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Best Country in Europe for a doctor/surgeon to work in??

Discussion in 'Europe' started by shreypete, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. shreypete

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    So what is your opinion?? Which is the best country to work in for a doctor/surgeon (and to also do a residency there??) in terms of working conditions, financial salaries, and a decent life??
     
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  3. Domperidon

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    Salary - Uk
    Salary/cost of life - Netherlands
    Decent lifestyle/Happy living - Italy/Spain
    Working conditions - Sweden/France/Uk
    Don't know anything about Germany

    But it's all relative, while you can generally earn more in UK, a derm or a plastic guy will definitively earn a lot of money no matter where...the real problem in europe is the insane cost of life...
     
  4. Marsupilami

    Marsupilami New Member
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    As for happy living, you are correct. Both Spain and Italy are absolutely awesome in that respect ( people, climate, culture, food, women). But wages for junior doctors/ residents are so low that you will probably not survive without a monthly check from your parents, at least that is what I heard from an Italian med student ( Spain is supposed to be slightly better, but still tough). Furthermore, I was told both Italy and Spain have an oversupply of young doctors. If I think about the girls I met in Italy and the food, it makes me want to cry that this route is practically closed...:(
     
  5. shreypete

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    I did hear that Germany is not paying it's doctors well (which is why the doctors are rushing to other countries like Australia and the US).

    I would like to know a little more regarding Belgium, Netherlands and Denmark (which is apparently notorious for it's taxes).
     
  6. redmofo

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    Hey all,
    I do not agree with you Domperion about France, which is my country. The "working conditions" quoted are just insane in France. Sorry but, studying and living here is cool, however you must know that it could be really better about working conditions.. That's why, and I'm not alone, i plan to leave as quickly as I can this country, I can not bear anymore to see such an admiration towards the engineers and on the contrary, such a neglect of doctors in a country where the reputation and quality of care are obvious in Europe and around the world.

    - red mofo -
     
  7. newnur

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    I'm reading in Turkey (Pamukkale University).I very definitely recommend medical school of Turkey.Because education salary very nearly is free and I'm satisfied with education.:thumbup:
     
  8. shreypete

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    Hey newnur, I wasn't asking about medical schools in Europe. I was asking about the job prospects for doctors and which country in Europe that offers good benefits to doctors/surgeons (in terms of financial salaries and working conditions and so on).
     
  9. Marsupilami

    Marsupilami New Member
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    Shreyepete,

    the salaries for junior doctors /residents in Germany have improved over the last years. You can expect to make 2k € /month after taxes in your first year and it improves with every year of residency. Off the top of my head I'd say this is above average by European standards. For specialists, however, other countries might be more interesting. But in the end, it is a truly personal decision for anyone to make.

    Like I wrote in another thread, Scandinavia e.g. is not for everyone. While working conditions might be better than on the "continent" and salaries might be good with regard to working hours, not everyone likes the culture, the climate, the solitude etc. What have you won if you have a good life in the hospital but lead a lonely private life. Of course, one will find a partner there ( if one doesn't already bring one along) but one also needs friends.

    I'm interested in Scandinavia (Sweden in particular, and perhaps Denmark) and am trying to do an internship there in the future, just to get a feel for the society. I know that teaching and work atmosphere is usually quite good in Sweden, but I also know that a lot of Europeans ( Germans etc.) have difficulties getting along with the Swedes.
     
  10. shreypete

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    Yup, my uncle has a problem in Sweden as he couldn't get along with the Swedes...he found them "too professional" and hard to get to know to. So he went to Norway and he says it's a lot better than Sweden but also essentially the same. He told me that his counterparts in Denmark have complained of the same thing (but they are a bit tolerant of foreigners learning their ridiculously hard language).

    But I guess you're right....at the end of it, it's just not med school and a medical career...there's a whole lot of other things in life...a medical career is just a part of it...but one of the main reasons I'm placing an important priority of the financial aspect is because of the loans I've taken (and I've taken a lot!!!) and this puts me in a huge debt. I'm going to try and research as much as I can about Netherlands and Belgium (as recently, one intern told me that they are a top choice among specialists/surgeons).
     
  11. Domperidon

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    My uncle is a derm in Italy...I often visit. He makes almost as much as a us dermatologist: he may not be the average doc, but in some countries what specialty you practice really makes the difference. However I agree that, during resident years, j docs have to face a lot of problems, nepotism being one of the more obvious...
     
  12. GLUT

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    HI!
    I am a medical student from Italy, and as far as I am concerned, I think you are right on a lot of things, but recently even Italy has come up to terms on the finances of young doctors/residents.
    They have raised the salarys, so that
    it is now possible to live on them without your parents help.. even though to enter a specialization, is not an easy task, even for us, you have to be good, but what really matters is how much you have sucked up to your proffesors your 6 years, and who you know..
    So as far as I can tell you, they living and monetary view have much improved, but the knowledge you need to have is all relative to who you know!

