27 de June, 2018
Every day the number of Brazilian doctors interested in the possibility of practicing medicine in Portugal is growing. Most of them are well-trained and experienced physicians who wish to seek a better quality of personal and professional life in Portugal, even though they are aware that the average salaries offered here are usually significantly lower than the average salaries of this segment in Brazil.
And this dream may become a reality for Brazilian doctors, since in Portugal there are specific processes for the equivalence of a medical degree, for registration with the Portuguese Medical Association and for the recognition of autonomy for the practice of medicine, and also for the recognition of the medical specialty for doctors trained abroad.
In this article we will specifically focus on the current overview and requirements of the Medical Diploma Equivalence Process in Portugal for doctors trained outside the European Union, the first step to be taken to practice medicine in Portugal.
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Informally known as “diploma validation”, equivalence is a procedure in which the applicant requests that his Degree/Master’s Degree in Medicine, obtained at a Brazilian University, be certified as equivalent to the “Integrated Master’s Degree” in Medicine given by Portuguese Universities (by virtue of the Bologna Treaty, the Degree and Master’s cycles in the country’s medical schools were integrated).
The request for equivalence, or for validation of a medical degree, can be made at most Portuguese Universities that provide the medical course, namely:
As a rule, once a year, these universities issue their respective invitations to tender for the medical degree equivalence process, normally during the first semester.
Although universities have some freedom in establishing the rules of their own equivalence process, in recent years the standard has been to establish the following successive and eliminatory phases: (i) documentary stage; (ii) written test; (iii) practical test; (iv) public test.
We point out that this year (2018) no public notice has yet been issued for the process of recognition of a medical degree in Portugal, due to a review of the rules of this procedure that is being conducted by the Council of Portuguese Medical Schools.
This review, which started last year and is expected to be completed in July this year, aims to make the rules uniform across faculties, ensuring greater security and fairness in the assessment of applicants.
Therefore, it is very likely that in the second half of 2018 new calls for proposals will be opened, with unified rules among the Faculties of Medicine.
The following are the steps of the medical degree equivalence process applied until last year. We reiterate that there used to be some differences between the Faculties, so we present here the general pattern.
Once the respective notice is open, the applicant must provide and submit to the Academic Services of the selected University all the list of documents specified in that document, together with the proof of payment of the application fee.
Normally, for Brazilians, it is necessary to submit the following documents:
Those documents shall be duly apostilled. The surrender shall be made in person by the applicant or by a duly qualified prosecutor.
The documents will be analyzed for the purposes of workload and scientific content by a committee of professors constituted by the University itself and, if they meet the requirements, the candidate may proceed to the next stage.
Passed at the documentary stage, the applicant will move on to the Theoretical Testing stage. As a rule, this is an objective examination, composed of 120 multiple choice questions in the major areas of medicine (Gynecology and Obstetrics, Surgery, Medical Clinic, Pediatrics, General Practice and Family Medicine, Public Health and Mental Health), in which the candidate must answer at least 50% of the questions.
This test has a content similar to the test performed for access to the medical residence in Brazil, so many doctors choose to use their study materials of this time. Some Portuguese Universities also offer for consultation old tests that serve to guide the study of new candidates.
Passed the theoretical test, the applicant will then move on to the practical test stage: usually the handling of real clinical cases and subsequent discussion with a group of teachers selected for this purpose.
As a rule, the candidate will be given one or two patients for interview, clinical analysis and writing of the respective full report, including: anamnesis, physical examination, proposal for provisional diagnosis, request for complementary exams, discussion of differential diagnosis, establishment of the definitive diagnosis, therapeutic proposal and prognosis.
The following day, before a group of designated teachers, the candidate must present and discuss the reports prepared. At this stage the candidate must also obtain at least 50% of the value of the test for its success.
Finally, in view of the fact that the equivalence process in Portugal confers on the candidate the degree of Master in Medicine, the last stage of the evaluation consists of the presentation of the candidate’s Master’s dissertation before a jury of Professors appointed for this purpose.
However, since many foreign applicants have only a bachelor’s degree, many colleges have been accepting other types of documents in lieu of the dissertation, such as the submission of a monograph, relevant scientific work, internship report or detailed curriculum report.
Therefore, the candidate will have to present his work before a jury of teachers, who will be able to intervene and interrogate him during his exhibition. If the jury considers the performance to be positive, it awards the candidate a score of 10 to 20.
The final classification of the medical equivalence process will result from the arithmetic mean, on a scale from 0 to 20, obtained in the referred tests.
The time required varies according to each edict, because the tests can be more or less spaced, but on average it takes about 10 months to complete this procedure.
The fees for registration and examinations may also vary depending on the Faculty, but are around €500 in total.
It is expected that with the Regulation, to be published in the second half of 2018, the rules of this medical degree validation process will become more uniform and adjusted in order to provide greater certainty to candidates and fairness in the evaluation of applications.
The practice of medicine in Portugal by doctors trained abroad is possible and is already becoming a reality for an increasing number of Brazilians. However, you need to plan and prepare properly in order to complete all the necessary steps successfully.
In the following articles, we will address the other steps necessary for the practice of medicine in Portugal by Brazilian specialists, namely (i) Enrollment in the Portuguese Medical Association and recognition of autonomy for the practice of medicine, and (ii) the Process of Recognition of Medical Specialty at the College of Specialties.
If you are interested in a specialized advice for your medical degree validation process, Atlantic Bridge can help you in this professional project in Portugal, visit our website and get to know us a little better.
Article published on the Euro Tips website: https://www.eurodicas.com.br/equivalencia-de-diploma-medico-em-portugal/
Authors: Roberta Fraser and Mariana Ramalho
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