Embarking on a medical career in Malaysia offers an intriguing blend of professional growth and cultural richness. For medical professionals seeking to expand their horizons, Malaysia presents a unique opportunity to practice in a diverse and dynamic healthcare environment. Here’s a guide on how to work and immigrate to Malaysia as a doctor.

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Immigrate to Malaysia as a Doctor

Can Foreign Doctors Work in Malaysia?

Yes, foreign doctors can work in Malaysia, but some specific requirements and procedures must be followed. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Recognized Medical Degree
  2. Full Registration
  3. Temporary Employment Pass
  4. Competency Examination
  5. Work Visa and Permit
  6. Language Proficiency
  7. Compliance with Malaysian Laws and Regulations
  8. Employment Opportunity
  9. Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
  10. Malaysian Medical Council Registration
How to Work and Immigrate to Malaysia as a Doctor

Step 1. Recognized Medical Degree

For a foreign doctor to practice in Malaysia, the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) must recognize their medical degree. This recognition ensures that the medical education and training they received meet Malaysian standards. The MMC maintains an updated list of recognized medical degrees from various institutions worldwide. It’s crucial for foreign doctors to verify their degree’s recognition status before proceeding with other steps. If the degree is not recognized, alternative routes might be required, such as additional examinations or training.

Step 2. Full Registration

Doctors who have completed their housemanship (internship) in their home country or in a country where the medical degree is recognized can apply for complete registration with the MMC. Complete registration is a requisite for practicing unsupervised medicine in Malaysia. It indicates that the doctor has acquired sufficient training and experience to provide healthcare services independently. This process involves submitting proof of qualifications and knowledge and, sometimes, undergoing an assessment.

Step 3. Temporary Employment Pass

Foreign doctors who still need to complete their housemanship can apply for a Temporary Employment Pass. This allows them to undergo housemanship in Malaysia, which is a mandatory training period for medical graduates. The housemanship in Malaysia typically covers various medical disciplines and lasts for about two years. This step is crucial for those who graduated from medical schools whose degrees require additional practical training as per Malaysian standards.

Step 4. Competency Examination

If the MMC does not recognize a foreign doctor’s medical degree, they may need to pass a Medical Qualifying Examination. This exam assesses the doctor’s medical knowledge and skills to ensure they meet the standards required in Malaysia. Passing this examination is a significant step towards eligibility for registration with the MMC, particularly for doctors from non-recognized institutions.

Step 5. Work Visa and Permit

Doctors must obtain a valid Malaysian work visa and permit, like any foreign professional seeking employment in Malaysia. This legal documentation authorizes their stay and employment in the country. The process usually involves the Malaysian employer applying on behalf of the foreign doctor. This step is essential to ensure compliance with Malaysian immigration laws.

Step 6. Language Proficiency

Proficiency in English is generally required for foreign doctors in Malaysia, as it’s widely used in the medical field. Additionally, knowledge of Bahasa Malaysia, the national language, can be advantageous for effective communication with patients and colleagues. Some healthcare settings require a certain level of proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia, depending on the patient demographic.

Step 7. Compliance with Malaysian Laws and Regulations

Foreign doctors must adhere to all Malaysian laws and regulations pertinent to the medical profession. This includes ethical practices, patient confidentiality, and compliance with medical protocols and procedures. Understanding and respecting Malaysian healthcare’s legal and cultural context is crucial for effective and lawful practice.

Step 8. Employment Opportunity

Securing a job offer from a Malaysian healthcare facility is a prerequisite. This can be in a public hospital, a private clinic, or other medical institutions. A job offer is often required before applying for a work visa and registration with the MMC. Foreign doctors should research job opportunities and requirements specific to their field of specialization.

Step 9. Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

In Malaysia, practicing doctors are required to engage in continuous professional development. CPD activities include attending workshops, seminars, and other educational programs to keep up-to-date with advancements in medicine. This is crucial for maintaining high standards of medical training and ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.

