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Old 15.04.2014, 22:43
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Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Hello,

I am an Australian trained doctor and recently married a Swiss man.

I would like to work it Switzerland but am having difficulty understanding exactly what i must do to be able to work here.
As i understand it i must either make a masters in medicine from a swiss uni or work for 3 years under supervision.
I am happy to do either. Unfortunately the universities say they have no places to take foreign doctors for a masters. Also it seems it is difficult to find a job where one can work under supervision as the employer must prove that they cannot fill the position with someone trained in the EU.
Does anyone have any advice about finding a supervised hospital job as a doctor or general advice about having medical qualifications recognised?

Many thanks if you can help!
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Old 15.04.2014, 22:44
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Getting equivalence for your qualifications will not happen unless you can speak the local language fluently. Best get in touch with the local medical school for help with this. There is a huge shortage of GPs at the moment in rural Switzerland- so indicating you intend to go in General Practice would seriously help- but fluent German would be essential, and even Swiss German in rural area. There are too many foreign specialists in large urban areas like Zurich or Geneva- just depends on speciality.

Last edited by Odile; 15.04.2014 at 23:10.
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Old 16.04.2014, 06:42
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

You can look here on the BAG.admin website for the info on the qualification process.

Good luck!
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Old 16.04.2014, 08:11
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Recognition of health care qualifications is handled by the Swiss Red Cross.

http://www.sbfi.admin.ch/diploma/017...x.html?lang=en

However as Odile says you'll need to be fluent in at least German to even have a chance of employment.

Unfortunately, the study of medicine is restricted here.

3. Study Programmes

The number of university graduates continues to rise each year in Switzerland. Nevertheless, all study programmes have remained open to students having a valid maturity certificate or other certificate qualifying for university entrance (see section 5).
Exceptions are study programmes in medicine (human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine) and chiropractic as well as in human movement and sports sciences. There may be entrance examinations to the study programmes in medicine and partly in human movement and sports sciences depending on the number of applicants for admission in any given year. The limited number of openings is the reason why international students, apart from some special cases, are not admitted to the study programmes in medicine.

http://www.crus.ch/information-progr...rland.html?L=2

It seems that until you've been married for 5 years you won't be accepted to study at the universities.

d. strangers domiciled in Switzerland who are married to a Swiss national or whose spouse is established in Switzerland for at least five years or in possession of a Swiss work permit for at least five years;

http://www.crus.ch/information-progr...ngers.html?L=1

But my French isn't that good so hopefully someone will have a better translation if my supposition is wrong.
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Old 16.04.2014, 08:13
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

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it seems it is difficult to find a job where one can work under supervision as the employer must prove that they cannot fill the position with someone trained in the EU.
Or is married to a Swiss or EU person.

Tom
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Old 16.04.2014, 08:17
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

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It seems that until you've been married for 5 years you won't be accepted to study at the universities.

d. strangers domiciled in Switzerland who are married to a Swiss national or whose spouse is established in Switzerland for at least five years or in possession of a Swiss work permit for at least five years;

http://www.crus.ch/information-progr...ngers.html?L=1

But my French isn't that good so hopefully someone will have a better translation if my supposition is wrong.
You read it wrong, it's "married to a Swiss OR married to someone who has been resident for at least five years".

Tom
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Old 16.04.2014, 10:29
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

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Hello,

I am an Australian trained doctor and recently married a Swiss man.

I would like to work it Switzerland but am having difficulty understanding exactly what i must do to be able to work here.
As i understand it i must either make a masters in medicine from a swiss uni or work for 3 years under supervision.
I am happy to do either. Unfortunately the universities say they have no places to take foreign doctors for a masters. Also it seems it is difficult to find a job where one can work under supervision as the employer must prove that they cannot fill the position with someone trained in the EU.
Does anyone have any advice about finding a supervised hospital job as a doctor or general advice about having medical qualifications recognised?

Many thanks if you can help!
Would it be possible to get your qualification to get recognized in
the UK and then come here?

What are your current language capabilities?
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Old 18.04.2014, 15:22
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Thank you so much everyone for the advice!

I should look into this more if i have equal right to apply for a job as an EU trained person since i am married with a Swiss national. Otherwise sitting the English PLANB exam might give me equal standing as someone who trained in the EU?

I am currently doing an intensive German course because i think i must reach B2 level before i can work in Switzerland.

Thanks again for all your help and Happy Easter everyone!
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Old 18.04.2014, 16:48
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Not sure about the legal side, but as a patient I'd rather my doctor had C1 level. Make sure you find someone with medical knowledge to top up your course, as medical communication is quite different, as you are well aware, to business or normal everyday converstation. Good luck.
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Old 07.10.2016, 14:46
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Hi Amie,
I stumbled across this thread. I am also in the same situation and was wondering what the outcome was for you. I am an Australian paediatrician who married a swiss lady and now I am improving my German and was hoping to work here also.

Any tips? I know you have to be B2 level german as per the HFM website.

Thanks in Advance,
Darren
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Old 07.10.2016, 15:07
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

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Hi Amie,
I stumbled across this thread. I am also in the same situation and was wondering what the outcome was for you. I am an Australian paediatrician who married a swiss lady and now I am improving my German and was hoping to work here also.

Any tips? I know you have to be B2 level german as per the HFM website.

