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Everything About Being A Doctor In Finland

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Riham, May 14, 2016.

  1. Riham

    Riham Bronze Member

    Jan 13, 2016
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    Finland, country located in northern Europe. Finland is one of the world’s most northern and geographically remote countries and is subject to a severe climate. Nearly two-thirds of Finland is blanketed by thick woodlands, making it the most densely forested country in Europe. Finland also forms a symbolic northern border between western and eastern Europe: dense wilderness and Russia to the east, theGulf of Bothnia and Sweden to the west.



    Application to the National Board of Medico-legal Affairs

    In order to be able to work in Finland as a health care professional, you must submit an application to TEO for the right to practice your profession.

    The free form application must specify the profession that you wish to practice. The applicant must date and sign the document in his/her own hand. It is recommended that the application be written in Finish, Swedish or English.

    The application must include the following enclosures:

    • Passport (copy)
    • Degree certificate
    • A valid certificate of your right to practice your profession in the EU Member State from which you come to Finland
    • A certificate showing that your education complies with the requirements laid down in the pertinent EU Directives.

    Formal requirements for the application documents

    The enclosures must be officially certified copies of the original documents. Translations of the documents into Finnish, Swedish or English must also be presented. The certificate of the compliance of your education with the pertinent EU Directives must be the original document, and it may not be more than three months old.

    TEO will keep the application documents.

    TEO charges a fee for its decisions

    TEO’s decision on the right to practice a profession is issued in Finish or in Swedish. The decision is subject to a fee.

    SV number for physicians and dentists

    Physicians and dentists need a sickness insurance number (SV number),which can be obtained from the Social Insurance Institution (SII) after the granting of a licence by TEO. The SV number must be written or stamped, for instance, on all prescriptions for medications. TEO informs the SII on the granting of a licence, after which the SV number can be ordered from the SII Health and Income Security Department, either by telephone (09) 434 11, or by letter, P.O. Box 00381 Helsinki. At the same time, you may also place an order for a SV stamp showing your name, degree, specialization and the SV number. On request, the stamp may also include your address. The stamps come in three different models, and the first one is supplied free of charge.

    Residence permit

    All workers coming to Finland from abroad must obtain a residence permit if their employment lasts longer than three months. The police department of the place of residence grants the residence permit. For obtaining the permit, you need your passport or ID card, a photograph and your employment contract or some other document of your employment.

    As a rule the residence permit is granted for five years. If the employment lasts for less than one year, the permit is only granted for the period of employment.

    People coming from the EU Member States do not need a work permit.

    Irrespective of their nationality, the family members (spouse or cohabitation partner, children, parents) of people who have moved to Finland also have the right to reside in Finland. Any family members, who depend on the worker residing in Finland for their keep must present a certificate to this effect, issued by the authorities of their country of domicile.

    Students who are citizens of the countries encompassed by the EEA are entitled to receive a residence permit for the duration of their studies in Finland. A prerequisite for the permit is that the students are able to secure their livelihood using their own means. Students have the right to work during their studies.

    Pensioners who are citizens of the countries encompassed by the EEA are entitled to receive a residence permit in Finland if they are able to secure their livelihood without resorting to social security in Finland. The same applies to pensioners’ family members.

    Registration of a business

    Before starting a business, for instance a private health care practice, you must fill in a notification form and send it to the National Board of Patents and Registration for registration purposes. The notification of a new business contains the basic data on the business and on the person operating the business.


    Self-employment refers to the health care professionals who hold no public post and are not employed by any other organization, either. They produce services independently, for their own clients. TEO must be notified of self-employment. The notification must included the following data:

    • personal data,
    • profession,
    • domicile, and
    • type of self-employment and the date when started.
    TEO must also be notified of the cessation of self-employment.

