Professional Recognition Process
Responsible Organisations: 

National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) grants, upon application, the right to practice medicine as a licenced physician.

Entity name: 

National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira)

Requirements and Documents needed
Documents needed: 

“How to apply for licensing
Different language versions are available for this form. Choose version that suits you best.
The form can be filled in electronically or manually. Either way, print it out and mail it to the enclosed address.
Application for Professional Practice Rights (pdf)
Swedish version (pdf)
Finnish version (pdf)

Please include the following documents:
- A copy of your passport or equivalent so that we can verify your nationality.
- A copy of your degree certificate or diploma and all relevant appendices such as degree transcript and grades awarded.
- Proof of your entitlement to practice medicine in your EU/EEA country of origin. Note that this document has to be recent, meaning it was issued no more than three months earlier.
- Proof that your qualification complies with the requirements of directive 2005/36/EC.
Copies must be officially certified.
In Finland, you can arrange for your documents to be certified by the notary public at local Register offices.
For document certification, see Finnish Register Offices

Your degree certificate and all appendices must be translated into Finnish or Swedish by an authorised translator. All translations and copies of translations must be officially certified.
For authorised translators, see Database search for authorised translators (search available only in Finnish)

The process for issuing the documents confirming your qualifications and your entitlement to practice medicine varies between countries. If you are not sure how you can obtain these, please contact your country’s Ministry of Health or a similar public body and they will advise you further.
All applications will be retained by Valvira. We will not make copies of the documents you have submitted.
The processing time for all applications is three to four months which is in accordance with the EU directive.”

Directive 2005/36/EC Applicability: 

Applicable: “Doctors who have completed their medical qualification in an EU/EEA member state and who are EU/EEA citizens are licensed in accordance with the European directive 2005/36/EC.”

Other Requirements: 

“Doctors who have completed their medical qualification in an EU/EEA member state and who are EU/EEA citizens are licensed in accordance with the European directive 2005/36/EC. With the directive training of doctors and medical specialists is harmonised across the EU/EEA area and qualifications received in one member state will generally be automatically recognised across all the member states.
Valvira (National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health) grants two different licences. The type of licensing you will be granted depends on your qualifications and training.
• If you have a primary medical qualification, you can be licensed to practice medicine.
• If your specialist training complies with the requirements of directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications, you can be licensed to practice as a medical specialist.

Earlier clinical work experience               
If your qualification does not meet the above European Directive requirements, you may be granted a licence on the basis of your qualification and clinical experience. You need to have a total of three consecutive years of clinical experience gained over the past five years in order for your clinical experience to compensate your insufficient qualification.
Compensation measures: aptitude test and adaptation period
If your qualification does not meet the directive requirements and you do not have enough clinical experience to be licensed, you may be able to demonstrate your professional competence by taking compensation measures. The measures include a so-called aptitude test or an adaptation period and Valvira may request one from you.
Aptitude test & adaptation period

The aptitude test is designed to assess whether you have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice medicine. Valvira will give you information on the test content in the decision you will receive after your application.

The adaptation period means working in Finland under the supervision of another doctor for a maximum of three years. The adaptation period can also include further medical training. You are responsible for finding suitable employment for yourself for the adaptation period; please contact hospitals directly.

Language skills

All doctors working in Finland must be able to speak either Finnish or Swedish. Finland is officially a bilingual country and some 5% of the population speaks Swedish as their first language.

Citizens of EU/EEA member states are not required to provide official proof of their Finnish or Swedish skills directly to Valvira in order to be licensed.

However, please keep in mind that your employer has a legal duty to ensure that all healthcare professionals it hires (no matter citizenship) have good enough language skills to successfully perform their professional duties. Your employer is allowed to request an official proof of your language skills from you.

For further information on language, see Information on Finnish language”

Deadlines and Duration

Continuous application 

Re-certification required: 

Not required.

Re-certification Information: 


How long does it last and what are the conditions to start with it and to finish it?: 

Please see above “2.3 Other Requierements”.

Is it required to start with postgraduate medical training?: 

Please see above “2.3 Other Requierements”.

Postgraduate Medical Training
Responsible Organisations: 

Universities are responsible for postgraduate education, but the residencies are carried out in the health care system.

Entity name: 

University of Helsinki (

University of Tampere (

University of Turku (

University of Oulu (

University of Eastern Finland (

Selection and Deadlines: 

A physician licenced by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) can take a medical specialist degree.