Thanks in Advance,
Darren
You also need to get your qualifications recognised. I think this is the organisation to contact.

You are a doctor, dentist, veterinarian, pharmacist or chiropractor and would like to work in Switzerland?

Contact:

Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)
MEBEKO
CH-3003 Bern
T +41 31 322 94 83
www.bag.admin.ch
MEBEKO-Ausbildung@bag.admin.ch
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Old 07.10.2016, 22:14
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Here's a recent thread from another non-EU that has been trying to get his qualifications recognized.

https://www.englishforum.ch/educatio...eu-degree.html

I think those wanting to work in the medical profession here need to be honest with themselves, and realistic with expectations when it comes to language skills.

The majority of patients in the German-speaking areas are going to speak Swiss German dialect. The majority of nurses and staff as well. They of course will all understand High German but medicine is complex, and one needs to be able to understand and be understood to avoid costly mistakes.
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Old 08.10.2016, 18:21
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

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Hi Amie,
I stumbled across this thread. I am also in the same situation and was wondering what the outcome was for you. I am an Australian paediatrician who married a swiss lady and now I am improving my German and was hoping to work here also.

Any tips? I know you have to be B2 level german as per the HFM website.

Thanks in Advance,
Darren
B2 is just for registration but to work in German you will need at least C1 (to be able to do an interview and also because only in C1 level do you learn the correct grammar for writing formally).
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Old 27.05.2017, 21:13
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Hi guys

I thought I would jump on the band wagon on this conversation. I am a British doctor struggling to get through with the language here. I have been working here for 2 years now and finding every day a battle with the language. It gets easier and now Swiss German is understandable but it's taken time and commitment. What is hard unfortunately is the active... the letter writing.. breaking bad news... trying to explain MS to a newly diagnosed patient. What is ironic is I actually was one of the best doctors at communication in England. I was always sent to difficult cases, anxious families, anxious patients as I was good at talking and explaining everything well... here I feel like I have a sock in my mouth. It's hard and it takes guts and commitment. It depends what you guys want to do. Personally I would do anything to work back in English. I have also a simular situation...with a Swiss guy, daughter... bla bla.. but all I can advice is really think before you come here with the language. Can you REALLY work in another language. As a doctor. That's my only advice. I agree with the comments earlier.. C1 is essential.. also for you and your confidence. I am B2 level and feel every day useless because of the lack of my language skills...

But once you've cracked it.. it's a great place to live and bring up a family...

Good luck :-)

Last edited by 3Wishes; 13.06.2017 at 11:41. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 27.05.2017, 21:35
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Good post- shame you are not trying to learn French, OH and me could have helped (he is retired GP/trainer (UCH 69) from UK who is C1+ and I am a native French speaker) - I am glad you acknowledge that language is very important when communicating complex medical situations, with patients and families- and respond to the fears and all questions. Not easy in your own language, so ....
Bonne chance.
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Old 28.05.2017, 10:31
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

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Hi guys

I am B2 level and feel every day useless because of the lack of my language skills...
You are really brave! Don't belittle yourself - you seem to do really well and it is most likely yourself who puts yourself down ;-) You don't meet the standards you know you have in your native language and despair. But have you ever had weird reaction from patients and families because of the awkward wording? It seems not. Speaking is one thing - being open to feelings of others and being able to project your own feelings is very important. I have the feeling that you are good at that!

I have to speak English at many parent - teacher meetings and I have Proficiency C2. For most of those parents, English his a second or third language, too.

I do not have to handle life - and - death situations, but sometimes I have to tell parents facts - about school and how their child acts - they will not really like and we have to discuss them thoroughly and sometimes we don't find a satisfactory solution in one sitting.

But making them feel welcomed and appreciated as parents of a precious child you also like and want to help is a thing you don't really put in wording, but you project it in unspoken ways who are pretty well perceived by humankind.

Do realize that you are already doing that! You would have not survived in a hospital surrounding with out instinctively handling it that way!
More words and smoother sentences will follow. But the unspoken language is the most powerful anyway. For good or for worse.

Love your guts.
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Old 29.05.2017, 16:01
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Thanks guys!

Nice to know I am not alone! :-)
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Old 23.04.2019, 22:21
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Hi . I m currently studying mbbs in belarus . In my free time i m learning german too. i wanted to do my internship in zurich n thn continue to work there but can sm1 suggest whether its a gd choice n i wanna know will i be able to earn n study fr my pg simultaneously after my internship ?
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Old 24.04.2019, 01:13
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

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Hi . I m currently studying mbbs in belarus . In my free time i m learning german too. i wanted to do my internship in zurich n thn continue to work there but can sm1 suggest whether its a gd choice n i wanna know will i be able to earn n study fr my pg simultaneously after my internship ?
Welcome! And great that you're working on learning German.

The forum user Drremobond007 has put together a very detailed thread, setting out, step-by-step, what would need to be achieved by a doctor wanting to work in Switzerland. It is an amazing resource, and I'd like to encourage you to work through it.

See here https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...citizen-3.html
Drremobond's step-by-step guide from Post 41 onwards.

Last edited by doropfiz; 24.04.2019 at 02:00.
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Old 24.04.2019, 07:26
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Re: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

With your indistinguishable writing, looks like medicine is the perfect job for you.
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