    Temporary practice of a profession

    Temporary practice of a health care profession is possible by notifying TEO in writing there before starting the work. The notification must show the type of temporary services provided, the time and place of their provision, and the nationality of the person providing the services. This applies only to the physicians, dentists, registered nurses, midwives and pharmacists (M.Sc. in pharmacy)

    Language proficiency

    Licensing or use of a protected title does not involve any language proficiency requirements confirmed by the public authorities. The employer (e.g. the local authority) may, however require a certificate of language skills. More than 90% of the population in Finland speak Finnish as their native language, and slightly over 5 % speak Swedish. Finnish and Swedish are the two official languages of the country.

    More information about language courses can be obtained from employment agencies or directly from institutes of education. Many institutes of education in Finland arrange courses in Finnish for foreigners, for instance:

    • vocational adult-educational centres
    • senior secondary schools for adults
    • adult-education institutes
    • folk high schools
    • summer universities
    • language centres of universities

    The Faculty Of Medicine is also responsible for specialist training in medicine:

    Universities, Medical Faculties:

    The Faculty Of Medicine is also responsible for specialist training in medicine. About 50% of all Finnish medical doctors are specialists. The aim of the specialist training is to provide the doctor with comprehensive theoretical and practical skills, which are defined in advance. The necessary further studies usually take five or six years; two years in a special field closely related to the major speciality and four years in the speciality itself. The university system:

    Specific training in general medical practice
    Specialist training 4 years
    National examination

    Theoretical studies (80-100 hours)
    Administrative studies (20 hours)
    Symposia in the speciality (60-100 hours)

    Possibilities of foreign physicians practising medicine and taking the degree of specialist in Finland

    The prerequisites for granting of such a license are:

    1. A degree in medicine taken abroad and approved by the National Board of Medicolegal Affairs (TEO).

    2. Adequate written and oral knowledge of Finnish. Ability in Finnish may be shown by a certificate signed by an Assessor on the State Board on Language Examinations.

    3. Offer of a position in a Finnish hospital. All foreign physicians wishing to practise in Finland must find work for themselves and the notice of employment from the hospital should be forwarded to the National Board of Medicolegal Affairs.

    An absolute prerequisite for taking degree of specialist is that the National Board of Medicolegal Affairs has granted the physician concerned a licence to practice medicine in Finland. A foreign physician can start his specialization after having obtained this authority to act as a physician. The specialization takes six years and comprises mostly

    1. practical service at hospitals and health centres
    2. theoretical studies and
    3. written specialist examination.

    In addition to a licence granted by the National Board of Medicolegal Affairs, each foreign physician must be in possession of a valid Finnish work permit. The Centre for Aliens' Affairs of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior is responsible for deciding whether or not a work permit shall be issued.

    European Medical Association:

    1. Duration of post-graduate studies.

    There are two different types of studies:

    * General Training: "Läáketieteen tohtori". It is a doctor's degree: 3-4 years.
    * Specialist Training: "Erikoislääkäri”: 6-8 years Specialist degree

    2. Access to post-graduate studies.

    ● "Lääketieteen tohtori" (Doctor's degree). There is open access; often depends on the possibility of finding a professor to supervise the studies.

    ● "Erikoislääkäri" (Specialist's degree in medicine). The person has to have the right to practice the profession of doctors in Finland.

    3. Competent authority.

    ● "Lääketieteen tohtori" (Doctor's degree). The competent authority is the University.

    ● "Erikoislääkäri" (Specialist degree). The competent authority is the University. The Ministry of Education, after having consulted the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, decides which degree programmes can be offered in each university.

    The right to practice the profession of doctor in Finland is granted by the National Board of Medico-Legal Affairs.

    4. Different post-graduate studies.

    ● "Lääketieteen" (Doctor's degree)

    ● "Erikoislääkäri" (Specialist's degree). The programme includes practical training, theoretical education and a national examination in the chosen field of specialisation.

    * Specialisation Programmes: 6 years.

