Study Medicine in Netherlands: 7 Things that You Should Know

The Netherlands is among the richest countries in the world that have developed and had progressive economies due to their efforts and achievements as a prosperous country. This is one of the reasons why the Netherlands is very popular with international students. Students from other countries wanted to experience studying in a comfortable and progressive environment where the resources and facilities are on no par with other countries. They also want to use the status of the country because staying in a richer community will open up doors of huge opportunities for them.

Among all the courses in the Netherlands that are offered to international students, medicine is the most popular. This is because many people, in general, wanted to seek a medical degree as their career path. Becoming a doctor has become their dream since when they were little and they believe that to make that dream come true, they have to find the best or a high-quality institution that will give them wisdom and will hone their skills of becoming a proper physician. However, this is not an easy process as the period of studying medicine is no joke.

So, if you happen to be one of the students who happen to have the dream of becoming a doctor, physician, dentistry, or any profession that you want in the field of medicine, studying medicine in the Netherlands should be your top choice when you decided to pursue education. You will not be disappointed and will only experience new and amazing things as you realize how abundant and modern resources are in the Netherlands. Once you started studying in the country, your dream of becoming one of those professions will be within your arms’ reach. Thus, here are some of the things you should know and some tips and reminders before going to the Netherlands and pursue medicine.

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1. What are the requirements to get accepted to the medical programs in the Netherlands?

The requirements needed to study medicine in the Netherlands is almost just like the other requirements needed to study other degree programs or courses in any university in the country. Of course, there would be a difference in the quota scores that are required for you to be admitted in the program and a certain minimum grade from your previous institution, nonetheless, other requirements are as they are.

Some of the requirements that you must prepare are your proofs of identity such as your birth certificate or your passport that will also prove your nationality, your previous educational background documents, and records along with your report card to check if you have the minimum grade required to enter the medicine program, and lastly, your other documents required for your application and admission fees. These are the necessary documents needed to study medicine. In some cases, especially if you are from a non-English speaking institution, an English language proficiency test is required, may it be either IELTS or TOEFL.

2. What is the language of instruction in the Dutch medical curriculum?

The medium of instruction of some universities in the Netherlands is their native language, Dutch, but currently, most of the universities in the Netherlands, particularly in the field of medicine, are taught with English as their language of instruction. This is because most citizens of the Netherlands are already proficient in English.

Also, this could be good not only for their internationalization programs on education but also for their tourism since most of their tourists are English speakers. In the Netherlands, an example of a university with English as the medium of instruction is the University of Amsterdam.

3. Can international students study medicine in the Netherlands?

Absolutely! Despite the few medical schools in the Netherlands, the country hospitably accepts all international students who wish to study medicine in the Netherlands. They have been nurturing and honing the skills of many international students for so long, especially those in the medical field that is why the presence of international people is no longer an uncommon sight in the country. Some universities even have international offices for students and these universities are the University of Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, etc.

4. What are the components of the medical curriculum in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, the medical curriculum has a period of six years just like other medical curricula of other countries. It might have differences in the order or arrangement of topics that will be discussed but, rest assured, they have the same coverage of lessons.

For the first three to four years of studying medicine in the Netherlands, the students will undergo theoretical studies on topics about mainly the introduction and the basics of medicine which will be complex as the years of the curriculum pass by.

Next, the following one to two years will be dedicated to clinical clerkships and duties to train them with the actual scenarios at a hospital. And the last year will be for an internship in which they will work as an additional workforce of the hospital with the guidance of a supervisor to further gain experience.

5. How many medical schools are in the Netherlands?

As have said earlier, the number of medical schools in the Netherlands is very few. Some are not even schools only dedicated to studying medicine but offer courses related to the field. In total, there are only 11 medical schools and universities offering medical courses in the Netherlands. However, it is known that the number of medical schools in the country will rise as many health crises begin to occur.

6. How difficult is it to study medicine in the Netherlands?

Relatively, compared to other universities, the difficulty of studying medicine in the Netherlands is on par with other medical schools. Having an 8.8% dropout rate for all the courses in the Netherlands, it can be assumed that it is within average like other dropout rates of other countries.

Even if you have the best quality education, the modern equipment, and highly-maintained facilities, there would still be dropouts and the reasons for these are very valid. Most of the time, the reason is that many students are overwhelmed by how advanced some lessons are or they did not prepare enough for medical school.

7. What do you need to become a doctor in the Netherlands?

Your journey of becoming a doctor does not end in your medical curriculum of 6 years. After finishing this course, if you want to become a proper doctor in the Netherlands, you will need to register and be recognized by the country’s Ministry of Health. To be recognized, you will need to pass a professional licensure exam for medicine that will prove if you are up to the country’s standards. Lastly, if you will be working in the Netherlands, learning their language, Dutch, is a must.


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