Specific training in general medical practice

Specific training in general medical practice is required to practise medicine within the health insurance system in EU countries other than Finland.
Registration for training

Please see the website in Finnish for more detailed information.

Please note that the training cannot be completed in English. 


Instructions for applying for the right to study

Make sure you have the required attachments in electronic form at your disposal:

  • Licensing decision by Valvira (license granted after 1 February 2016)
  • Degree certificate if the Licentiate of Medicine or Dentistry degree was completed outside Finland

Carefully complete the application. You can supplement and edit your application until the application deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.

NB! It is particularly important that you do not leave your application in the draft stage, but save it and submit it for processing. Applications in draft status will not be processed.

Once your application has been processed and you have been granted the right to study, you will receive an email confirmation and additional information on embarking on your studies as well as other practical instructions. If you do not wish to receive the above email, please select the appropriate section on the form (‘En halua sähköpostitse tietoa päätöksestä’).

Regardless of the above, you will receive the decision on the right to study by mail to your home address within a few weeks. Your employer needs the decision letter on the right to study to apply for special state subsidies. Make sure you do not lose this decision letter because you can receive it only once. In future, you can obtain training certificates (in Finnish/Swedish/English).

If your application must be supplemented or cannot be approved, you will be contacted.

Form (open only during the registration period)

Further information and advice: meilahti-specialist@helsinki.fi, phone 02941 26200, Mondays at 12.00–15.00 and Thursdays at 12.00–14.00


Specific training in general medical practice is required to practise medicine within the health insurance system in EU countries other than Finland.

Working as a doctor or self-employed person in Finland does not require specific training in general medical practice. 

Doctors register for the training at the university where they completed their Licentiate of Medicine degree. The duration of the training is two years. If the medical degree was completed outside Finland, the duration of the specific training is three years. To begin and complete the training, doctors must have the right to practise their profession in Finland. As of 1 January 2019, the right to complete specific training in general medical practice remains valid for six years from the granting of the right (Faculty Council, 16 October 2018, item E1). When necessary and for well-grounded reasons, doctors completing specific training can apply to the Faculty for an extension to their fixed-term right to study.

Doctors completing the training are personally responsible for having sufficient language skills needed to complete it. For doctors who have completed their basic degree in medicine outside Finland, the Faculty recommends at least satisfactory skills in Finnish or Swedish. Recommended language certificates include the National Certificate of Language Proficiency (level 3) provided by the Finnish National Board of Education or the Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate (grade: satisfactory). Other appropriate means of demonstrating language skills include a course in Finnish (skills level 6–9) completed at the Helsinki Summer University, or Finnish general upper secondary education or a Finnish matriculation examination completed in Finnish or Swedish.

At the registration stage, doctors must familiarise themselves with instructions pertaining to completing specific training in general medical practice, which the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Medicine confirmed on 25 August 2015. The instructions include more detailed requirements on the training content, as well as the principles of approving completed service periods and other training components.

Before registering for the training, you must be aware of the following restrictions pertaining to work experience completed with a partial licence:

  • If you began studies leading to a medical degree on 1 January 2012 or later in another EU/EEA country where receiving the processional practice rights requires the completion of practical training after receiving the degree, completing specific training in general medical practice does not make you directly eligible to receive such rights in Finland. Instead, the professional practical training completed in Finland must be approved in the country of origin. Further details on the matter can be enquired from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira and explored on the Valvira website.
  • As of 1 August 2020, work experience gained under the direction and supervision of another (that is, training completed with a partial licence) will not be recognised for specialist training for persons who have completed their basic medical degree outside Finland. Only work experience and other training completed as an independent licensed professional (fully licensed doctor) is accepted as part of specialist training. Should such a matter become topical at a later date, practical training periods completed with a partial licence during specific training in general medical practice cannot in practice be included in Finnish specialist training in medicine.

Provisions for specific training in general medical practice are available on the Instructions for Students website.

Further information

Further information about the programme can be obtained from the Instructions for Students website or meilahti-specialist@helsinki.fi.