62 Comments on Switzerland



switzerland medical residency flagSwitzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation is a central European country. It borders Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. At European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association and is a member of the Schengen area, but not of the European Union or the European Economic Area. There are  four national languages spoken in the country; German (64.9% speakers), French (22.6% speakers), Italian (8.3% speakers ). English is frequently and increasingly used in work and administration. Population is 9 million (2015 est.). Zurich and Geneva are two major economic centers and global cities while Bern is capital of Switzerland.

Switzerland has one of the best health care system in the world. Life expectancy at birth is 82.1 year. Unlike many other European countries, Swiss healthcare system is not tax based or financed by employers but is paid for by the individual through contributions into health insurance schemes. The system is universal but it is administered by individual cantons.

More health statistics can bee seen here

WHO Health profile of Belgiu

Undergraduate Medical Education

Undergraduate medical education starts after 9 years of school education (detailed structure of education in Switzerland )

Switzerland has 7 universities and medical schools. Medical studies in the country are available either in French or in German. Some of the popular universities are:

In addition, two other universities also allow undergraduate medical studies in Faculty of Science:

  • Neuchâtel : first year in French
  • Fribourg : first and second year in French and German

Medical studies in Switzerland are organized in 3 cycles:

  • 1st cycle: bachelor:3 years
  • 2nd cycle: master: 3 years
  • 3rd cycle: postgraduate training/specialty

Entry into German and Fribourg medical faculties for local and foreign students requires passing a competitive exam called “test d’aptitude pour les études en médécine” which is conducted by The Center for Test Development and Diagnostics (CTD) (associated with the Department of Psychology at the University of Freiburg) on behalf of Swiss University Conference called “le Conseil des hautes écoles de la Conférence suisse des hautes écoles (CSHE)”.

Entry into French medical faculties for local and foreign students who meet eligibility criteria require having certificate called Matura (maturité gymnasiale) and other documents (see below documentation section).

Switzerland Medical Residency

1. Graduate candidates of Switzerland

At the end of master in medicine, medical student should pass the Federal medical examination in human medicine ( l’examen fédéral en médécine humaine) to get the federal doctor degree which is organized by Federal office of Public Health, this exam is essential to start Switzerland medical residency training.

2. Graduate candidates from other EU/EFTA countries

To do the postgraduate training, EU and EFTA graduate medical student should apply for recognition of diploma by the Federal Office of Public Health

There is 2 kind of recognition of diploma :

  • Direct recognition : for the diploma which was awarded in a State/country which has signed corresponding agreement with Switzerland.
  • Indirect recognition : diplomas awarded in a third country and recognized by a State which has signed the corresponding agreement with Switzerland.

3. Graduate candidate from outside EU / EFTA countries

Switzerland doesn’t recognize diploma of these candidates, however there is possibility to apply and get federal diploma which will allow them do the Switzerland medical residency training. The candidates should submit an application form along with required documents to sit for the Federal medical examination in human medicine ( l’examen fédéral en médécine humaine

More Information about Switzerland medical residency / postgraduate training and here.


1. For Swiss medical graduates

The postgraduate training is essential to practice medicine in Switzerland which lead to postgraduate qualification in specialized medicine.

2. For EU/EFTA medical graduates

Non Swiss medical graduates from EU/EFTA countries in order to practice medicine in Switzerland require the recognition of their medical education diploma/degree with the 2 kind of recognition process (direct and indirect discussed above).

3. For medical graduates from outside EU/EFTA countries

Foreign medical graduate can get registration but they will work as assistant physician if they meet all requirement. (see below documentation section)

Foreign doctors should have specialist qualification (with appropriate postgraduate training) to work in Switzerland independently only after getting Federal postgraduate title by The Commission on Medical Professions (MEBEKO) which sets the conditions for obtaining federal corresponding title after contacting the concerned organizations responsible for postgraduate training sector.

After getting the required qualification, doctors register MedReg to practice medical profession in Switzerland (can find here registration to medical profession).


1. For medical student wishing to enroll in basic medical education program

For local students (according to faculty of medicine of Genève and French medical faculties)

Swiss national candidates must hold one of the following diplomas / titles:

  • Maturity gymnasial certificate
  • Swiss maturity certificate
  • Degree from a HES
  • Cantonal maturity certificate recognized throughout Switzerland 
  • Swiss professional maturity certificate completed by a certificate of additional tests 
  • Equivalent degree.

