Switzerland, 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
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:
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.
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.
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)
The postgraduate training is essential to practice medicine in Switzerland which lead to postgraduate qualification in specialized medicine.
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).
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.
1. For medical student wishing to enroll in basic medical education program
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.
- 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
- 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
- Should have federal diploma or diploma recognized by Federal Office of Public Health.
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)
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 email@example.com
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.
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