Step 10. Malaysian Medical Council Registration

Continuous registration with the MMC is mandatory for all practicing doctors in Malaysia. This involves renewing their registration periodically and adhering to the MMC’s professional and ethical standards. This registration is a testament to the doctor’s credibility and commitment to maintaining professional competency in their practice.

What Are Some Jobs for Doctors in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, doctors have various career options, including working as General Practitioners in clinics, specialists in hospitals (like cardiologists, surgeons, or pediatricians), academic or research physicians in universities, public health officers with government agencies, and occupational health doctors in corporate sectors. Additionally, opportunities in telemedicine and aesthetic medicine are growing, catering to evolving healthcare needs and technological advancements. These roles differ in specialization, work environment, and focus, ranging from patient care to research and administrative responsibilities.

Are Doctors in Demand in Malaysia?

Yes, doctors are in high demand in Malaysia, particularly in rural and underserved areas. The country needs more healthcare professionals, especially specialists, due to its growing population and healthcare needs. Public hospitals, community clinics, and new healthcare facilities continuously seek qualified doctors. Additionally, there’s an increasing demand for specialized fields like geriatrics and telemedicine. The Malaysian government actively encourages the development of healthcare services, further driving the market for medical professionals.

Infographic How to Work and Immigrate to Malaysia as a Doctor

How Much Does a Doctor Make in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, a doctor’s salary varies widely based on factors like experience, specialization, and the type of practice. Generally, a fresh medical graduate starting as a house officer can earn around RM 2,947 to RM 6,000 per month. Experienced general practitioners typically earn between RM 7,000 and RM 20,000 monthly, while specialist doctors and consultants can earn significantly higher, ranging from RM 15,000 to over RM 30,000 per month. Salaries are typically higher in private practice and for those with advanced specializations.

What Is the Malaysian Medical Licensing Exam?

The Malaysian Medical Licensing Exam (MLE) is a crucial assessment for foreign medical graduates who wish to practice medicine in Malaysia. Here are the key aspects:

  • Purpose: The MLE ensures that foreign medical graduates meet the medical practice standards in Malaysia. It evaluates their medical knowledge and clinical skills.
  • Eligibility: This exam is primarily for graduates from medical schools that are not recognized by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).
  • Components: The MLE typically comprises both written and clinical components. The written part tests theoretical medical knowledge, while the clinical component assesses practical skills.
  • Registration with MMC: Passing the MLE is a prerequisite for registering with the MMC, which is necessary for legally practicing medicine in Malaysia.
  • Standard of Care: The exam ensures all practicing doctors in Malaysia, regardless of their country of education, maintain a consistent and high standard of medical care.

How Do I Become a Doctor in Malaysia?

To become a doctor in Malaysia as an international student, you must follow a series of steps, from gaining admission to a medical university to obtaining a student visa. Here’s a detailed guide:

  1. Choose a Medical University
  2. Admission Requirements
  3. Application Process
  4. Acceptance and Offer Letter
  5. Student Visa Application
  6. Medical Degree Program
  7. Housemanship
  8. Registration with MMC

Step 1. Choose a Medical University

Research and select a Malaysian medical university recognized by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC). Notable universities offering medical programs include the University of Malaya, the National University of Malaysia (UKM), and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Step 2. Admission Requirements

Check the specific admission requirements for international students at your chosen university. Generally, you’ll need good grades in science subjects (biology, chemistry, physics) at the pre-university level or equivalent qualifications like A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate. Proficiency in English (often evidenced by TOEFL or IELTS scores) is also required.

Step 3. Application Process

Apply through the university’s international students’ office online or through an authorized agent. You’ll need to submit academic transcripts, proof of English proficiency, a personal statement, and possibly letters of recommendation.

Step 4. Acceptance and Offer Letter

Once accepted, you’ll receive an offer letter from the university. The offer letter includes confirmation of admission, program details (such as start date and duration), tuition fees and payment information, terms and conditions for enrollment, and instructions for the next steps, including visa application guidelines. It’s an essential document for international students, as it’s required to obtain a student visa and make necessary preparations for studying in Malaysia.

