Pursuing a career in medicine requires a lot of diligence, time (that runs into years to learn), dedication, sacrifice and endless work hours (during practice). For a medical graduate, it is crucial to pursue medical residency programs in countries that would recognize and adequately reward your hard work and dedication. This post provides you the much-needed information on the best countries for doctors and countries that offer internationally friendly medical residency programs for internationally trained medical graduates, as well as the needed requirements for each program that allows you make informed decisions.

Doctors are inarguably invaluable to the general population as well as to the sick and the needy. However, in the current business, having just an MBBS degree is not very valuable. As a result, there is need for specialization. The need for medical experts is significantly higher than that for general practitioners. Medical graduates who want to progress professionally should continue their studies beyond the MBBS level and pursue a specialty in medical residency.


A medical residency is the last stage in medical school. Graduates of medical school can use this time to gain experience, additional credentials, and often a subspecialty certification necessary to practice medicine. The completion of a medical residency allows a medical student the opportunity to be paid while they study and practice medicine under the close supervision of a licensed medical physician. Medical residencies are available general surgery, anesthesiology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, internal medicine, psychiatry, emergency etc.


The two main benefits of working abroad are;

  • Higher pay
  • Greater visibility.

However, there is need to verify professional knowledge for work when doctors relocate overseas. It helps them to be admitted into the university and retrain in their various specialties.


Actually, it takes a minimum of 3 years and in most cases 5-7 years, to complete a medical residency program. It is therefore very important to consider some qualities when selecting the best countries for doctors and medical residency programs.

  • Select IMG-friendly countries
  • Find prestigious medical schools that provide specialized programs in your field of medicine.
  • Ensure that the medical school is affiliated with a medical institution or hospital.
  • You would want to choose a country you would like live throughout the duration of the program
  • Choosing a well-respected and renowned program can help residents compete for prestigious fellowships following the completion their residency.


The qualifications, citizenship, and language proficiency all play vital roles in the admission requirement for medical residency for medical doctors. The requirements vary from country to country and/or from medical institution to medical institution.


Specialization and doctoral programs are often open to international students in most European Universities. It is worthy to note that all Western European countries provide one of the best medical residency program in Europe because, medical residency students are paid salary in exchange for their work as they train to become specialists, while most Eastern European countries require residency students to pay an annual tuition fee in exchange for the privilege of becoming specialists.

European doctor graduates taking residency programs in European Economic Area (EEA) member states are required to take and pass a standardized admission exam (e.g. MIR exam in Spain). Medical postgraduate students (whether EU citizens or non-EU applicants) applying for residency programs in Europe are strongly encouraged to either demonstrate fluency in the national language of the country in question or enroll in a rigorous, intensive 9-month language course.

Medical residency program requirements in Europe

In order to have shot at the best medical residency programs in Europe, here are some of the requirements.

  • Specialty Application Form (different universities);
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Authenticated university medical degree Certificate
  • Medical certificate
  • Academic transcripts from high school; and transcripts of all medical coursework completed
  • National language proficiency certificate. For those who do not know the language, at least six months of language study must be completed before beginning specialization
  • Birth certificate
  • passport photocopy and
  • Medical specialization (residency) in Europe.

During their entire residency, successful EEA candidates will receive a salary. A language proficiency certificate, an acceptance letter, and proof of tuition payment are required for admission for those who are not citizens of EEA member states. For the majority of East European nations (Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary), this standard operating procedure is used.

2. IN UK

The General Medical Council (GMC) medical license is required for medical specialization and residency training in the UK. The minimum qualification for medical residency is a UK-recognized primary medical degree and in most cases a TOEFL score. After the completion of medical degree program, prospective specialists have to undergo a 2-year Foundation Program, a training, which is targeted to expose doctors to a variety of specialties and placement in order to meet the required Foundation curriculum approved by the nation.

In the United Kingdom, the length of time required to complete a medical residency program varies by field. Training in a particular specialty will take at least five years (2 years foundational study and 3 or more years of advanced study). At the end, the trainee will have earned a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in their chosen specialty and be qualified to join the GP register or the specialists of General Medical Council (GMC).

All doctors regardless of their citizenship and employment status in the United Kingdom require the General Medical Council (GMC) Medical License.

3. IN U.S.A

U.S. and Canadian residency programs are considered mandatory for doctors who want to work in the country. The United States has the most rigorous, competitive and difficult criteria in terms of studying Medicine. In addition, there is limited opportunity for foreign students.

International Medical Graduates who have been granted visas are welcome to apply to U.S. residency programs. It is highly recommended that they undergo an observership rotation in a clinical environment prior to residency application. Through these opportunities, international medical graduates can gain exposure to clinical practice environments and network with physicians who can serve as references during the residency application process.


  • International medical graduates should apply to at least 25 residency programs to increase their chances of being accepted.
  • To be successfully matched, applicants should submit their materials through ERAS, the Electronic Residency Application Service.
  • International medical graduates should recognize the distinctive requirement of each application and apply accordingly.
  • Present an original error-free application
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae, which highlights your academic qualification. Skills and experience
  • An experience in US Health care system before application will be an added advantage
  • It is advisable to have a personal statement that highlights your distinctive ability as an applicant.


Here is a list of the best internationally friendly countries for doctors.

  1. S.A: Although the United States has the most rigorous path when studying for Medical school, it is also one of the best for country for doctors. Depending on the Specialization and skill, the doctors earn pretty well and bonus packages are included as well. 
  1. Austrialia: Depending on experience and area of expertise, Australian doctors put in less hours each week (35-38) than their British counterparts. Overtime compensation, often double time, is due for any hours worked over that point.
  1. CANADA: International Medical graduates have better chances in Canada when compared to the US because the entry criteria are less competitive. Also, depending on the specialization and region, the doctors are paid well.
  1. U.K: The United Kingdom is a health care worker’s dream, with tens of thousands of jobs available in a wide variety of fields, especially for physicians who are willing to relocate from developing countries. Despite having one of the world’s worst shortages of medical professionals, the country’s healthcare system is operational.
  1. NEW ZEALAND: the country has over 40% of its registered practicing doctors as foreign-trained. As well as hiring foreign-trained doctors, New Zealand is one of the best paying countries for doctors.

As well as the above-mentioned countries, other countries on this list include;

  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Austria
  • Ireland
  • Luxembourg
  • Switzerland

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