Medical studies in Poland can be completed in German, English and Polish. German medical students use this for their medical degree in Poland. But will you then also receive your license to practice medicine in Germany? That is currently controversial. Because the German licensing authorities require proof of the final medical examination, the so-called “Lekarski Egzamin Koncowy”, as well as proof of having completed the practical year, the so-called “Zaswiadczenie o ukonczeniu stazu podyplomowego” (postgraduate practical training).

Licence to practise medicine in Germany

The licence to practise medicine in Germany is regulated identically in the BÄO for all federal states. Poland has been a member of the European Union since its accession on 01.05.2004. This makes it easier to apply for a licence to practise medicine. If the legal requirements are met, the training is considered equivalent. The licence to practise medicine must be granted.

§ 3 BÄO specifies the requirements for a medical licence to practise medicine. For proof of the equivalence of the professional training, optional qualifications are sufficient:

European professional card

Evidence of formal qualifications in medicine issued by a Member State of the EU: issued after 20.12.1976, as listed in the Annex to the BÄO
Evidence of medical training issued by another EEA Member State: issued after 31.12.1992, as listed in the Annex to the BÄO

Finally, in each individual case, the date of commencement and completion of training and the evidence available must always be taken into account.

Medical training in Poland

It seems unclear, however, what is required as proof for the completion of training as a doctor in Poland. According to the appendix to § 3 paragraph 1 sentence 2 (reference: Federal Law Gazette I 2007, 2947 – 2950), these are exclusively the Lekarski Egzamin Państwowy – which probably only existed until 2012.

According to the opinion of the Central Office for Foreign Education and the Government of Upper Bavaria, which is known to us, the following conditions must currently be met:

  • Diploma from a Polish medical school, title “lekarz” (“Dyplom”)
  • Certificate of a Polish university on the final medical examination Lekarski Egzamin Koncowy
  • Certificate issued by the Polish Ministry of Health or the competent Polish District Medical Chamber confirming the completion of the completed practical year or post-graduate practice (13 months) “staż podyplomowy”.

Delegate Decision (EU) 2019/608 of the Commission of 16.01.2019 amending Annex V to Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards evidence of formal qualifications and titles of training courses – C 2019-78 (OJ L 104 p. 1) – also calls

  • Swiadectwo zlozenia Lekarskiego Egzaminu Pañstwowego (until 2012)
  • Swiadeetwo zlozenia Lekarskiego Egzaminu Koñcowego (since 2013)
  • Zaswiadczenie o ukoñczeniu stazu podyplomowego (postgraduate internship)

The staż podyplomowy begins annually on 1 October or 1 March and lasts 13 months. It includes the deepening of theoretical and practical knowledge in the following areas:

  • internal medicine (11 weeks)
  • Paediatrics (including neonatology) (8 weeks)
  • General surgery (including traumatic surgery) (8 weeks)
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology (7 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • Anesthesiology and intensive care (3 weeks)
  • Emergency medicine (3 weeks)
  • Family medicine (6 weeks)
  • Training in the field of
  • medical certificate (3 days)
  • Bioethics (3 days)
  • Medical law (4 days)

In justified cases, the Ministry of Health may recognise a traineeship completed abroad.

However, the older decision 2017/2113 of 11.09.2017 (OJ L 317/119) saw things differently, as it did not include the stazu podyplomowego.

Trouble for medical students

Since the decision, German medical students have been facing a dilemma.  According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the Ärzteblatt, the 13-month period of practical training as a doctor and the final medical examination was reintroduced by Poland in April 2019 and included in Annex V of the Professional Recognition Directive.

It is true that the Polish Chamber of Senior Physicians certifies, by awarding the diploma, the completion of medical training within the meaning of the directive. However, this is not sufficient for the German licence to practise medicine.