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Important information

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Target audience

AudienceStatutory refugees, Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, Stateless people, Beneficiaries of temporary protection
Level of FrenchB2, C1, C2


Be in possession of a residence permit or a receipt
Have a end of high school level

Where is it?

Resuming medical studies in France

Updated on il y a 6 mois

What is it?

Did you start medical studies in your country, without being able to finish them? You have finished your studies in your country but you prefer to resume them in France to obtain a French diploma?

In these two situations, you can apply to university in France directly from the second year (and until the penultimate year of the second cycle, depending on your level of studies).

In France, there are four medical professions: doctor, pharmacist, midwife and dentist.

The duration of medical studies depends on the trades:

  • Medicine: it takes, after the baccalaureate, nine years of study to be able to practice as a general practitioner. It takes three to four more years to become a specialist (surgeon, pediatrician, etc.).
  • Maieutics (midwife): it takes five years after the baccalaureate to obtain the state diploma in midwifery.
  • Dentist: it takes six years after the baccalaureate to obtain the state doctorate in dental surgery and four additional years to become an orthodontist.
  • Pharmacy: it takes six years after the baccalaureate to obtain the state doctorate in pharmacy.
The decree of December 13, 2019 defines the procedure for resuming studies for foreign candidates who have completed part of their medical studies in their country or who have finished their studies.

First, you must apply, by presenting an application in a university (only one per year) to enter directly into the second year of the first cycle. If your application is accepted, you take an oral test. If you pass the oral test, you can enter the second year or apply for a higher year.

Please note: if you do not have documents proving your studies in your country, you cannot use this procedure. Similarly, it is strongly recommended to have at least a B2 language level in French.

There is also the option of “bridges” (means of entering directly into 2ᵉ and 3ᵉ year of medicine or midwifery). If you hold a doctorate from your country, a French master's degree or a French state diploma as a medical assistant, you can apply for direct access to the second or third year of health studies (gateway decree March 24, 2017). Eligibility is based on file and admission after an oral test. But there are very few places.
Holders of a diploma entitling them to practise as a dental surgeon in their own country can undergo accelerated training to work as a dental assistant. Under the accelerated training scheme, 6 of the 8 course units are waived and the professional title of dental assistant can be obtained by validating just 2 units (see the Réfugié fact sheet "Becoming a dental assistant in France").

How to do it?

You must first apply to a university, by submitting an application for registration in the second year of the first cycle.

The file must be sent to the university on the dates requested by it. You can find by clicking here the list of universities offering health classes.

All the documents to be given in this file are listed in article 3 of the decree of December 13, 2019. They must be written in French or translated by a certified translator.
> To read also: the sheet "Obtain the official translation of a document"

If your application is not selected, you will have to sent your application again another year, to the same university or another.

Please note that you can only apply twice in total (once a year).

If your file is accepted, you will then have to take an oral admission test (see step 2 below).

A jury examines your application file for the second year of the first cycle. If your file is accepted, you must then take oral admission tests.

To take this oral test, you must have at least a B2 level in French .

If you fail the oral, you will have to reapply for another year, at this university or another.

If you pass the oral, you will need to take a written knowledge exam to determine which year you can enroll in (see step 3 below).

After the oral examination, the president of the university may exempt candidates from one or more years of study and allow them direct access to the penultimate year of the second cycle of medical training, where this is justified by the nature of their diploma or their background.

For this, the candidate must take a knowledge check exam, which will determine the year in which they can register.

The procedures for organising this examination are laid down by the universities or maieutics (midwifery) training structures.

This procedure is particularly suitable for refugees who have completed their studies in their country but wish to pursue a specialty.

What happens next?

For studies and exams: think about health libraries and libraries like the national library or the Public Information Library (BPI) in Paris.

You can also practice health French online with RFI savoirs for example.

You can apply for a scholarship for your studies. There is a specific complementary scholarship for fourth-year students who commit to working in a medical desert at the end of their studies.
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