Medical students: why you should get your medical specialty diploma in France

1 July 2020 | Medical career

In order to begin a medical specialization in France, you must be in your 6th year of studies and take the Épreuves Classantes Nationales (ECN). After passing the exam and receiving your rank, you can choose a specialty and the place where you would like to do your residency. These exams are open to all students from European Union countries. So getting your medical residency diploma in France can be a good move for your career.

A better understanding of local practices

Since 2005 it has in fact been possible to practice medicine in France while holding a medical diploma issued in another European country. But since 2013, measures to bring diplomas into compliance were strengthened, and it’s no longer very easy to be able to practice medicine in France with a foreign diploma. This is why, if you’re planning on living in France, it can be a good idea to do your residency in France and thus avoid any regulatory obstacles. Furthermore, getting your medical training in France helps you to better absorb the French medical culture, get used to the local practices, as well as better understand the territorial needs, which differ greatly from specialty to specialty and region to region, given that France suffers from an imbalance between “medical deserts” in some parts, and an overabundance of physicians in other parts of the country.

Well recognized training and attractive prospects

The French medical education process has a good reputation and is especially known for the excellent balance of theory and practice that it offers. A residency is performed in successive stages where the resident is given greater responsibility within the department they work in, such as in prescribing medication or tests, tasks reserved for doctors. Furthermore, in France, the medical sector offers solid employment prospects. Family medicine is the field where the need is greatest, but it is not the only one. Certain regions suffer from a lack of specialists in most medical disciplines. While turning to foreign doctors is one strategy to make up for the shortfall, there is no doubt that being able to present a diploma from medical training done in France is an asset when  ultimately wishing to set up a private practice or land a post as a public doctor. Lastly, the pay for medical students doing a residency in France is non-negligible, and the overall health care system provides good job security.

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