Candidates of foreign nationality

  • Citizens and nationals of Liechtenstein
  • Established foreigners in Switzerland or Liechtenstein
  • Foreigners domiciled in Switzerland
  • Whose parents are established in Switzerland
  • Whose parents, domiciled in Switzerland, are nationals of an EU Member State (EU), provided they are under 21 or are dependents
  • Who are married to a citizen or a Swiss national or whose spouse is either drawn-e in Switzerland for at least five years, be in possession of a Swiss work permit for at least five years
  • In possession of a Swiss work permit for at least five years or whose parents are in possession of a Swiss work permit for at least five years
  • Who have a Swiss maturity certificate or a cantonal certificate recognized maturity throughout Switzerland or a Swiss certificate of maturity with the certificate of additional tests
  • Who have obtained a Bachelor of a Swiss University, after completing the entire university.
  • Foreigners whose parents are diplomat in Switzerland
  • Refugee recognized by Switzerland
  • Foreigners licensed G for at least five years without interruption, or whose parents are licensed G for at least five years without interruption

Eligibility according German and Fribourg medical school

2. Eligibility to practice medicine in Switzerland

  • Hold a title accepted in Switzerland
  • Having the exercise of civil rights
  • Not convicted of crime
  • Be physically and mentally fit
  • Have liability insurance

3. Eligibility for Switzerland medical residency training

If he/she doesn’t possess it he/she should sit for the Federal medical examination in human medicine ( l’examen fédéral en médécine humaine)


1. Procedure to study medicine (according to faculty of medicine of Genève)

Detailed procedure for admission into University of Geneva can be found here  and here

2. Procedure for entry into Switzerland medical residency training

Foreign medical graduates can enter into residency training but they are required to for the Federal medical examination in human medicine ( l’examen fédéral en médécine humaine) (see below examination and documentation section)

Local medical graduates after getting the federal diploma, The Federal Council, after consulting the Commission of the medical professions, sets the duration of postgraduate training for different titles corresponding postgraduate academic medical professions. Rather than fixing the duration, it can determine the extent of the training required including setting the number of required postgraduate education credits.

3. Procedure for licence

Foreign medical graduates who haven’t completed their residency training they can get registration in Switzerland but can work only as assistant doctors at first. later on with experience if they pass exam they can work as general practitioners. (see below documentation section)

To get license to practice medicine in Switzerland doctors should have already completed residency training abroad and should hold title of specialist. After getting registered doctor should MedReg.

License of academic medical profession is issued by the cantons, the registry assists them by giving them the means to easily access data from such professions.

For more information they can contact  medreg@bag.admin.ch


1. For Switzerland medical residency training for medical graduates outside EU/EFTA countries

  • Fill the application form for obtaining federal diploma
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of nationality (passport copy)
  • Copy of diploma and official translation in French, German, Italian or English
  • List of exams passed during studies (transcript) and official translation
  • If available, evidence of professional experience abroad and official translation in French, German, Italian or English
  • If available, proof of professional experience in Switzerland. Necessary information:
  • beginning and end of the activity; 2) function; 3) Occupancy rate

2.  For License/registration of doctors outside EU/EFTA Countries

  • Fill the application form for authorization to practice
  • Original or certified copy of the medical degree (French translation if in a foreign language)
  • Original a recent criminal record in the country of origin (if less than 6 months in Switzerland) and Swiss (not older than 6 months)
  • Medical certificate attesting to the physical and mental fitness to practice
  • Recent curriculum vitae
  • Detailed plan of training
  • Certificate of good knowledge of French (B2 level required)

3. For direct and indirect recognition of diploma of medical graduation from EU/EFTA countries

  • Application form for direct recognition of diploma and Application form for indirect recognition of diploma
  • Certified copy of passport or identity card
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Certified copy of (the) degree(s) in the original language
  • Original or certified copy of the official translation of (the) degree(s), if the original was not issued in French, German, Italian or English
  • Certified copy of any certificates accompanying the diploma in the original language
  • Original or certified copy of the official translation of (the) certificate (s) complementary, if the original was not issued in French, German, Italian or English
  • Proof of mastering one of the official languages of Switzerland (French, German, Italian)
  • Maturity in the corresponding language, language certificates (at least B2 according to the CEFR), professional activities in the one of the linguistic regions

4. For recognition of postgraduate diploma from EU/EFTA countries (for licence and registration)

  • Application form for direct recognition of postgraduate title and Application form indirect recognition of postgraduate diploma
  • Certified copy of passport or identity card
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Certified copy of postgraduate medical degree
  • Original or certified copy of the translation of the postgraduate degree, if the original was not issued in French, German, Italian or English
  • Certified copy of the certificate of compliance with the European Directive issued by the competent authorities
  • Original or certified copy of the official translation of complementary certificates if the original was not issued in French, German, Italian or English


Federal medical examination is organized by Federal Office of Public Health and is composed of:

  • Theoretical part including all spectrum of knowledge; multiple choice questions in two parts
  • Clinical skills test: This is an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) exam.

