You are a doctor and want to immigrate and work in China. Is it possible? The answer is yes. There are two ways for you to pick one of them. You will learn how to immigrate and work in China as a doctor through this comprehensive guide.
What are the ways you can become a doctor in China?
There are two ways to become a doctor in China. The first one is that you study a medical subject in one of the Chinese universities. Then you have to pass a medical test and find a job to work as a doctor in China.
The second way is that you are a verified doctor in your home country and want to immigrate to China. In this case, you will have to pass the medical exams and then find a job offer in China.
The below sections explain these two methods in detail, and you can find more information.
What are the requirements to become a medical doctor in China?
As you will read in the sections of this article, you will notice there are two ways to immigrate to China as a doctor. The first way is to study at a Chinese medical school, and the second way is that you get your degree abroad and pass the national medical exam.
The requirements to immigrate to China as a doctor vary by the way you pick. But a general list is as follows;
You have to master Chinese and learn it very well to immigrate to China as a doctor. There is no way to skip this part, and language proficiency is a must.
Even if you study at a Chinese university where medical courses are offered in English, you have to learn Chinese.
The national medical exam is in Chinese, and you have to pass it. Also, you need to know Chinese to talk with patients. Not all of them might speak or understand English.
Having a medical degree is one of the essential requirements for becoming a doctor in China.
You can get your degree from a Chinese university or a foreign medical school. It’s up to your condition and decision.
The process is different in each way, and the steps you have to follow. Look at the below section to learn about them.
Passing the National Medical Licensing Examination.
Whether you are a Chinese national, an international student in China, or a doctor who received your degree abroad, you have to pass the National Medical Licensing Examination.
It’s a must to pass this exam to become a doctor in China. The test is in Chinese, and there are a few sections with it.
It is held in China, and you have to visit the country to pass it. You can learn about the structure and how to register for it in the below section of this article.
If you are a foreign doctor and want to move to China, you need a job offer. This is after passing the National Medical Licensing Examination.
Every foreign person who wants to work in China needs a job offer. The employer applies for a work permit notice, and after it is issued, you can continue the rest of the process.
Complete the residency program.
The residency program in China is a must for everyone who wants to become a doctor in the country.
If you study at a Chinese university, the center arranges the internship or residency for you, and it’s part of your studies. You can also take your residency in another place.
But if you have studied abroad, you have to take a one-year residency in China as well. It’s one of the requirements to pass the National Medical Licensing Examination.
You can choose your residency yourself, and it can be in any field; neurology, dermatology, etc.
Have enough funds.
If you want to study a medical course in China, you have to have enough funds for it. You must pay the tuition if you do not get funds or a scholarship.
The second way to immigrate to China as a doctor, you must have enough funds to pass the one-year residency. Then you must stay in China to pass the National Medical Licensing Examination. You must have enough funds to cover your expenses in this period.
Note; There are other requirements, and they depend on your conditions. When you read the sections of this article, you will know the exact details and requirements. You would better read the entire article once before you start taking action.
Study for a medical degree in China.
The first way to become a medical doctor in China is to study for a medical degree in the country. This is the method that has its pros and cons, and you have to figure out whether it’s appropriate for you or not.
If you are already a doctor in your home country, you can try the second way. The Visa Library team will cover it in the below section.
This section brings you the steps you have to follow to study for a medical degree in China;
Learn Chinese and master this language.
The first step is to learn Chinese and master it. You have to prepare yourself to study a medical course in China.
Most of the courses are taught in Chinese, but you might be able to find a course in English. Even if you find a course in English, you would better master the language as the medical tests are in Chinese.
For instance, Fudan University is the one that offers a medical course in English. The English language requirement you need is IELTS or TOEFL. Visit the university’s website to find out the required score.
It might take a few years, so you can learn Chinese to a certain level. Mandarin is not like any language you have learned before. There is no alphabet, just characters for each word. You have to learn the pronunciation of characters and how to write them. Your intonation changes a word’s meaning. So you have to practice hard.
