How can I practice as a doctor in Iceland? Skip to content
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How can I practice as a doctor in Iceland?


Iceland is a great place to live and work. And unfortunately for those in the medical field in Iceland, but fortunately for those in the field eyeing Iceland as a new home, there is a healthcare shortage in Iceland.

If you are looking for a healthcare job in Iceland, then you’re in luck, because it’s a very in-demand field.

For the most part, the process is just like any other profession. You will still need to comply to all the relevant regulations regarding work visas for individuals outside of EU/EEA nations (see “General Information” below).

What’s most important for medical professionals looking for employment in Iceland will be recognition of your degree and any other specific professional qualifications you have. You can read about these in detail at “Regulation on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications” below.

For a general practitioner, it should be enough to hold an MD or equivalent degree from an accredited institution. But for more specialized fields, you will want to begin your job hunt long before relocating to Iceland. Here you can view all of the current vacancies at the National University Hospital. For more specific questions on qualifications and employment in Iceland’s medical field, you will also want to contact the clinic or hospital you intend to work at directly. Especially for in-demand roles, they will also be able to help you navigate the process of having your medical qualifications recognized in Iceland.

Admission to medical school in Iceland requires a Bachelor’s degree. In order to obtain a medical license, candidates must complete a course of 180 ECTS credits over three years, in addition to a 12-month residency program. Medical candidates in Iceland will then take the NBME Clinical Sciences Comprehensive Examination.

Another common question we receive about practising as a medical professional in Iceland is whether there is an equivalent of a Physician’s Associate in Iceland. The short answer is no, but nurses do have a slightly wider range of responsibilities in Iceland. For example, nurses in Iceland are able to prescribe contraception. However, according to the National Hospital, laws governing prescriptions are currently under review, and this may change in the future.

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