Denmark is one of the top countries in Europe for quality of life and happiness index of the population. This comes across in how well-equipped its hospitals are, its high representation of the population in medicine, and the investment in high-quality medical schools. Denmark’s medical schools are among the best in the world, costing among the most in Europe. Here’s how to become a doctor in Denmark.
1. Become Proficient in Danish
Working in Denmark is impossible if you don’t speak Danish, and so would completing a medical degree in the country. You’ll need to be fluent in Danish and this is a pre-requisite for attending medical school, among others.
As a result, the first step to becoming a doctor in Denmark is knowledge of the language, either by studying it to proficiency level or living and studying in Denmark on one of the many immersion language programs available.
2. If possible, attend Danish medical schools
Medicine is split into a 3-year Bachelor’s degree and a 3-year Master’s degree in Medicine (Health Science). If you have the required language level and are able to secure admission at one of Denmark’s medical schools, this is the best way to learn about the culture and work environment as well.
To be admitted into Danish medical school, you need to have graduated high school-level studies and your GPA needs to be equivalent to a Danish 6.0. There are then specific subject requirements such as sciences (explained here in Danish only). You also need to provide proof that you are proficient in Danish. There are a number of Danish language qualifications you can provide to this end.
Medical school in Denmark finishes with the awarding of a degree of Cand.Med. – you can then go on to do your residency and become a doctor in Denmark.
3. Residency and Medical License
Once you graduate from medical school in Denmark, you need to do at least a one-year internship program (residency) before you can register as a medical doctor in Denmark with the Danish Patient Safety Authority.
The Authority also recognizes the medical degrees awarded outside Denmark, in the EU or in non-EU countries. The process for getting these recognized can be found here.
Once you register with the Danish Patient Safety Authority as a foreign trained doctor, you will also have a permission to work independently. Then, you can begin training to become a specialist. This means you will not be able to obtain a medical license directly from the moment your studies are recognized, except if you are looking to work as a generalist.
4. Obtaining a work visa
As a EU citizen, you’re not required to hold a work visa to be able to practice as a doctor in Denmark, but you do need to get your studies recognized and obtain Danish authorization to practice. This process involves submitting a CV, the EU diploma, its translation, a certificate of current professional status/standing from your country of origin, a certificate of completion of specialist training if you have already done this, and a certificate of conformity issued by the competent authority confirming that the training leading to your medical degree meets the standards of the Danish system.
The outcome of this application will lead to getting authorization to work independently in Denmark, without the need for an additional work visa.
The authorization process is much more complex for doctors not trained in the EU and without European citizenship. You will not only need to get authorization to practice as a doctor in Denmark and have your language skills validated, and your medical degree recognized, but you will also have to apply for a work permit. The detailed process can be found here.
5. Getting Jobs as a Doctor in Denmark
You can find healthcare jobs in Denmark online, but you’ll need to speak fluent Danish to fully navigate the adverts and all requirements at hospital level. You will find that most employers will require you to have obtained your Danish authorization to practice, a residence card (if you are not a EU citizen), and to prove that you are fluent in Danish.
6. How foreign-trained doctors can practice in Denmark
If your medical degree is from another European Union country, the process to get this recognized by Danish authorities is fairly straightforward. It does, however, still require an application the Danish Patient Safety Authority as described above. You will also need to prove your proficiency in the Danish language.
For doctors trained outside the European Union, assessing your degree can take longer and can involve additional medical tests. This is followed by a course in Danish health legislation and the potential to hold a probationary period of employment, known as employment for adaptation and training purposes.
You can find out more about this process on the official website here.
I hope that this article on how to become a doctor in Denmark was helpful.