There is no official selection procedure for residents.

The residents enrol in the university and acquire the status of a physician in training.

It is, however, up to the resident to arrange the actual residency for himself/herself. The university does not guarantee that the resident will actually get a post in a hospital.

Selection Process Description: 


Application Deadlines: 




Funding of PGT (government-funded/funded by tax/included in healthcare insurance, etc.): 

Postgraduate training is government-funded.

The health care unit hosting a resident receives funding from the state to cover the expenses of the training.

Scientific Associations: 

Scientific associations (e.g. Duodecim, have no official responsibilities to conduct postgraduate training, but they organise e.g. scientific meetings and theoretical courses.

Existent Medical Degrees
Medical Degrees: 

Lääketieteen lisensiaatti (abbrev. LL; 'licentiate of medicine') equals M.D. and is the prerequisite for a licence to practice medicine. After finishing the 6-year (360 ECTS) medical school and obtaining the LL degree, the physician applies for a licence to practice medicine (granted by Valvira).

Lääketieteen tohtori (abbrev. LT; 'doctor of medicine') is a scientific degree and equals M.D., Ph.D. It is voluntary and is not a prerequisite to practice medicine.

Erikoislääkäri ('specialist physician') is the specialist degree (currently a professional degree granted by the universities). After 5-6 years of specialist training and obtaining the specialist degree from the university, the specialist applies for a licence to practice medicine as a specialist (granted by Valvira).

Working Conditions
Salary Gross/Brutto (basic, no oncalls included, in EUR): 

In hospitals: 3 784 EUR (first year after graduating) In municipal health centers: 5 399 EUR (first year after graduating) In the private sector: 7 769 EUR (first year after graduating)

Used taxation scales, and (if known) average taxation percentage applied to salary: 

In Finland there is a progressive taxation scale.

General information about taxation:

A tax percentage calculator:

Type of Contracts: 

Paid overtime; According to doctors’ collective agreement overtime has to be compensated with +50 % per hour salary. The on-calls are a duty on the public sector (they belong to job especially in hospitals) and there are good compensations for on-calls. The compensation systems vary. Type of contracts:Continuous or fixed-term.

Sick Leave: 
Sick leave info: 

- According to doctors’ collective agreement (applies on public sector) first 60 days with full salary and next 120 days with 2/3 of full salary.

If one has worked less than 60 days before the sick leave begins, he/she is entitled to 14 days of salary.

- On private sector the salary is paid at least for first 9 days (50 % of salary for first 9 days if one has worked less than one month before the sick leave begins).

However, often employers pay the salary for a longer period.

Paid vacation: 
Vacation info: 

4-6 weeks paid vacation in the beginning of the career depending on how long one has been working.

Later (after 15 years of experience) one gets almost 8 weeks of paid vacation.

Maternity leave: 
Maternity leave info: 

On public sector first 3 months on full salary and after that around 70 % of your income until the baby is 9 months old.

One can keep the job and take care of the child and stay at home until the child is 3 years old.

Social security system like unemployment benefits: 


Type of healthcare – healthcare for free National health system or Health Insurance: 

In Finland there is a national health system, which is based on public health insurance.

The insurance is funded by taxes.

Other Information
Training Center Acreditation: 

The universities are responsible for accrediting the training centres.

The universities and the training centres (e.g. health centres and hospitals) make training agreements.

Some general requirements for training centres exist, such as there should be a diverse range of diseases, proper A&E facilities, a suitable library, theoretical education for the residents for 2−5 h/week and a possibility take part in theoretical courses outside the hospital.

Acceptance of foreign trainees for short term: 

Exchange programs exist, and there are possibilities for foreign trainees to visit the training centres. 

Mandatory Insurance required (for malpractice): 
Who is responsible for the damage immaterial and material: 

The health care providers are responsible for insuring the employees.

The Finnish Medical Association, on the other hand, has a group insurance for physicians working in the private sector as independent entrepreneurs.When working for another (whether on public or private sector) the hospital takes and pays the insurance, which covers both: the immaterial and material damage

Updating of information
Last date this information was checked: 

9th May 2014

Person providing the data and contact (must include e-mail adress): 

The Junior Doctors’ Association in Finland:
Veli-Pekka Puurunen, MD, Chair of the Committee on Education

The Finnish Medical Association:
Eveliina Ronkainen, MD, Member of the Board