Being a doctor has never been easy anywhere in the world, and most medical schools in Germany have a very low acceptance rate for their medical programs. Once you make it into a German medical school and graduate, there are still several challenging or complicated procedures you need to follow to become a doctor in Germany.

Germany offers one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world and one of the reasons is that it also offers a comfortable work environment for professionals engaged in a medical career. Moreover, research on medical science is considered top-notch in Germany, which makes it even more exciting for doctors to not only perform their profession but also pursue their research activities at the best location. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to become a doctor in Germany, so keep reading and take notes.

How to Become a Doctor in Germany

Foreign national doctors must apply for approbation to work in Germany. Below, you can find the necessary steps to become a doctor in Germany.

Step 1. Obtain a Medical Degree from a Medical School

Naturally, the initial step to becoming a doctor in any country is to obtain a valid degree in a medical school. The diploma, transcript of records, and practical experience that you completed during your degree program will provide a holistic insight into your job applications and approbation procedures in Germany.

If you wish to study medicine in Germany, you can consider the best medical schools in Germany, such as the University of Heidelberg, The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and the Technical University of Munich.

Step 2. Apply to the Competent Authority for the Approbation

Once you have completed your medical degree and obtained the necessary licenses and certifications to work as a medical specialist, you’re required to apply for approbation to be able to work in Germany. Germany requires recognition from foreign national doctors who have completed their medical degrees and certifications abroad, which is called approbation. The approbation procedure is held via the authorities in Germany by submitting a series of documents and filling out application forms. Applicants must consult the authorities in the city where they wish to work in Germany by visiting the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Step 3. Prepare Your Documents

Once you contact the competent authority, you will be given an application form and the list of other required documents, including proof of identity, marriage certificate (in case the name is changed), CV, evidence of professional qualifications, diploma in medical program, previous employment references, proof about your application to work visa and job offers, letter of intent, German language certificate, and so on.

Kindly remember that the required documents can differ depending on the nationality of the applicant; for instance, the procedure for EU/EEA nationals (including individuals coming from Switzerland) and non-EU/EEA nationals can change considerably. Thus, it’s best to advise your competent authority and follow the steps they share.

Step 4. Pass the German Language Test

Proving an adequate proficiency level in the German language is a strict requirement to be able to work as a doctor or any medical practitioner in Germany. All doctor candidates must have and provide German language skills at level B2 according to the Common European Reference Framework for languages.

Later, all foreign national doctors must have German language skills at the C1 level in the specialist language examination. The German language requirement is not necessarily provided during the application, and the applicants can provide the necessary evidence later.

Step 5. Submit the Necessary Documents and Your Application for the Approbation

Once you completed the documentation process and provided all the required and supplementary materials, you need to submit everything via the competent authority you had chosen in the first step. You need to submit your application via post service, and within a month, the competent authority will inform me that your application has arrived.

The result of your application for approbation will be announced within four months, and the competent authority you applied earlier will share the results. Once you pass the approbation, you’re required to apply for the specialist language examination and receive a minimum C1 level in the German language.

Also, it’s important to note that this whole process comes at a fee, such as the approbation fee, specialist language examination fee, and equivalence assessment fee. The approbation fee ranges from EUR 100 to EUR 420, depending on the applicant’s background. As for the specialist language examination fee, it costs EUR 420. Lastly, applicants must pay for the equivalence assessment services fee, costing EUR 1773.

FAQs: How to Become a Doctor in Germany

Is It Allowed for a Foreign National to Practice Medicine in Germany?

Yes, foreign national individuals who completed an accredited degree in a medical school can perform as medical officials in Germany, yet only by following certain legal and ethical procedures. In fact, Germany encourages many skillful experts in medicine to hold a valid degree and have valuable experience in the field; thus, German authorities provide foreign nationals with numerous opportunities to become doctors, nurses, health technicians, caregivers, and many other professions in the medicine sector.

Basically, all foreign nationals who wish to work as doctors of medicine or medical specialists must obtain an unrestricted occupational license called approbation. The procedure depends on several factors, such as the nationality of the applicant, German language proficiency requirement, diploma accreditation process, getting a medical license, visa requirements, and so on.

What is the Average Salary for Doctors in Germany?

Generally, like in many countries, working as doctors or other high-level medical specialists in Germany means high starting salaries and relatively better overall incomes throughout their years of practice. The salary expectation of a doctor in Germany depends on the area of practice, years of experience, the type of work environment, and such.

Doctors in Germany can work as specialists (Facharzt) in numerous fields, yet the most in-demand doctors in Germany include family doctors, children’s doctors, general practitioners, or gynecologists. Hence, when it comes to the average salary, the range depends on the area of expertise. Once doctors pass the medical German exam, they can work as assistant doctors with an average monthly salary of €4,500. After two years, once they pass the approbation exam, they can operate in their chosen specialty, and the salary range changes greatly in terms of specialty. For instance, a radiologist can earn around EUR 850,000 in a year, whereas a pediatrist’s annual income is about EUR 228,000.


Obtaining the necessary permissions to work as a doctor in Germany may seem complicated, yet it’s not challenging. Indeed, the German authorities are highly supportive of foreign national doctors choosing Germany to operate in various medical units. If you’ve decided, start your application today to become a doctor in Germany.


We hope that you found this article on how to become a doctor in Germany informative and helpful. You can find more information about studying and working in Germany on the Germany Page. For those interested in studying in Germany, you can sample the various Available Programs in Germany for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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