Determining the language proficiency certificate you need to study for a medical degree in China. The certificate for mandarin is HSK. determine what HSK level you need
- HSK (level I),
- HSK (level II),
- HSK (level III),
- HSK (level IV),
- HSK (level V),
- HSK (level VI).
The speaking level is in 3 parts:
- HSKK (beginner level),
- HSKK (intermediate level),
- HSK K(advanced level).
Find a medical degree in one of the Chinese universities.
After you reach a certain level of Chinese, find a university that offers a medical degree. This is a list of Chinese universities that offer a medical program:
- Wuhan University, Wuhan
- Shantou University Medical College (SUMC)
- Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
- Nanjing Medical University (NJMU)
- Zhejiang University, Hangzhou
- Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University (SHMC)
- Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou.
- Guangzhou Medical University (GMU)
- Sichuan University, Chengdu
- Capital Medical University (CCMU)
- Tongji University School of Medicine (TUSM)
- Jinzhou Medical University (JZMU)
Visit the university’s website and determine the admission requirements. The websites are often provided in English version for international students as well. So you can visit them and learn about the requirements before learning Chinese.
First things first, you would better visit the university’s website as it might have a particular requirement or eligibility principles. For instance, it might ask for a certain level of GPA. you have to work on your studies and get a high GPA while getting the latest educational degree.
Read every line carefully and take notes not to forget anything. The Book “Checklist manifesto” by Atul Gawande can help you a lot.
Fulfill the requirements and apply for the university.
Gather the list of university requirements and fulfill everything. Apply to the university according to the instructions written on their website.
These are some of the requirements:
- Latest educational degree.
- Transcript (in Chinese or English)
- ID document.
- Proof of having enough funds
- Language fluency certificate
- Pass the required language test by the university.
- Personal statement.
Then you have to wait for their decision.
The processing time is different for each university. You might have to wait from 1-3 months. But contact the university and ask about the average processing time.
You can apply to more than one university to improve the chance of acceptance.
After the university accepts your admission, they send you an admission letter. Now you can apply for a China student visa.
Apply for a China student visa.
At this stage, you have to apply for a Chian student visa to study for a medical degree in the country. Every foreigner who wants to study in China needs a student visa.
You have to gather the list of supporting visa documents. While you wait for the admission letter, you can gather some of them that do not have an expiry date.
But you can only apply for a student visa after you get the admission letter. It’s the basic documents that prove you can study in China.
There is a list of supporting documents you have to gather and submit to the Chinese embassy in your home country. So you have to find the nearest embassy, consulate, or visa center responsible for visa processing.
Visit them in person and submit the documents and complete the other procedures with them.
Wait until you receive your student visa; then, you can move to China and begin your studies.
You can find more information about A China student visa in the Visa Library article.
Complete your education.
After you receive your student visa and land in China, you have to complete your education and receive your certificate. A medical degree in China takes about 5 years. Then you have to complete a 2-3 years residency. It’s up to the school, your subject, and the residency you pick.
While you are in China, you have to obey the rules and regulations. Try to improve your language fluency and master it. The more, the merrier.
Complete your residency in China.
After finishing your studies which are up to 5 years, you have to complete a residency in the country. It’s up to you to pick an area to specialize in. the period is about 2-3 years and is up to the area you pick, and the duration required.
You can take the residency in the school you graduated from or another clinic or hospital. The residency period is an essential part and determines your future employment. You could better work hard, get high scores, and create a network of colleagues and friends. It will have a huge influence on your future career.
Pass the medical tests and exams.
After you receive your degree, you have to pass a medical test to become a doctor in China. Whether you have studied in China or abroad doesn’t matter. Everyone who wants to become a doctor in China has to pass the medical tests.
The test gest called National Medical Licensing Examination, and everyone have to pass it. By passing the test, you get approval from the Ministry of Health or your medical license to practice medicine in China.
Look for a job offer.
If you are an international student in China, you have to get a job offer after completing your studies. The student visa permits you to complete your education in the country., it doesn’t let you work as a doctor.
