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Medical Registration

How do you become registered as a doctor in Switzerland?

1. Reconnaissance des diplômes
The first step is to get your medical qualifications from your country of medical training recognised by the authorities in Bern, Switzerland. This shouldn't be a problem if your medical training was in one of the countries in Europe.

There is some form filling and of course some money to pay. You have to fill out a separate form for your undergraduate degree (reconnaissance d’un diplôme) and your post-graduate qualifications, for example, specialisation qualifications such as a Certificate of Completion of Training in the UK (reconnaissance d'un titre postgrade).

You can download the forms that you need to complete here:
Undergraduate qualifications, French
Undergraduate qualifications, German

Postgraduate qualifications, French
Postgraduate qualifications, German

It currently costs 680CHF for each of these different qualifications to be recognised.

You will also be asked to provide evidence of your competance in one of the Swiss languages (French, German or Italian). They ask that you have a minimum of B2 level. You can find a description of the different language levels here. Evidence may include certificates from language schools or evidence of having attended an undergraduate exchange in a country where the relevant language is spoken.

2. You then need a job and a license to practice.
This may for example be working as a doctor in a hospital or working as a doctor for an organisation such as SOS Medecins in Geneva. In such cases, the hospital or organisation that you will be working for will usually be able to sort out your license to practice for you.

If you would like to apply for a license to practice to set up your own private 'cabinet', you will need to apply to the Medical Authorities in the canton where you would like to work. They will make a decision as to whether a license will be granted in your case. Contact information for the medical authorities in each canton can be found here

A note about working for one of the United Nations Organisations: Working as a doctor for the UN falls into a slightly different category. You don't need a license to practice from the Swiss authorities but you may apply for FMH membership (see below). I am told that FMH membership will be granted exceptionally for such doctors.

3. Becoming a member of the Swiss Medical Association
You can then become a member of the Swiss Medical Association (Fédération des médecins suisses in French, or FMH for short). Over 95% of doctors in Switzerland are members. It is a bit like the British Medical Association in the UK and represents doctors in Switzerland on political and other levels.

Who can become a member of FMH?
You can become affiliated with FMH if you gained your medical qualifications outside of Switzerland and you are currently working as a doctor in Switzerland.

This applies to all salaried doctors – hospital doctors, occupational health physicians, GPs, doctors working for WHO or UN etc
If you gained your qualifications in Switzerland and were previously FMH but are no longer working as a doctor in Switzerland, you can stay a member of FMH (e.g. retired doctors etc).

NOTE: Being FMH-affiliated DOES NOT mean that you can put the letters FMH after your name. For this, you need to have a license to practice and a recognised postgraduate qualification and to apply to the cantonal medical authorities.

Contact information for becoming FMH-affiliated:
Telephone: 031 359 11 11
Email: dlm@fmh.ch
Website: http://www.fmh.ch/fr/fmh.html and click on ‘affiliation’
There are then different options that you can 'click on' depending on your status: doctor, salaried doctor, medical student etc.