Those who apply to practice medicine in Portugal must meet two requirements to register with the Portuguese Medical Association: have the course/degree recognized by any of the eight Portuguese medical schools and prove their ability to communicate in Portuguese.
A doctor from any EU country is automatically recognized in Portugal, under EU legislation, therefore, to register with the Ordem dos Médicos, he will only have to take a medical contact test.
However, for those who come from other places – and despite the fact that the law on recognition of academic degrees and diplomas of higher education awarded by foreign institutions also applies to Andorra, Moldova, Norway, UK, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine – this recognition is conditional, by the regulating entity Medical activity, assessing academic, clinical and linguistic knowledge, included first by the Portuguese medical schools and later by the Ordem dos Médicos, with proof of medical contacts.
Relatively speaking, the foreign candidates for doctors with the highest approval rate are Spaniards (84.4% of applications granted), followed by Ukrainians (78.8%), Germans (70%) and Italians (66.2%).
Of the 74.7% of applications from Brazilians, only 42.7% were approved – despite representing three quarters of the total number of applications approved (706).
In the past three years, all medical candidates from three countries – Cuba, Guinea-Bissau and Venezuela were rejected. Only one of the 29 applications submitted by Angolan nationals was approved.
“The entire qualification process is carried out by medical schools” and aims to ensure that successful candidates “have recognized the knowledge and are proven” to practice “good medicine” in Portugal (or, later, in a community space), in the same way” said the President of the Council of Portuguese Medical Schools (CEMP), Henrique Cyrne Carvalho, Lusa, The Standard of Requirements “imposed on national students.
With the exception of candidates from countries for which Portuguese is the official language, everyone starts by taking a communication test.
After this exam has been passed – and with all candidates who do not have to take it – the next step is to evaluate the curriculum, with a ‘written test in key areas of medical knowledge’, under the responsibility of the various clinicians. Schools (alternate and by region).
“It’s a national assessment, and the test is one for all,” assures Cyrne Carvalho. He points out that in this specific knowledge test, “about half” of the candidates fall by the wayside.
Candidates who then proceed to undergo a ‘practical test, with the patient, called a ‘face test’, at each of the colleges in which they have applied. In this, the percentage of leads is ‘blatantly lower’, also highlights the Director of the Institute of Medical Sciences Biologist Abel Salazar at the University of Porto.
Finally, candidates must submit a master’s thesis, which is also required for Portuguese students who leave medicine courses with a master’s degree.
Once medical schools’ approval process is complete — which takes “a full calendar year,” says the CEMP chief — they can apply to practice general practice, but not without first taking a medical contact exam. , which is required by the Portuguese Medical Association and which includes another different actor: Camões, an institute overseen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“If you do not know how to speak Portuguese, you cannot practice. It is necessary to talk to patients and write in the clinical diaries”, justifies the president of Ordem dos Médicos, Miguel Guimarães, stressing that “the level of demand (from the test) is not very high”.
SBR // HB
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