Immigration. Travel. Living.

Work and salary of doctors in France. How to immigrate to France.

The French healthcare system, along with the Dutch one, is recognized as the best in the world. In 2000, according to the World Health Organization, it was named the best state for the level of medical care. This is the reason that many of our compatriots want to get a job as a doctor in France in 2021.

To work as a French doctor, the candidate must have an appropriate degree, which is regulated by law (Profession réglementée). This means that a health worker practicing in a country outside the EU is not eligible to engage in similar activities in that country. A doctor can get it by confirming his qualifications and obtaining a work permit. If the procedure for registering the latter is quite simple, then to prove your qualifications, you will have to make a lot of effort. There are three ways to do this in 2021.

1. Confirmation of the diploma

The process of confirming a doctor’s diploma begins with an exam. It is held once a year. Submission of documents takes place in May, and knowledge testing – in November or October. During the exam, the applicant answers written questions regarding the declared specialty and general practice. After that, you must take part and take the appropriate place in the competition. On average, five people out of 400 are selected. Individual conditions are provided for certain groups of foreign citizens. The selection criteria are not so strict. The privileged group includes the following persons:

  • Foreign doctors who started their career in medical institutions in France before July 2004.
  • Doctors with refugee status.

For citizens who fall under such conditions, a passing score is provided, overcoming which they automatically become licensed health workers. And there are also options when they get the right to work in budgetary medical institutions without passing an exam and competition.

Important! The applicant can be admitted to the exam three times.

2. Study in France

The second way to get a job as a physician is to enroll in the First Year of the First Cycle of Medical Research (Première année du premier cycle d’études médicales en France, abbreviated PCEM1). Upon completion, you will need to undergo testing on a competitive basis, after which there is automatic enrollment in the 5th or 6th year.

Important! This condition applies only if the applicant already has a doctor’s diploma from another state that does not belong to the European Union.

At the end of the last, sixth, course, you will need to go through a competition that allows you to enter an internship and choose a specialty. From how many professions there will be a choice depends on the number of points scored. If desired, the applicant can retake the competition one more time. Medical education in France

3. Training under the DFMS program

The final option for confirming a diploma and obtaining the opportunity to work as a doctor in France is to undergo training according to individual programs:

  • Le Diplôme de Formation Médicale Supérieure (DFMS), or the Diploma in Specialized Medical Education program lasting from two to four semesters. Only specialists who have a diploma allowing them to engage in professional medical activities in their state or where it was issued can participate in it. 
  • Le Diplôme de Formation Médicale Supérieure Approfondie (DFMSA) is an in-depth specialized medical education program. To participate in it, the applicant must meet the conditions similar to those described earlier. The duration of this course is one to two semesters.


The most typical places to find a job are: Paris (capital), Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Lille

Salary for the job: Medical Doctor France – USD 6739

Average salary France – USD 2093

Impact of work experience on salary:

Experienced: + 31%

Mid-Career: + 9%

Entry-level: -15%

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