You have to look for a job offer with hospitals or medical centers.
After you find the job offer, you have to sign an employment contract with the employer. Then, the employer applies for a China Work Permit Notice. There are a few other stages you have to follow to receive your work visa.
You should also know that there are different types of a Chian work visa;
China R visa
Highly talented people can get an R visa and move to the country.
China J visa
A J visa is issued to foreign journalists who intend to travel to China to report and cover the news.
China Z visa
It’s a general work visa.
You are likely to need a Z visa or general work visa to work as a doctor in the country. You just need to receive the work permit Notice. It’s the authorization to work in China, but the visa is to enter the country.
If you are outside of China at the time of application, you need a visa to enter China.
You can read more about the China work visa from the Visa Library article or watch the related video on our YouTube channel.
How can foreign-trained doctors become a doctor in China?
If you are a foreigner and want to become a doctor in China, this is the procedure you have to follow;
Get your degree in your home country.
You have to get your medical degree and finish your studies. It’s a must to have a medical degree if you want to become a doctor in China. Your educational certificate must be full-time and in a varied center. WHO must approve it, and by the time you get your degree in the center, it must have been approved.
Even if you have completed your education outside of China and want to become a doctor in the country, you have to learn Chinese. Language proficiency is a must, as you have to prove that you are eligible for the exams to receive your visa and be able to pass the exams. The qualification exams are in Chinese.
Pass the National Medical Licensing Examination.
Everyone who wants to become a doctor in China must pass the National Medical Licensing Examination, and there is no other choice.
There are 3 categories for Chinese qualification:
- General practitioner.
- Chinese traditional medicine.
There are 3 requirements with the National Medical Licensing Examination:
A full-time medical degree.
You must have a full-time medical degree from a university recognized by WHO to qualify and pass the test. You can check the information about the medical school or university through the word directory medical web page.
Chinese language fluency.
The National Medical Licensing Examination is in mandarin, so you must know Chinese to pass the exam. There is no English version of the exam, but there is an English version for Hong Kong. But you can not work in CHian with a Hong Kong license and vice versa.
The other requirement is that you must have one year o internship or residency in China. If you get your BA degree in China, it takes 5-6 years to get your degree, and the last year is residency.
If you have completed your education abroad, you can apply for a residency in one of the Chinese universities. The other option is that you enroll in a postgraduate medical degree program in China. There are so many MA and Ph.D. programs in China that you can choose from.
The structure of the National Medical Licensing Examination
There is two parts to the exam:
Clinical knowledge/written exam.
There are 4 sections to the Clinical exam;
A- Pre-clinical medicine
They test your knowledge of;
B. Clinical medicine
It will be about;
- respiratory disease,
- digestive system related system,
- nervous system,
- pediatric diseases,
- infectious diseases,
- sexually transmitted diseases,
- and rheumatology-related diseases.
C. Medical Humanity
It’s about medicine;
- & Sanitary regulations
D. Preventive medicine.
- medical statistics.
- Preventive medicine.
- Public health.
- Health management.
2. Clinical Examination.
This section will cover;
- Bedtime manner.
- History taking.
- Physical examination.
- Case analysis.
When you get the internship, you can apply for a student visa to the Chinese embassy/Consulate in your home country. You can find more information about the Chian student visa from the Visa Library menu.
You might be able to apply for an internship visa if the type of program you enrolled in is an internship.
You can apply for the exam at the local medical licensing examination office in the city you take your residency or internship. But you must meet the three eligibility principles I covered at the beginning of this section.
The authorities will revere your application, and if you meet the requirements, you will receive an examination admission ticket. Now you can apply for the exam online or on-site. Online registration is often from February to March every year. On-site registration is a bit later, from march to April every year.
The clinical skill exam will start earlier. If you do not pass the clinical skill exam, then you fail the exam and can not sit for the written exam. The clinical exam is usually from June to July, and the written exam is usually from September to October.
Medical license registration process.
