatory for all doctors to take before becoming medically licensed in Austria. Given that you already completed training and 3 years of residency, the exam shouldn’t be very difficult to pass. The final exam is different for specialists. After you pass the final exam, you will become licensed to work in Austria as a doctor, and you can start working as soon as you find employment or start your private practice.

7. Getting a Work Visa

Medical professionals fall under “Very Highly Qualified Workers” in Austria, and have two options when getting a work visa for the country. They can enter Austria on a job seeker visa, and if they find employment within the assigned time frame, they can apply for a Red-White-Red Card, which grants them permission to work in the country. If the candidate has already found employment in an Austrian hospital, they can apply for a Red-White-Red card directly with the Austrian consulate in their country. All potential candidates need to be licensed to practice medicine before they can start working in Austria as a medical doctor.

8. Finding hospitals to work in Austria

The best resource for finding employment in an Austrian hospital is this website. There are a lot of positions available all over the country, and finding a job shouldn’t be difficult at all, especially considering the fact that medical professionals are considered to be “in shortage” in Austria. You can also apply directly to a hospital that you would want to work for.

The majority of the Austrian population gets their healthcare at private practices, so the demand for private practitioners is certainly high. Starting your own practice, thus, maybe the best choice when working in Austria, and you can do so by proving that you have a clean record and that you are in good health and able to practice.

9. Procedure for foreign-trained doctors to become a doctor in Austria

Foreign-trained doctors who want to start working in Austria should start seeking employment in an Austrian hospital. After they secure employment, the next step is to apply for a work visa. However, you can’t start working before obtaining an Austrian medical license first.

Foreign-trained doctors who have completed their medical training in an EU/EEA country can immediately apply for a medical license in Austria, considering that they have the necessary knowledge of the German language to do so. If they do, they can take the final exam by the Austrian Medical Chamber before being granted a license to become a medical doctor in Austria. Graduates from outside the EEA zone will additionally need to prove that their foreign training is of the same standard as Austrian medical programs, before completing all the other steps.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.