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Becoming a Doctor in Iceland


Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Q: What are the steps to becoming a psychiatrist or general doctor in Iceland?



A: In order to gain admission to medical school in Iceland one must first possess a stúdentspróf or equivalent degree. That would be, for instance, a U.S. high school diploma in addition to a full year at an accredited college. No particular concentration or certification is required, although knowledge in certain fields is necessary to pass the entrance exam which is held early every summer. A limited number of applicants are accepted every year, or the highest scoring 48, as stated on the website of the University of Iceland. 

After three years of study one is accredited with a Bachelor of Science degree, which is largely symbolic and does not grant any rights to practice.

The full course of study is six years, at which point students take a (candidatus medicinae) final exam. Following a year of work-study, one is finally granted a general license to practice medicine.

At this point doctors specialize, and most often go abroad to complete their advanced degrees, for instance in general medicine or psychiatry.