If you pass both clinical and written exams, you will be awarded a “Doctor Qualification Certificate.” It will be printed exclusively by the Ministry of Health and will be assumed by the provincial health Administrative Department.
Then you will need to register your medical license at the local health management department. Your license certificate is valid for 2 years. If you fail to practice medicine in China after these two years, then you will need to reset for the exam, and you will need to go through the whole process again.
Once you get the license, you can work as a doctor or physician in China. You can search for a job at Chinse International Hospital. These hospitals are in these cities;
Doctors’ salaries in China.
Your salary as a doctor in China is up to many factors. But in this section, you can find a sample of the average salaries to get an understanding of your financial situation.
According to glassdoor, you can expect to earn about $222,807 per year as a doctor in China. This source indicates that the average salary is about $182,873. You can expect to earn an additional payment of about $39,935 per year as well.
According to Salary Expert, your average salary as a doctor in China is about CNY 68,900 ($5.598) per month. The salary range begins from CNY 25,300 ($3.631) and goes up to CNY 116,000 ($16.651).
One of the determining factors for your salary is the type of job or skill you have. This table can give you an example of the different salaries for specific job titles
Advanced Nutrition Aide
Correctional Treatment Specialist
Emergency Department Physician
Obstetrician / Gynecologist
Different sources have mentioned various numbers. According to payscale, the average salary of a doctor in China is about CNY 120.000 per year.
Can a foreigner become a doctor in China?
The answer is yes. You can become a doctor in China if you are a foreign national. There are two ways to do it. The first one is to study for a medical degree in one of the Chinese medical schools or universities. You have to fulfill the admission requirements, then apply and get admission from the university. After that, you can apply for a China student visa. Then you have to finish your studies and get your certificate. Now you have to take the national exams and get a job offer.
The second way is that you are a doctor in your home country and have got your degree from abroad. In this method, you have to get fluent in Chinese and pass the national medical test. Then you have to get a job offer from a hospital or clinic and apply for a work permit.
The two ways are explained in the above sections in detail.
Do Chinese universities accept international students?
Yes, they offer medical courses to foreign students. You can find a list of these universities in the above section.
But, most Chinese universities offer medical courses in Chinese. There are few schools that offer a course in English. Even if you get admission to a university that offers a course in English, you have to learn Chinese and master the language.
Is it hard to get into Chinese medical schools?
The answer is up to your conditions and whether you can fulfill the university requirements or not. Chinese universities are willing to welcome and accept international students. But it’s up to you to fulfill the requirements and manage to compete with the rivals. You are not the only one who wants to study a medical course in China to become a doctor.
Learning Chinese might be a bit hard as the language is different than any of the languages you have ever learned or practiced. Even it’s different than most Asian languages.
Does China teach Medicine in English?
Yes, a few Chinese universities offer medical courses in English. For instance, Fudan University is one of them.
If you are determined to get admission from one of the universities that offer a course in English, visit the university’s website and determine the requirements.
The point you need to remember, and we have emphasized a few times, is that even if you study for a medical degree in English in one of the Chinese universities, you have to learn Chinese. After you finish your studies, you have to take a one-year residency. Then, you have to pass the national medical exams that are in Chinese.
Let’s sum up…
You learned how to become a doctor in China through this page of the Visa Library. As covered, there are two ways to immigrate to China as a doctor; one is to study for a medical degree in one of the Chinese universities, and the second one is to pass the national medical exam.
The article explained both ways, and you learned every step in detail.
If you have questions, write them down in the comment section. The Visa Library team will answer them.
You can find more information about China visa types from the top menu. Also, there are other articles for different job positions that want to move to China.
Frequently asked questions about immigration to China as a doctor.
Can I become a doctor in China as a foreigner?
Yes, you can become a doctor in China and there are two ways for it. Read the article to know them.
Do Chinese schools accept foreign students?
Yes, they provide admission to foreign students. Read the article to know how you can get admission from one of them.
Is it hard to get to Chinese medical schools?
There are so many applicants. You would better work on yourself and improve your strength to boost the chance.