Guidelines and pattern of examination and content of examination


Fee of federal medical examination is organized by the Medical commission


Average salary is 120000/160000 euro / year


For jobs check here.

Postgraduate Medical Education

After getting a postgraduate training, doctor can do continuous training which is  essential to practice the medical profession competently. Continuous training which organized by Swiss Medical Association an improve the research, medical knowledge and practice of doctors.

Postgraduate education in forms of masters, PhD and other courses are offered by universities in Switzerland


Faculty of medicine of Genève

Office of Federal Public Health

University hospital Genève

Commission of the medical professions

62 thoughts on “Switzerland

    1. Junaid Khan

      Since u studied outside EU/EFTA countries so u should apply and get federal diploma by passing the federal medical examination (details are given in the post above) also contact federal office of public health for more information

    1. Junaid Khan

      you should appy to get Federal postgraduate title , contact Federal Office of Public Health. you should send an application to “La Commission des professions médicales (MEBEKO),” at address Office fédéral de la santé publique
      MEBEKO, Section “formation postgrade”
      3003 Berne
      or email them

  1. Jahid Hasan

    Please write on India, Singapore, Malaysia, Oman, Dubai, Abu-dhabi, Qatar… By the way doing a great job!! Legendary work 🙂

  2. Pingback: Germany Medical Residency Database - MRD

  3. Carlos

    Hello, I am a non-EU citizen but I am studying and will graduate from a medical school in Hungary. What would be the case for me, can I apply via the direct pathway? Thank you

  4. Wajiha Ansari

    I have done bachelors in medicine and surgery from Pakistan. I would like to know if I can directly send my application and required documents to Berne address provided here for postgraduate studies in Switzerland. Moreover, I want to ask why are the QCM topics given in English in the ‘content of examination’ file given above ?


  5. Esther Olom

    Please am a Nigerian who finished ug from Uganda and want to do my internship in Switzerland, what do i do and were do I start from?

  6. ali makke

    I am a Lebanese citizen studying medicine (4-MD program) in Poland in the Medical University of Lodz. I will graduate in June 2019 and I want to do my specialty in Switzerland. Please may I know what are the requirements to do so? Thank you.

    1. Junaid Khan

      your qualification from poland is acceptable in Switzerland you will fall under direct recognition of qualification. So please read that section.

  7. Jana

    I graduated from Sri Lanka (MBBS)
    How can I get registration in Switzerland ?
    Please guide me.
    Thanks in advance

  8. Dr. Hemant Mourya

    I am an Indian by nationality and acquired MBBS,MD degree from European country(Russia).
    What do I have to do to get into post graduation training in Switzerland.
    Do I will be eligible as EU/EFTA in an indirect diploma?
    Kindly revert back soon.
    Thanking you.

  9. Mery

    Hello, what if i have a non EU dioloma
    RecogniZed in an EU country, where i work as an cardiac surgery assistant
    Already for 2 years? What is necessary to do?

    1. Junaid Khan

      first get the license for that country where you are currently working in. Then apply to switzerland medical council for registration

  10. Jose Soares

    I have a 6 year medical degree from prague, so EU, do I need to sit for any exam when applying for specialty training in Switzerland?
    Thank you.

  11. Ahmed Elsayed

    Thanks dr. Junaid Khan for ur precious information, I am graduated from Egypt, worked as gp for 4 yrs and Emergency medicine for 5 yrs can I work in Switzerland as an assistant doctor by the way I got A2 level in german language.

    1. Junaid Khan

      You need to get atleast B2 level before applying there. Yes you can work there but you will first need to sit there for an exam. Details of which are already in the post

  12. Nabil Khan

    I have done my MBBS from Kenya from University of Nairobi (English) and I am a licensed GP in Kenya (no specialization yet).
    I have an EU spouse (Spanish) and I am currently in the process of converting my degree/title to be recognized by Spain. I will also be eligible for European Residency based on my spouse.
    My question is, if Spain recognizes my degree (MBBS), this can then be recognized by Switzerland too through the indirect route, yes? In this case, I understand I do not have to sit the medical exam as my title will be recognized (via the indirect route? I am also studying French and German and will reach B2 competency in some months.
    Once the title is recognized in Switzerland, what is the pathway to residency? Is it based on a competitive exam or you apply to Hospitals based on vacancy announcements and areas of interest? Can I then work as a GP or assistant physician while awaiting a residency? My areas of interest are Surgery, specifically Cardiothoracic Surgery and Interventional Cardiology. Can you guide me to any relevant links or forums or websites where I could know how the residency pathway for these areas is?
    Many questions, I apologize, but I would really appreciate any feedback on this matter. Thanks in advance, and kudos to you for the great job you are doing with this website!

