6 Steps to get a practice license in Sweden for a non-EU medical doctor

“So, you are a medical doctor. Do you plan to practice here after finishing your master study?” This was the most common question I got during my first eight months here in Stockholm. At first, I did not really think about this. My initial plan was to come to KI and finish the Master in Health Informatics programme. However, since I heard this question a lot lately, then I started to look for some information. One thing for sure is that I obtained my MD degree from Indonesia, that is in the South East Asia region, in other words, non-EU. That means that I can not just put on my white coat and go around treating people.

For the people, me included, who had already arrived in Sweden for other purposes and coincidentally possess a medical doctor degree, here are six steps that we should undergo in order to get a practice license in Sweden:

1. Learn Swedish

Although most Swedish can speak English, and they speak it fluently, but it is a must to learn Swedish, because the daily conversation, especially in the healthcare setting, is in Swedish. One can learn it intensively through the SFA (Svenska för akademiker) medicin, which is intended for people with clinical or healthcare education background. However, it might be almost impossible to take it parallelly with the full-time master’s degree programme. Other options should be to take the regular Swedish language course and finish it until the SVA 3 level or C1 level based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You can find my story on how i accelerate my Swedish.

learn language

Learn the language. Picture credit to BiljaST. Source: www.pixabay.com.


2. Validate the diplomas


Get it validated. Picture credit to 472301. Source: www.pixabay.com.

One does not acquire the medical doctor diploma for nothing. We, well at least me, value this diploma that I bring it when I move to Stockholm. And, it turns out that I can get this diploma validated by submitting it to the Socialstyrelsen. By getting it validated, it means that I was acknowledged to had finished the corresponding education that I do not need to re-take it here.


3. Pass the proficiency examination


Make your way pass the exam. Picture credit to HanirathR. Source: www.pixabay.com.

Kunskasprovet, or the proficiency examination, is consisted of theoretical and practical tests, delivered in Swedish. Each person only has three attempts to take the exam and only five years from the day of the first attempt. So, one must be better prepared prior to deciding to take the first attempt.




4. Attend the Swedish laws and regulations course

The healthcare system in Sweden is regulated by many laws and regulations that might be distanced from the laws and regulations that one knew and obeyed to when one still in the home country. Taking the course(s) is mandatory and will be beneficial for future purposes of working within the clinical practice.

Laws and order

Know the laws and regulations. Picture credit to succo. Source: www.pixabay.com.

5. Undergo clinical internship

Even though I already had experiences in clinical practice, I still have to familiarize myself with the working environment within the healthcare facility or in the community. The internship is intended to be taken. You will need to undergo clinical training even if you have practiced before. The internship will last for 6 months.


Practise makes perfect. Picture credit to Uli-W. Source: www.pixabay.com.


6. Apply for the practice license

The final step to do is definitely to apply for the license (legitimation – in Swedish) by submitting the supporting documents from the previous steps. And, voila! One can put the white coat in pride and start treating the patient.


Get yourself a legitimation to practice. Picture credit to geralt. Source: www.pixabay.com.


For more detailed information, you can find it in the Socialstyrelsen’s website.

I have not decided yet whether I will take all those steps or not, but at least now I know where to start. Where did you get your medical degree? Do you intend to practice here also in Sweden? Feel free to comment below!





Hi, i am from a non European country. I want to come in Sweden as a foreign doctor. What will be the cost for this entire process? Getting licence, Swedish language course, living expenses etc.



Hi everyone! Can anyone tell if I can practice medicine in Sweden without license, and if yes is that paied?

Dana Kokey

Dana Kokey

Hi Winner, I'm from Kazakhstan, starting Health Informatics at KI this year, and I already learned English, then German language, so it makes me feel so overwhelmed even thinking of starting Swedish course)) but thanks for advices you give in your blog.

Md mahedi hasan

Md mahedi hasan

Hy winner, Thanks for your helpful information. I am from Bangladesh. I completed MBBS four years ago. I want to practice in Sweden. Is it possible that can i have MS in orthopaedic degree from Sweden? Or i have to complete MS from my country next to apply for necessary steps. I will be greatful if u give some information. Thanks with anticipation Dr. Mahedi.

Horacio Paternina

Horacio Paternina

Hi Winner! Thanks for your post! I studied and practiced medicine in Colombia – South America. Now @uppsala master in biotech. Same as you! Horacio

Winner Ng - Health Informatics

Winner Ng - Health Informatics

Hi Horacio! Nice to meet you. Happy to know that we have similar background and now both we are pursuing studies at Sweden. All the best ahead for you!

Jayantha wijeratne

Jayantha wijeratne

Please guide me I have already applied for validation from socialsterian but nothing materialize, presently working as an emergency doctor in gulf. My email jayantha212000@yahoo.com.au Thank you

Winner Ng - Health Informatics

Winner Ng - Health Informatics

Hi Jayantha! Unfortunately, we don't provide any official guidance for this term. But you can always contact the socialstyrelsen for more information. Hope everything will be smooth ahead for you!

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