     
  13. Marsupilami

    Marsupilami New Member
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    I've heard good things about the medical system in the Netherlands. They take education of their residents very seriously, a good place to do your residency in and an even better place to be as a specialist. Sadly, it is incredibly(!) difficult to get a residency in the Netherlands, even for Dutch graduates. Easier once you have finished residency, though. Belgium is supposed to be easier.

    Do you already have a certain specialty in mind ?
     
  14. EtOHWithdrawal

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    What about Lux?
     
  15. shreypete

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    I'm very much interested in surgery even though it's too early to tell. But I've shadowed enough in the past and I really would like to pursue a field in one of the surgical sub-specialties (especially cardio-thoracic or vascular or neuro).

    Belgium is definitely one of the options I'm considering and I'm also improving my french for the very same reason. Although I see how the more economically stronger part of Belgium is the dutch part, so I would need to learn that (and if I do, it would also come into use when applying for the Netherlands).
     
  16. dhb

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    #15 dhb, Dec 30, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  17. Renalmedic

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    Does the UK offer higher salaries? It's relatively low in the gradaute starting salaries table.
     
  18. Marsupilami

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    Hi dhb,

    you write that it is fairly easy to get a residency spot in Belgium, is there a big difference between specialties ? I'll assume Ophtho, Derm, Rads etc. will be pretty competitive as well in Belgium, or is it different ?

    And what about a "concours", I've heard that IMG can bypass the concours for residency spots, is that true ?

    2k Euros/month after taxes seems pretty much in line with what you can expect in Germany by the way, although salaries are currently rising and with shifts and overtime 3k/month after taxes is possible in your second and certainly realistic in your third year of residency ( there is a raise in salary with every year of residency).

    With regard to France and Switzerland offering better salaries for physicians...what I've heard is that France at least pays its specialist doctors very well while residents earn very little, less than their counterparts in Belgium.

    But that is the beauty of the EU...once you have completed your residency, you are free to practice anywhere in the EU....with the exception being the UK with its highly complicated system. :D
     
  19. Marsupilami

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    http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=553


    In light of the cost of living in the UK, it's probably not that much better than in Belgium.

    Interestingly, Ireland seems to pay its junior doctors, registrars so much better than the UK, who would have thought this...
     
  20. shreypete

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    Yes, I've also read a lot of good things about Ireland. Their economy is doing quite well. And it's a very highly favorable destination for doctors as the pay is very good (better than Switzerland or the Scandinavian countries).
     
  21. drbuda

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    Ireland used to be a viable option. in the current economic climate however, it's suffering. Ireland's economy has taken severe hits over the past few months, it will be some time until it gets back to where it was , say, 2 years ago
     
  22. galactica2001

    galactica2001 ID fellow
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    Then it's pretty much the same everywhere...:(
     
  23. Marsupilami

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    Yes. Very attractive to those who need to pay back loans after graduation and do not want to live the life of a broke student forever. :)
     
  24. shreypete

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    I wouldn't really say everywhere....only Western Europe...the Central and Eastern European countries are still quite behind.
     
  25. galactica2001

    galactica2001 ID fellow
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    unfortunately, in Central and Eastern European countries (I'm from one of the new EU member states) you get a residency mainly by having strong family connections (that means your mum and dad are MDs, preferably leading a department :rolleyes: - if you want a competitive residency eg. derm, plastics, neurosurg ect than that's a prereqiuisite) - unless of course you want to work in rural areas (and they are rural in every sense...good if you know the dialect and come from those areas, bad if you're from the city...people there don't like that much...not to mention yourself lost in an unfamiliar enviroment :) )
    Anyway, not a good prospect for all of us who come from non-MD families...:(

    oh, and the pay is bad for lots of work.
     
    #24 galactica2001, Jan 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  26. dasha55

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    Hi there, I am thinking of doing residency in Western Europe, to skip the 2 years of House Surgeon work that I have to do here in New Zealand after medical school. ( I want to start specializing as soon as possible to pay of my HUGE debts) Unfortunately, I speak fluently only English and Russian (used to be fluent in German, but not anymore :(). Are my options only UK and Ireland or there are some countries in Western Europe that might have training programs in English (or at least mostly in English)? Thank you.
     
  27. shreypete

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    Yes, you are pretty much limited to UK and Ireland. I heard from someone on this forum that they are slowly introducing English residency programs but language is a still a requirement as you will be dealing with patients on a regular basis.
     
  28. supersuper21

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    hi , is it me or just the system is cofusing a little bit in europe ???

    i mean .. i am not a EU ... wishing to work in europe

    i dont know where is the best place

    germany spain france ???

    can some one plz answer me quickly to start taking language courses !!

    thnx
     
  29. Hematopoet

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    One person has mentioned Norway? You won't find better working/living conditions in any other European country, heck in any country in the world!
     