    There are 92 fields of specialisation

    ● Anaesthetics.
    ● Biological chemistry
    ● Child neurology
    ● Child psychiatry
    ● Clinical neurophysiology
    ● Clinical physiology
    ● Community medicine
    ● Dermato-venerology
    ● Diagnostic radiology
    ● Forensic medicine
    ● General internal medicine
    ● General medicine (practice)
    ● Diagnostic radiology
    ● General surgery
    ● Geriatrics
    ● Maxillo-facial-surgery
    ● Medical Genetics.
    ● Microbiology.
    ● Neurological Surgery.
    ● Neurology.
    ● Obstetrics and gynecology
    ● Occupational Medicine.
    ● Oncology and radiotherapy.
    ● Ophthalmology.
    ● Otorhinolaryngology
    ● Pathological anatomy.
    ● Pediatrics
    ● Pharmacology.
    ● Physiotherapy.
    ● Respiratory medicine.
    ● Sports medicine.

    * Specialization Programs: 8 years.

    ● Adolescent psychiatry in Child Psychiatry.
    ● Psychiatry.
    ● Allergology in Dermato-venerology
    ● General (internal) medicine.
    ● Otorhinolaryngology.
    ● Respiratory medicine.
    ● Audiology in Otorhinolaryngology.
    ● Bacteriology in microbiology.
    ● Cardiology.
    ● Child allergology
    ● Child cardiology
    ● Child physiology
    ● Communicable diseases
    ● Drugs in biological chemistry
    ● Endocrinology
    ● Environmental health in Community medicine
    ● Environmental health in General medicine
    ● Environmental health in Occupational medicine
    ● Forensic psychiatry
    ● Gastroenterology
    ● Gastroenterological surgery
    ● General hematology.
    ● Geriatrics in General internal) medicine
    ● Geriatrics in neurology
    ● Geriatrics in psychiatry
    ● Gynaecological endocrinology
    ● Geriatrics endoscopy (urology)
    ● Geriatrics oncology.
    ● Immunology in Clinical microbiology
    ● Nuclear medicine
    ● Occupational dermatology
    ● Orthopedics
    ● Pediatric gastroenterology
    ● Pediatric hematology
    ● Pediatric infections diseases
    ● Pediatric nephrology
    ● Pediatric surgery
    ● Plastic surgery
    ● Biological hematology
    ● Endocrinology in Biological chemistry
    ● Hand surgery
    ● Neonatology
    ● Neuro- ophthalmology
    ● Neuropathology
    ● Neuroradiology
    ● Occupational medicine
    ● Pediatric radiology
    ● Pediatric pathology
    ● Peregrination in Obstetrics and gynecology
    ● Rheumatology
    ● Thoracic surgery
    ● Urology
    ● Virology

    5. Legal references.

    ● Decree Concerning the Specialists Degree in Medicine (691/85)
    ● Laki terveydenhuollon ammattihenkilöistä (559/94) 28/6/94
    ● Asetus terveydenhuollon ammattihenkilöistä (564/94) 28/6/94
    ● "Lääketieteen tohtori": Decree 762/95
    ● "Erikoislääkäri": Decree 1436/93

    Useful Websites and Addresses:

    Finnish Medical Association
    Mäkelänkatu 2, PL 49
    FI● 00501 Helsinki
    Tel. +358 (0) 9 393 091
    Fax +358 (0) 9 393 0794

    [email protected]

    Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
    Postal address: PO BOX 33,
    FI-00023 GOVERNMENT, Finland
    Visiting address: Meritullinkatu 8, 00170 Helsinki
    Telephone: +358 9 160 01
    Telefax: +358 9 160 74126 (registry),
    E-mail: [email protected]
    International Affairs Unit,[email protected]
    Telefax +358 9 160 73296

    National Board of Medicolegal Affairs (Terveydenhuollon oikeusturvakeskus, TEO)
    Lintulahdenkatu 10
    00500 Helsinki, Finland
    P.O.Box 265,
    Fin-00531 Helsinki, Finland
    Telephone +358 9 7729 20
    Telefax +358 9 7729 2138

    European Medical Association:

    Read Also:

    How to work as a doctor in Sweden

    How to work as a doctor in Netherlands

    How to work as a doctor in Germany

    How to work as a doctor in Denmark

    How to work as a doctor in New Zealand


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