Recognition of medical speciality in Portugal: find out how to request

28 de August, 2019

Recognition of medical speciality in Portugal: find out how to request

Discover here how to apply for the recognition of medical specialization in Portugal with our detailed guide.
Reading: 5 min

If you are accompanying our articles on the practice of medicine in Portugal for professionals trained abroad, you already know the main steps and challenges to become a doctor here, including the step-by-step request for equivalence of medical degree in Portugal and the request for registration with the Portuguese Medical Association. Thus, for you who have made medical residency in Brazil, or any other country not belonging to the European agreement, the recognition of the medical specialty in Portugal is the last stage of this long process.

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Documents necessary for the recognition of the medical speciality

The body responsible for the recognition of medical specialties performed outside Portugal is the respective Specialty College of the Portuguese Medical Association.

Thus, if a Neurologist, for example, wishes to request recognition of the specialty in Portugal, he should prepare the documents requested by the Portuguese Medical Association and address them to the College of Neurology Specialty of the Portuguese Medical Association.

In general, the documents that must be submitted are:

  • Foreign Medical Diploma;
  • Certificate of Equivalence of the Diploma in Portugal;
  • Proof of registration with the Portuguese Medical Association;
  • Medical Residency Diplomas held abroad;
  • Curriculum Memorial;
  • CRM (medical college in the country that is enrolled) declaration of good repute and registration as a specialist.

Among all the documentation referred to above, the Curriculum Memorial is the one that should have special attention. It is a descriptive and detailed curriculum of all your academic and professional experience, and should be prepared thoroughly and according to the guidelines of each medical specialty.

Remembering also that to make the request for recognition of the medical specialty in Portugal is mandatory that your diploma is already recognized in the country and that you are already duly registered with the Portuguese Medical Association, with number assigned (similar to our CRM number).

Main challenge for specialist doctors trained in Brazil

There is no doubt that training time is the greatest challenge in requests for recognition of the medical specialty in Portugal. This is because the vast majority of medical specialties in Portugal have a longer duration when compared to our medical residences in Brazil.

To give you an idea, Pediatrics training here in Portugal lasts 5 years, while in Brazil the majority lasts between 2 and 3 years. Surgical procedures are even more disparate, as in the case of General Surgery, which lasts six years, for example. But, it is worth mentioning, that the theoretical weekly workload of training here is 40 hours and in Brazil 60 hours, so it is worth doing the math to see if there is this approach.

The more years of residence you have and the more sub-specializations you have, the easier it is to approximate the training curricula of Brazil and Portugal.

Thus, it is very important that the entire academic and professional path is well described in the Curriculum Memorial so that you can prove that, although the time of training may be shorter, all the steps required for the training of a specialist, of the same specialty in Portugal, have been completed.

The key to success in applying for equivalence is a well done Curriculum Memorial!

Decision on the application for recognition: possible scenarios

Upon delivery of the required documentation will be formed a jury of the College of Specialty of the Order of Doctors for evaluation of the application, which will decide the final destination of the candidate. There are basically 3 possible scenarios after the jury’s analysis:

  • Failed;
  • Approval
  • Conditional approval.

As a general rule, immediate disapproval is due to a large discrepancy between the workload and/or training programme of the Medical Speciality obtained abroad when compared to the same Medical Speciality in Portugal.

The immediate approval normally occurs when there is a great similarity in the workload and training program of the specialties in Brazil and Portugal. It can also occur when the candidate has exceptional experience and a notorious professional performance in the country of formation.

In turn, conditional approval results from differences in workload and/or training program, requiring the candidate to complement his experience with some type of internship, training and/or even an exam similar to our specialist title exams applied by several Brazilian medical societies.

There is a large margin of subjectivity, as you can see, and each College of the Specialty has autonomy for the final decision of the process.

Recognition of Medical Specialty in Portugal documents

Global Moving: doctors also have no borders. Learn how to practice medicine abroad.

How long does it take for the medical specialty to be recognised in Portugal?

With regard to the time required, unfortunately there is no maximum time limit laid down by law for the completion of this procedure. But it would be reasonable to say that such a process could take approximately 6 months to 2 years.

In addition, as conditional approval may vary widely from case to case, the required complement may vary from months to even a few years, depending on the candidate’s profile. However, it may always be rejected by the selection board at the end if the candidate does not perform well.

Success stories: yes, there are!

Despite the difficulty of recognizing the medical specialty in Portugal, several Brazilians have been able to prove their value of training through a well built Curriculum Memorial and an excellent professional career. But, in fact, the biggest discouraging factor is the long time of the whole process.

We must point out that many Brazilian medical residences are recognized worldwide for their quality and excellence. Many of the doctors who are references in various medical specialties are Brazilian. And this is also recognised in Portugal.

Therefore, if you are convinced of your desires and believe in your potential, I advise you to move forward and overcome this last stage necessary for the full exercise of your medical specialty in Portugal. Yes, it’s possible!

For those who are willing to do a new medical specialty in Portugal, we leave here again our Guide to access the medical residence for foreign doctors.

Article published on the Euro Tips website: https://www.eurodicas.com.br/reconhecimento-de-especialidade-medica-em-portugal/

Author: Mariana Ramalho
Doctor & Consultant



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