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How to become a doctor in Finland

Imagine of the sun shining through an apple tree

Finland is an appealing destination for many doctors abroad, but working as a medical professional in Finland comes with some specific requirements. Here we have listed some necessary information to put you on the right track of how to become a healthcare professional in Finland.

EU/EEA countries

This process is faster and easier if you’ve undertaken your studies in an EU/EEA country, these are listed here for reference:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Iceland (EEA)
  • Liechtenstein (EEA)
  • Norway (EEA)
  • Switzerland (EFTA)
A map detailing the EU/EEA/EFTA countries
source: https://www.dfae.admin.ch/dea/en/home/europaeische-union/erweiterungsprozess/mitgliedstaaten.html

Licensing process

The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) must recognize your qualifications before you can practice medicine in Finland. Depending on whether you completed your studies within the EU/EEA or not, there are different routes to working in Finnish healthcare.

The doctor (EU/EEA) route also applies if you gained your certification elsewhere but have worked as a doctor within the EU/EEA for at least 3 of the last 5 years.

Doctors trained in EU/EEA countries are encouraged to apply for our international recruitment path.

If you haven’t yet reached YKI 3-4 level language skills, we provide Medical Finnish courses which are designed to not only teach you the language but also the necessary vocabulary for the healthcare sector.

We have also written a blog post to help prepare you for the YKI test.

Valvira licensed professions

The following are occupations in which you are eligible to be licensed by Valvira:

  1. Dental hygienist
  2. Dental technician
  3. Dentist
  4. Dietician
  5. Dispenser
  6. Medical laboratory technologist
  7. Midwife
  8. Nurse
  9. Occupational therapist
  10. Optician
  11. Pharmacist
  12. Physician
  13. Physiotherapist
  14. Psychologist
  15. Public health nurse
  16. Radiographer
  17. Speech therapist

Authorization to practice

For other professions, you may be authorized (even if you studied outside of EU/EEA), but restricted to a fixed period and possibly a specific health facility.

Protected occupational titles

These are laid out in the Decree on Health Care Professionals and listed below:
  1. Chiropractor
  2. Hospital cell biologist
  3. Hospital chemist
  4. Hospital geneticist
  5. Hospital microbiologist
  6. Hospital physicist
  7. Naprapathy
  8. Orthopedic technician
  9. Osteopath
  10. Podiatrist
  11. Practical nurse for social and health care
  12. Psychotherapist
  13. Trained masseur

For more detailed information about Finnish healthcare licensing requirements for your specialization, you can read more on the Valvira website:
Qualified in EU/EEA
Qualified outside EU/EEA

We also have a short presentation created to inform medical professionals of the opportunities available in Finnish healthcare.