  13. saima ahmed

    I have a postgraduate degree from bhopal in general surgery and would like to do a job in switzerland can i work there

    1. Junaid Khan

      hi. you will need to take exam for your specialist qualification recognition. Because you have qualification from nonEU country and switzerland has no direct or indirect recognition of qualification from India

  14. Raghad

    Hi , I have got my Bachelor degree of medicine from Baghdad university, then I got postgraduate specialty degree in obstetrics and gynecology from Jordan with Arab board specialty.
    What do I need to work in Switzerland ?!
    Thank you

  15. Raghad

    I talk English excellent and French B2 level
    So for liscence should I apply at the federal office of public health then sit for the exam?
    Would I get the title of specialist?

  16. Richard Burman

    Hi there,
    I will finish my medical degree from the University of Cape Town South Africa in 2017. I have Swiss citizenship and would like to move to Switzerland to do my neurosurgical residency. Is it required for me to sit the Federal medical examination in human medicine?
    Thank you for your time and assistance.

  17. Mine

    Hello, i am 6th grade in gaziantep university ( turkey) and i studied medicine in english. I want to do my post graduate/ speciality in switzerland. What shoud i do?

  18. Marzhan Kudaibergen

    Hello! I will graduate the medical university in Kazakhstan next year. I know that medical education in Switzerland and here are totally different. That’s why, could please tell, what a chance for non-EU graduates to pass the federal medical examination? Thank you in advance.

    1. Junaid Khan

      Well it depends on number of places open in Switzerland for Non EU graduates Every year they issue a quota for that..

  19. Ajiwoluwa

    Hello! I am a licensed doctor with MBBS degree from University of Lagos, Nigeria in English language.
    I will like to know if it’s possible to do my residency in Switzerland and all I need to do to start.

  20. Elias

    Hello, I am an established family doctor licensed from university of Montreal and been working as a hospitalist ” hospital Medicin” since 2010, obtained all the Canadian requirements.
    I am interested and would like to obtain a second speciality in infectious disease or dermatology , I obtained one year diploma in dermatology from Cardiff university 2014,
    I appreciate any guidance in this subject.
    Thank you

  21. Jorge

    Sir. I’ll graduate in 6 months in Brazil. Which section should I read? I mean, I would like to do my residency in Cardiology.

    1. Junaid Khan

      you need pass an exam of entrance to do residency in switzerland, So see Non EU section for residency entrance read under procedure section

  22. Pau

    Hi, I’m a student from Spain. First of all, I would like to know if there is a intensive medicine residency or if it is a subespeciality of anaesthesia (i’ve found it as a speciality at the fmh.ch webpage, but I don’t know for sure). Second, what should I do for apply to the residency? I know I will need to learn french, but which are the steps i would have to follow. Thank you.

  23. Ibrahim Haydar

    hello,i am a 4’th year medical student in Romania,and in the future i plan to specialize in switzerland.I just started taking German classes to prepare and would love to know more about what is required from me ,and about my possibilities.
    From what i understood is that i need a level B2 in german,and that Romanian certificate is recognised but i also have to stand before a committee.
    Also I’m Lebanese and i don’t have an EU passport,does this affect any of the procedures?

    1. Junaid Khan

      Hi, if you dont have eu passeport this wont affect much if you pass thé exam of entrance of residency (follow direct recognition pathway) in switzerland . Your Passport is irrelevant i this scenario

  24. Qodsia latifi

    Hello iam 6th in dokuz eylul university izmir Turkey.iam learning german and iam in A2.1 i want to do my postgraduate/speciality in Switzerland.can you help me please i dont know from where should i start?Thank you in advance

    1. Junaid Khan

      you need pass an exam to do residency in switzerland. Once you learn the language please follow the process written under procedure heading for Non EU graduates

  25. ahmad khan

    hello junaid khan i have done BDS from Pakistan i read your post got a lot of info about how to get license there and language but i need to know about which books should i read for the exam from whom should i ask the course of license exam.thanks a lot.


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