Bahrain or Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island country situated near Persian Gulf . Neighbouring countries are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This Arab Islamic country has population of 1.4 million (2015 est.). Arabic is official language but English is predominant. Bahrain is high income country, its capital Manama is financial hub making Bahrain a high Human Development Index nation.
Bahrain has universal health care system and the country has one of the ancient health centers and hospitals in the region. Bahrain has a large reserve of doctors and other skilled health care personals and is reputed to be a center of medical excellence. In Bahrain, diabetes has 5th largest prevalence in the world while like many other countries cardiovascular diseases are primary cause of death.
Health profile of Bahrain can be seen here
Life expectancy in Bahrain is high and detailed information can be found here.
Undergraduate Medical Education
School education is for 12 years in the country. There are only four medical schools in Bahrain, two of which are part of public university and other two are private:
- Public medical schools
- College of Health Sciences
- College of Medicine and Medical Sciences of Arabian Gulf University offers 6 year Doctor of Medicine undergraduate program. Which is divided into
- Basic Sciences (1st Year)
- Medical Sciences (2,3,4 year)
- Clinical Clerkship ( 5th & 6th year)
2. Private medical schools
- AMA International University
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Bahrain has both 5 year and 6 year study plan. With one foundation year and other five year of medical sciences. Graduates are awarded with MB BCh BAO degree. They also get Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (LRCSI) and the Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (LRCPI)-College of Medicine.
Entry into Bahrain medical residency training is controlled by Arab Board of Health Specialization like many other its member countries e.g. Tunisia, Syria, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Lybia, Egypt, Oman, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iraq.
Residency training can be started in any of the above mentioned country. Training centers for each specialty in all above mentioned member countries can be found here. List of documents required for application can be found below in documentation section. For entry process kindly read under Process heading.
Apart from this in doctors can also take prestigious three year postgraduate Family Practice Residency Program (F.P.R.P) in family medicine at American University of Beirut. This program is recognized by The Arab Board Council for Family & Community Medicine and affiliated with The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP). It is strongly supported by Ministry of Health Bahrain.
Foreign medical graduates can work in Bahrain after getting registration certificate or license from National Health Regulatory Authority of Bahrain. For registration process see below under process heading.
1. For Residency
- Arabic language knowledge
- Bachelor’s degree in medicine from the recognized University of Council’s member country
- Registration in the Ministry of Health or its substitute in the Arab countries and proof that applicant has right to practice the medicine in his country (license/registration certificate)
- Internship certificate
- Join in/register at training center recognized by the Scientific Council as a resident doctor
- Any additional condition required by the Council.
2. For Registration/License
Foreign medical graduates must fill application with all required list of documents mentioned below in documentation section and should apply to National Health Regulatory Authority of Bahrain. Detailed process is mentioned below under Process heading.
1. For Bahrain medical Residency training
- Register into center for Bahrain medical residency training (here u can find your center for your chosen specialty)
- Once center issues acceptance letter for your training into the program
- Fill the registration form and attach documents mentioned below with it in the Documentation section. Pay the fee and send it to Arab Board at the address mentioned application form.
- After that you will be required to sit for part 1 examination of training which is usually after one year of registration with the Arab Board. If you pass your first exam then you will be required to sit for part 2 exam at the end of your training.
2. For License/Registration
- Apply for job in Bahrain and get an offer letter
- Fill out application form (See documentation section) and submit it with the required documents to the NHRA Licensure and Registration Office by mail or in person at National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) P.O. Box 11464, Manama, Bahrain
- You will get an application number from NHRA by phone, email or post, after documents have been received by NHRA.
- Once all verification forms have been received by the NHRA, directly from source and in sealed envelopes, the relevant Licensure Committee will review your file and make a decision regarding your application.
- You will receive notification about your license approval or rejection from the NHRA either by phone, email or post. You will be informed if you are required to pass the Licensure Exam.
- If newly graduated and didn’t practice before you need to provide just. Request for certification of professional education form
- If approved and or passed or being exempted from the Licensure Exam, get a work permit from your prospective employer, get pre-employment medical examination certificate from Al Razi Health Centre and C.P.R. and submit these documents to the NHRA.
- After receiving notification, pay license fee at office of Directorate of Finance at the Ministry of Health.
- Bring your receipt to the NHRA, and you can pick up your license.
