Poland is a country in Central Europe. It is one of the most developed countries in the region, with the 5th highest GDP in the European Union. With the high-income economy, high standards of living, safety, quality of education, and economic freedom, Poland also attracts a large number of foreign working professionals from all over the world, but especially from less developed nearby countries.
One type of working professionals that Poland attracts is doctors. Poland has a number of high-quality medical schools, and many international students choose to stay and work in the country post-graduation. There are also a number of doctors who wish to work in Poland, so in today’s guide, we will briefly explain the process and requirements you need to become a medical doctor in Poland.
1. Language requirements for becoming a doctor in Poland
Polish is widely known to be a very difficult language. For beginners, it may take up to 5 years to learn it if they are outside the country. Even if someone is trying to learn the language while living in Poland, it can take him years before he becomes fully fluent.
When it comes to medical doctors, one usually doesn’t need to be fluent in Polish in order to study a medical program in the country, as there are a lot of them that are available in English. However, if someone wishes to become a medical doctor in Poland after their medical studies and pursue a career there, that person would have to pass a Polish language exam which is conducted by the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists. All graduates who completed a medical study program in English, including Polish citizens, will have to take and pass this test.
2. Study in Polish Medical Schools if Possible rather than studying at another country
If you are still deciding on where to attend medical school, and wish to become a medical doctor in Poland in the future, it would be of great help to study in the country. There are two main reasons why. First, there are loads of programs available in English, for example, the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, so you don’t need to learn the language before college. But even if your studies are in English, learning the language will be a lot easier as you will be staying in Poland, which will allow you to communicate with Polish people and more easily immerse yourself in the culture and with that, the language. This will be of great help when the time comes for you to prepare for the Polish language exam.
The second reason is that Polish universities are generally much cheaper, and there is a large international pool of students, particularly in medical schools, are internationals make up 8.5% of the medical students in the country. This means that you will be in great company.
3. Required Tests to Become a Doctor
All queries regarding obtaining a medical license in Poland should be addressed to the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists. Here, we will quickly explain how that process looks. In order to qualify for the right to practice as a medical doctor in Poland, you first need to have a medical diploma, either originally in Polish or translated to Polish. Before starting the process, you will need to pass the before-mentioned Polish Medical Language test.
4. Residency Requirements in Poland
When it comes to residence, doctors fall under highly qualified employees, which makes them eligible for the EU Blue Card, which is a special permit that allows you to work in Poland. There are 3 conditions to be eligible for the Blue Card. First, you need a medical university degree, you then need a work contract lasting for at least 12 months. Finally, your salary cannot be lower than 150% of the average salary in Poland. The work contract for 12 months is the residency requirements in Poland.
5. Getting Medical License
After you obtain a medical diploma and pass the language exam, you can start the process of obtaining a medical license. The first step in the process is to pass the LEK (Lekarski Egzamin Koncowy) or the Medical Final Exam. All of those who graduated from a Polish medical school in English are entitled to take the final exam in English. This exam is mandatory for anyone who wishes to obtain a medical license in Poland. You can apply for the LEK exam on the SMK website.
The final step is to complete a 12-month internship in your field. All of the required documents needed to apply for an internship can be viewed here. In order to commence the internship, you will need to speak fluent spoken and written Polish.
6. Procedure for foreign-trained doctors to become a doctor in Poland
In the past, obtaining a legal right to work as a medical doctor in Poland was a very lengthy process, and only 1,500 non-EU citizens have obtained. However, with growing staff shortages in hospitals, the Polish Ministry of Health is now allowing hospitals to issue certificates to any foreign doctor who speaks Polish. The doctor will then be able to work in Poland for 5 years after completing mandatory training that lasts for up to one year and passing the Doctor Verification Exam (LEW) exam.
For EU trained doctors, the process has always been easier, as they allowed to work in Poland for as long as they want if they have passed the Polish language exam and acquired a medical license.
7. Getting a Work Visa for Doctors
The process of getting a work permit in Poland can be tricky. You can easily apply for a residence permit which will allow you to stay in the country, but to be able to work, you will need the work permit. The only way you can get this permit is if your future applies for it for you, you can not apply for it yourself. There are a few exceptions to this, for example, if you are an EU citizen, or if you are the spouse or former spouse of a Polish citizen. You also do not require a permit if you are a student, or if you a participant in an educational, cultural, or development program.
Alternatively, you can apply for a temporary residence and work permit, which means that you will be in control of the application process instead of the employer. To obtain a temporary permit, you will also need to find a company willing to hire you, and they will need to prove that there are no unemployed Polish citizens who are able to do your job.
To view the documentation needed to apply for the permanent and temporary permits, go here.
8. Finding hospitals to work in Poland
Finding hospitals to work in Poland has never been easier, due to staff shortages reported by the Polish government, who are seeking qualified medical professionals from abroad to come and work in the country. If you are a fluent Polish speaker, you won’t have a hard time finding work in Poland as a doctor.
I hope that this article on how to become a doctor in Poland was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Medical School Category!