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Is it common/possible to become a doctor with a US medical degree?

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Joined: 2 months ago

I’m looking to pursue a medical degree and speak Portuguese already since I’m Brazilian/American. I know Portugal speaks Portuguese a little differently. I really want to move to Portugal as Brazil is pretty unsafe these days, but need to know if I can expect to find a job as a doctor in a hospital with a US medical school degree or if I need to complete medical school within Portugal. Does anyone have experience with healthcare in Portugal as a foreigner? Or possibly know anything in regard to medical school in Portugal as a foreigner? Thank you!

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Hon Member
Joined: 7 years ago

Posts: 201

@sazevedo whilst EU qualifications are automatically recognised in Portugal, those from other places (such as the States) are not.  There is a process – this site may be a good place to start to understand it, and it contains links to the relevant legislation, and this one also has useful information.

As qualifications are typically considered component by component, it’s not unusual to find that you need to “top up” elements where the PT/EU equivalent would require something your US qualification didn’t cover.  There may, potentially, be PT/EU specifics you need to learn; and whilst language may not be an issue for you, there may be a requirement to demonstrate relevant professional competence.  It seems unlikely you’d be required to retake your entire training.

Medicine is a regulated field of work, and so correct processes must be followed, including if working independently or for a private provider.

An initiative was announced last autumn to streamline recognition for medical professionals would would commit to work within the Portuguese national health service.

You might also consider enquiring of the professional body – which may be the Ordem dos Médicos, or the one for biologists, nurses, dentists, nutritionists or psychologists, should one of those be more relevant to your career.  These ordens regulate the respective professions, and license practitioners, so ultimately, you can’t legitimately avoid becoming a member if you wish to practice regulated professions in Portugal.


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