    #28 Hematopoet, Feb 3, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  30. Domperidon

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    hmmm yes I heard rumors about that...care to elaborate with some examples regarding these terrific working conditions?
     
  31. Defibrillator

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    Hello every1, PRIVET DASHA, I wanted to ask you about residency in New Zealand isn't it similar to that in UK or Ireland.. I mean as a system. As much as I know, you will have to undergo the 2 year-period ahead of starting your residency, if you are going to attend UK or Ireland.. so, don't rush.
    How good is the surgery residency program in NZ? Do residents get numerous operations to perform? and how about payment?
    Thanks (do svedania)
     
  32. Max Cage

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    Yes, I'm very keen on knowing the conditions in Norway. Also is it possible for IMGs from India.

    Yes, I can take an year and sign up for the language courses, and whatever the requisities are. But, I need to know if I'll be guaranteed enrolment in residency programme, and paid so I don't have to take loans are ask my parents.

    I'm thinking in the lines of Radiology/Gen Surgery => Plastics.

    Any help is very much appreciated. Thank you. :)
     
  33. shreypete

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    hey Max Cage, a residency program can never be guaranteed particularly if it's a foreign country. You have to first be fluent in the language (and it's good you're willing to take language courses, which perhaps is your only option at the moment to become fluent), after this, you have to submit all your documents and get your transcripts recognized by the Norwegian medical board.

    Furthermore, once this is approved, then you have to sit an exam (an exam that will test you on all your medical subjects) and pass it. In order to bank a competitive residency spot, as an IMG, you have to really get good scores and should have something to show them that is outstanding (like research publications and so on). But it's still possible to get it without the publications too (it would just make it easier). Finally you have to also undergo a 8 - 12 month (or longer) period of probational training where you will get accustomed to the Norwegian hospitals and the health care and day-to-day interaction with patients. At the end of this, you have to further take an exam and pass it and finally you get into the system.

    Finally, if at all you do get into a competitive spot, it usually is in a rural area as opposed to a big city (as the Norwegian and other Scandinavian docs usually get these positions).

    Good luck.
     
  34. whereintheworld

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    #33 whereintheworld, May 22, 2009
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
  35. shreypete

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    Well all I can tell you is requiring the language requirement. i think the level of french you need is something equivalent to C1 and you need to sit the DALF exam in order to study in a french university (not DELF!). You will also need to take some medically-oriented french courses in France or perhaps Alliance Francais might offer it in their tailormade courses section.

    Also you will have to sit an entrance exam in order to do your residency in France and the exam is uber-competitive in that your rank/score determines which specialty you get (and there is extreme competition).
     
  36. yasargilsugita

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    With good qualification you have the best chances in Luxembourg.
    Luxembourg offers very good additional social benefits.
    In Germany, doctors are not very well paid.
     
  37. Kong Bu

    Kong Bu 화이팅!~~

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    Is there any more insight on this? I'm very curious about Luxembourg.

    I'm going to compile a pro/con list of each country in the EU as this thread progresses. And yeah, this is somewhat like a bump.
     
  38. galactica2001

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    what's it like in switzerland? is it hard to adjust?
     
  39. Kong Bu

    Kong Bu 화이팅!~~

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    I know that for whatever country you plan to practice in, you're required to learn its language. I don't believe Switzerland would be hard to adjust to if you know French. Also, I read that Switzerland is actually even paying doctors to come to the country for a time being in hope that they will raise a family and live there.
     
  40. Defcut

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    All I can say is stay away from Romania. I'm sure you figured as much.
    First year residents from basically all specialties are being paid like 300$/month.
     
    cosmos1 likes this.
  41. Kong Bu

    Kong Bu 화이팅!~~

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    Someone had said before that Eastern European countries base their residencies and whole medical hierarchy system off of nepotism. If your father has a friend, consider yourself guaranteed on a smooth path up from med school to residency to practicing doctor.

    I guess for this thread, many people are looking at Western Europe.
     
  42. shreypete

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    Switzerland is one of the few European countries which is practically impossible to get into as a doctor. It's possible! but nevertheless a long haul with lots of paperwork and waiting. The Swiss are way too picky when it comes to choosing doctors from other countries (although as you said, language is one of the biggies and having that qualification is of some help.) But the process isn't all that easy.

    Switzerland is also one of the few countries that pays its doctors very very well (like Norway, and Netherlands) but it's also one of the most expensive countries to live in.
     
  43. Kong Bu

    Kong Bu 화이팅!~~

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    Ah, I see. Thanks for that information! I guess for me and most of us, we're looking for a EU/European country that has a good balance with pay, lifestyle, and adjustment. Netherlands seems the best so far.
     