1. Bahrain medical Residency Examinations
Bahrain medical Residency training has three examination for doctors in training.
- Part 1 initial written examination: It is first written examination which can be answered both in Arabic and English. Usually conducted twice a year i.e. in April and May. should be passed within 2 years of registration in maximum three attempts.
- Part 2 final written examination: It is second written examination held at the end of residency training. Conducted once/year in maximum attempts.
- Part 3 Oral and Clinical exam (OSCE): It is oral structured clinical exam which is conducted twice a year and doctors should pass it within 5 years of written examination with maximum four attempts.
Foreign specialist doctors who want to practice in Bahrain or want to get registered with Arab Board of Health Specialization to practice in their field in any member state can be exempted from part 1 written examination and Bahrain medical residency/specialty training if their documents are approved. But they will be required to sit for Part 2 Final written examination and Part 3 OSCE Exam.
2. License/Registration Examination
Bahrain Medical Licensing Examination (BMLE)
Consist of two components
- Written component: Consists of further 2 papers
- Paper 1 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs): Consists of 100 questions with single possible answer correct. Based on clinical knowledge
- Paper 2 Patient Management problems: Consists of 10-15 clinical scenario questions followed by 3-5 options
Score distribution is Internal medicine 25 %, Surgery 20 %, Pediatrics 20 %, Obs&Gyn 15 %, Family Medicine 10 %, Miscellaneous 10 % (Eye, ENT, Skin, Psychiatry).
2. Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
In this part 20 clinical stations with ECGs, Dummies, simulated patients, photos, lab reports, X-rays etc will be there and usually physical examination, history taking, problem solving, medical emergencies and knowledge application will be assessed
Date of examination and exemption information can be obtained from National Health Regulatory Authority.
Detailed fee information about Residency training, examination from Arab Board can be found here
While License/registration and renewal fee is BD 30 or USD 80.
Average 1800 BHD or 4500 USD/month for general physician in Bahrain
1. For Bahrain medical Residency application
- Application form
- A formal letter indicating acceptance into Bahrain medical residency training program in a hospital recognized by the Arab Council for Health indicating the start of your training date and duration of training.
- Certified photocopies of bachelor’s degree or any other certificates
- Passport/id card photocopy
- Photocopy of Internship certificate
- 4 passport size color photos
- Registration fee of 150 US dollars in addition US $ 300 annual fee Training
Send all documents to General secretary of Arab Health Council by courier or by submit by hand. For initial assessment.to Al Harash Street 7669 Al mezzeh damascus Syria Phone. No. 00963116119740, 00963116119741 Fax No. 00963116119259, 00963116119739. Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org
2. For License/registration
- Filled Application form for license to practice in Bahrain
- CPR/Smart Card (can be submitted after arrival in Bahrain)
- Passport Copy
- 1 passport size photograph
- Statutory evidence of any name change
- Health fitness certificate (also can be submitted after arrival in Bahrain)
- Prospective employer letter (employment offer letter in Bahrain)
- Professional education certificates
- Full transcript record/mark sheet of professional education
- Registration/license in another country (if licensed anywhere else)
- completely filled and signed following forms:
- 2 reference enquiry on Professional Practice form (to be filled from direct supervisors- Form No. 2),
- College/University form which is Request for certification of professional education form (to be filled by principal / registrar/ chief administrative officer of graduated university/college Form No. 3),
- Request for verification of registration” form. Must be sent from every registration council/authority where you are or have been registered/licensed in the last five years (Form No. 4)
13. Any other relevant documents
Submit these documents to Licensing and Registration Office, National Health Regulatory Authority, PO Box 11464, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. Telephone +973 17 279 899 Fax +973 17 232 614.
If you studied from GCC country you need to provide your license and reference enquiry on Professional practice form (form No. 2) only
Postgraduate Medical Education
College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University offers few masters courses in laboratory medicine, health professions education and health policy.
For local and foreigner students :
RCSI offer 2 types of postgraduate courses :
1. Higher degree by research including doctoral degrees (3- 4 year PhD, 2-year MD), Masters in Surgery (1-year MCh) and Masters in Science by Research (1-year MSc).
2. Taught Masters courses – For people employed within particular healthcare professions and are usually completed part-time over two years
Ministry of Health also organizes conferences and seminars for doctors and health professionals which help them for continuous professional development and education.