Becoming a doctor in Saudi Arabia requires dedication and an intensive education. While the process can vary depending on the profile and background of the applicant and the specific medical school, a general understanding of degree requirements offers guidance when planning a medical studies program. In this article, we will discuss how many years it takes to become a doctor in Saudi Arabia and the other preparatory steps necessary.
How to become a doctor in Saudi Arabia?
To become a doctor in Saudi Arabia, you will need to follow these steps:
- Complete High School:
You will need to complete high school or an equivalent qualification.
- Study Pre-Medicine:
You will need to enroll in a pre-medical program at a university or college in Saudi Arabia. This program usually takes two years to complete.
- Pass the Saudi Arabian Medical Licensing Exam:
To practice medicine in Saudi Arabia, you must pass the Saudi Arabian Medical Licensing Exam (SMLE), which is administered by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS).
- Obtain a Medical Degree:
You will need to obtain a medical degree from an accredited university or college. This usually takes five to six years to complete.
- Complete a Residency Program:
After obtaining your medical degree, you will need to complete a residency program in your chosen specialty. This typically takes three to seven years, depending on your specialty.
- Obtain a License to Practice Medicine:
Once you have completed your residency program, you will need to obtain a license to practice medicine in Saudi Arabia. This is issued by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS).
- Register with the Saudi Council for Health Specialties:
You will also need to register with the Saudi Council for Health Specialties (SCHS) in order to be recognized as a specialist in your chosen field.
The Educational Road to a Medical Degree
In Saudi Arabia, to qualify as a doctor, a candidate must hold a medical degree from a recognized institution inside or outside of Saudi Arabia accredited by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. The initial step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in medicine, which requires at least four years of studies.
Subsequently, a two-year Medical Residency Program must be concluded in an accredited Saudi hospital. During the residency training, the medical student must undergo a minimum period of 24 months constituted by 13 blocks, each of them with a duration of four weeks that covers all the medical specialties accredited by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties.
Furthermore, a candidate must pass a three-part Examination, collectively referred to as Saudization Exam or Saudi Medical Licensing Exam. It includes a written evaluation based on the Saudi Medical objectives and Saudi Medical Standards, a practical clinical exam assessment and an oral exam. The written test can be taken either in Saudi Arabia or abroad. When taken abroad, the test is conducted in the upper-intermediate English level and is considered the most difficult one to pass.
All through the medical program and during the medical residency, the student must also demonstrate cross-cultural competency by completing an approved course, according to the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties.
Finally, before receiving the medical license to practice as a doctor and open a clinic in Saudi Arabia, the candidate must obtain a suitable degree in Arabic Language, if one is not available, the candidate must pass a test conducted by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. This certification is valid for two years when taken inside the country and three years when taken abroad.
Time Frame to Become a Doctor in Saudi Arabia
Altogether, the educational training process and examinations required to become a doctor take a minimum of six to seven years to complete in Saudi Arabia. This timeframe includes a bachelor’s degree in medicine, a two-year medical residency program and certification of a suitable Arabic course or a passing grade for the Arabic language proficiency test.
In conclusion, becoming a doctor in Saudi Arabia takes a minimum of six to seven years to complete. Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in medicine from a recognized institution, complete a two-year medical residency program, pass a three-part examination and earn certification in a suitable Arabic course, or pass the Arabic language proficiency test.
How many years does it take to become a doctor in Saudi Arabia?
It takes a minimum of 5 years to become a doctor in Saudi Arabia. This includes a 3-year undergraduate degree in the sciences, followed by a 2-year postgraduate degree in medicine.
Can foreign students study medicine in Saudi Arabia?
Yes. Foreign students can apply to study medicine at one of the government-approved medical schools in Saudi Arabia. The admission requirements and process may vary between institutions, so it is best to contact the medical school directly for more information.
What qualifications are needed to practice medicine in Saudi Arabia?
In order to practice medicine in Saudi Arabia, a medical doctor must hold a degree in medicine from a recognized medical school, and must be registered with the Saudi Council for Health Specialties. A valid work visa and professional license are also necessary for practice.
How long does it take to study medicine in Saudi Arabia?
Most medical studies in Saudi Arabia usually last 4-6 years, depending on the specialization. This includes a one-year internship.
What is the average length of a medical residency in Saudi Arabia?
According to a recent survey of medical residencies in Saudi Arabia, the average length of a medical residency is 4.1 years.
What is the length of a specialty residency in Saudi Arabia?
The length of a specialty residency in Saudi Arabia depends on the specialty and the country where the residency is undertaken. Generally, specialty residencies in Saudi Arabia can range from two to four years.