    #42 Kong Bu, Jul 28, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  44. KluverB

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    FYI: Neither Switzerland nor Norway are members of the EU.
     
  45. Dr Nash

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    Hey guys am from Romania I just graduated from the med faculty.I would like to know how to apply for residency in Finland or in the Nordic countries or Germany any useful addresses. Am not an EU citizen.
    Here foreigners must pay the faculty and you don't get any salary from the hospital.Cheers.:thumbup:
     
  46. Kong Bu

    Kong Bu 화이팅!~~

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    Oh sorry. I actually was just interchangeably using EU with Europe in general. Thanks though.
     
  47. shreypete

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    Well Netherlands is a great option indeed. I really wanted to live there for a couple of years because I fell in love with the place....but my dreams have been shattered after having visited Amsterdam and Rotterdam recently. The condition for doctors is really quite tight as of now. They've set up way to many standards and made it so much more harder for international students to work in their country (Belgium is slightly better in this aspect but still not easy).

    To be honest, the only countries that are opening their doors right now are the Scandinavian countries...especially Sweden and Norway (I'm not too sure about Denmark). Both Sweden and Norway have been recruiting lots of international graduates for quite some time now and they also pay well (although Norway pays a lot higher salaries than Sweden...the primary reason why most of the Scandinavian docs are moving to Norway).

    Sweden: you do have to be fluent in Swedish but there is no official test that you need to take to prove your fluency. One's fluency is assessed through the medical exam and the interview..and then you need to go through the process of getting your medical degree validated and so on.

    Norway: There is an official language exam (The Bergen's test) that one needs to pass in order to be able to work there. And then the same process of getting your medical degree accredited by the Norwegian medical board. The advantages of living there: a great country in most aspects: educational standards, raising a family, same environment, high quality of living, lots of seafood :). Disadvantages: cold cold cold!, long, dark days (and long, bright days in the summer, so that will take some time to get used to), very very expensive (I mean literally, a bottle of beer costed me 8-10 EUR), very reserved people (to the point that they come off as being "cold and unfriendly"...especially to an American), and finally it's just very "isoloated" if you know what I mean.

    And I've mentioned with Switzerland, they're way too tight in recruiting candidates, even from the EU. They do sort of give a higher preference to candidates from France, Luxembourg and perhaps Germany. The whole language requirement is also a bit complicated. If you're living in the French cantons, fluency of French will suffice...unfortunately the french-speaking population of Switzlerland already has many many doctors and they're still pouring in from France and Belgium. In the German speaking part...there are 2 other populations: the pure German speaking cantons...and the Swiss german speaking population. The major advantage here is that they are recruiting many doctors...the disadvantage: learning the language. It just takes so many years because Swiss German is only a spoken language...it has no written from (they use High German when writing). So you would technically be learning 2 different languages with a very little overlap. And then there are the Rumantsch and the Italian cantons but they just make up the minority.

    Countries I would recommend: the Scandinavian ones (if can overcome all the negatives of living there). And perhaps you can also look outside Europe...but I'm assuming you want to live in Europe. Germany is another choice but the pay is not so good (even despite the recent increase in salaries).
     
  48. saxophonium6

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    thanks shreypete for starting this thread! i've learned soooo much from reading it. i know this question has nothing to do with what you originally ask but how exactly does an american apply for a spot in a european med school? im working towards a fluency in french so im thinking about schools in france and belgium. im aware that french med schools (at first) are nothing less than insane but if i devote myself to not having a life for 8 months then i think ill be okay. im currently in college in the US but im not sure what all id need to do to go about applying. any info?

    thanks!!!
     
  49. Elllipsis

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    Thank you for you very useful post, shreypete! ^_^

    Do you (or anyone else!) know anything about specialty training in any of those countries - particularly the Scandinavian and The Netherlands?
    What are the admission criteria, etc?
    And is that more difficult to achieve than simple medical practice after already being a specialist?
     
  50. DrBK

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    Hi, I am a foreign ophthalmologist from south-asia looking for opportunities to work abroad.
    Is it possible to get my degree recognized and work in countries like australia,canada or European countries.
    Can anyone please suggest.
    Thanks
     
  51. Marsupilami

    Marsupilami New Member
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    To those who are toying with the idea of moving to a Scandinavian country, "The Local" is an interesting online newspaper in English, mainly designed for expats in Sweden. On the discussion boards, readers share their experiences of their encounters with the Swedes and lots of other stuff.


    http://www.thelocal.se


    In response to the above post, I'd say that the pay in relation to cost of living in Germany is in fact better than in Sweden...German doctors who move to Sweden mainly go there for lifestyle reasons, i.e. much better working hours, better atmosphere among colleagues, more vacation etc.


    Imho, if the social behavior of Scandinavians weren't so bizarre, Sweden, Norway and Denmark would be great places to practice as a doctor.
     
    #50 Marsupilami, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009

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