How to practice in France as a foreign doctor or specialist qualified abroad?

You are a Foreign doctor and you want to put your bags in France to practice the profession of a general practitioner.

You must know that every foreign doctor in France must be registered with the Order Council of the department in which they wish to practice in France.

A European directive, instituted in 2005, informs that graduates in the EU, Switzerland or the European economic area benefit from automatic recognition of their diplomas in France (subject to a certificate of conformity). In other words, if you obtained your diploma in one of the member countries of the EU, you fall under free movement and can settle wherever you want (subject to an authorization to practice validated by university committees).

Check if you qualify to be a doctor in France:
Learn how to go about practicing Medicine in France

1 / EU Doctor of the European Union, I wish to settle in France.

According to the article ( L. 4112-7 of the Public Health Code ), a doctor who is a national of a member state of the European Union or party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area can practice permanently or temporarily.

However, the practice of medicine is subject to a prior declaration and must be accompanied by supporting documents. In addition, the EU doctor must:

  • Prove your linguistic knowledge of French
  • Provide the diploma from the country of origin (translated into French)
  • Respect the rules of the profession applied in France
  • Respect the competent disciplinary court


If you are a national of a country that entered the EU between 2004 and 2007 (example: Hungary, Poland, Romania), you must also provide the certificate issued by the Ministry of Health of the country of graduation. This certificate proves that the diploma complies with the conditions for exercising the profession in France. It can also be provided by the authority of an EU member state or party to the EEA Agreement which confirms that you have practiced the profession of a doctor in its territory for at least 3 consecutive years, during the last 5 years.

Please Note: Having passed DU (university diplomas) will not grant you the right to practice in France.

Only Practitioners having passed the degree of Doctor of Medicine obtained after the 3 years of internship and which ends with the writing of a thesis are allowed to practice in France.


2 / Doctors from outside the European Union who want to settle in France

If you hold a foreign medical degree, you are subject to the following authorization procedure:

  • A theoretical test called the knowledge check, which takes place once a year
  • Practice for 3 years in a medical service approved for the training of interns
  • Temporary or final authorization issued by an authorization commission
  • Knowledge of the French language


3 /  Foreign medical students wanting to follow a training course in France

According to Decree No. 2017-1601 of 22 November 2017 relating to the temporary practice of medicine, foreign medical students are authorized to follow additional training in France.

To benefit from it, they must provide:

  • A promise of hospitality by a public health establishment
  • Their professional project justifying the planned training project
  • The justification of a level of mastery of the French language necessary for the training followed
  • Sufficient guarantees for public health, in particular in view of the professional skills of the practitioner

Once these steps have been taken, registration with the Order of Physicians is compulsory. It is only once the registration has been validated that you will be able to practice legally and obtain the status of the attached practitioner. The authorization to exercise is issued by the Ministry of Health.