Step 5. Student Visa Application

Apply for a Malaysian student visa (Pass). This process usually begins after you’ve received your offer letter. The application is usually submitted online via the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) website. Key requirements include the university offer letter, a valid passport, academic transcripts, proof of financial capability to cover tuition and living costs, health insurance, and a medical health examination report. The process involves submitting these documents through EMGS, which liaises with Malaysian immigration for visa approval. Once approved, students receive a Visa Approval Letter (VAL), which is used to enter Malaysia. The process can take several weeks, so timely application is advised.

Step 6. Medical Degree Program

The medical degree program usually spans five to six years, covering subjects like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, and clinical skills. In the initial years, the focus was on pre-clinical training (theoretical and lab-based learning), followed by clinical training in hospitals. The cost of the program varies but generally ranges from RM 250,000 to RM 650,000 in total, depending on the university and specific program. International students also need to consider living expenses and other costs, which can add to the overall cost.

Step 7. Housemanship

After graduating from medical school, graduates must complete a housemanship program in Malaysia, lasting approximately two years. This mandatory practical training is conducted in accredited hospitals and covers various medical specialties. It’s a critical phase for hands-on experience and skill development under supervision. Successful completion of housemanship is a prerequisite for full registration with the Malaysian Medical Council. This step bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical medical practice.

Step 8. Registration with MMC

After completing the medical degree and housemanship, graduates must register with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) to legally practice medicine in Malaysia. This involves submitting proof of qualification, housemanship completion, and passing a competency examination. Registration ensures adherence to professional and ethical standards set by MMC. It’s a crucial step for maintaining legal and professional recognition as a medical practitioner in Malaysia. Continuous registration and compliance with MMC’s guidelines are mandatory for ongoing medical practice.

Is the Malaysian medical degree Recognised worldwide?

The recognition of a Malaysian medical degree varies internationally and depends on the destination country’s medical licensing requirements. Some Malaysian medical schools are highly regarded, and their degrees may be recognized in several countries, particularly in the Commonwealth.

However, in many countries, graduates with foreign medical degrees, including those from Malaysia, must pass local licensing exams and complete residency programs to practice medicine. The global recognition of a Malaysian medical degree largely depends on the university’s accreditation and the specific agreements between Malaysia and other countries.

List of Medical Schools in Malaysia

Malaysia has a number of medical schools offering quality education. Some of the prominent ones include:

  1. University of Malaya (UM)
  2. National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM)
  3. University of Science, Malaysia (Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM)
  4. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
  5. International Medical University (IMU)
  6. Monash University Malaysia
  7. Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)
  8. AIMST University
  9. Management and Science University (MSU)
  10. Mahsa University
  11. Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed)
  12. SEGi University
  13. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) & University College Dublin (UCD) Malaysia Campus (formerly known as Penang Medical College)

These universities offer a range of medical programs. They are known for their contributions to medical education and research in Malaysia.

Work and Immigrate to Malaysia as a Doctor

In conclusion, pursuing a medical career in Malaysia as a foreign doctor involves a structured process, including obtaining a recognized medical degree, completing necessary training and exams, and adhering to legal and professional requirements. Malaysia offers a vibrant and diverse medical landscape, with ample opportunities for professional growth and cultural immersion. With careful planning and compliance with Malaysian regulations, foreign doctors can successfully embark on a rewarding medical journey in Malaysia.


Is There Any Pakistani Doctor in Malaysia?

Yes, Pakistani doctors are present in Malaysia, subject to fulfilling local medical licensing requirements.

Can Indian Doctors Work in Malaysia?

Yes, Indian doctors can work in Malaysia after meeting the necessary qualifications and regulatory conditions.

Can I Get a Medical Residency in Malaysia?

Obtaining a medical residency in Malaysia is possible but competitive, especially for foreign graduates.

Is a Malaysian Medical Degree Recognised in the USA or the UK?

A Malaysian medical degree may require additional examinations and training for recognition in the USA or UK.

Is a Malaysian Medical Degree Recognised in the Philippines?

Recognition in the Philippines is possible, subject to passing local licensing exams and fulfilling regulatory requirements.

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  1. Waqar says:

    Hello sir g i have complete mbbs degree and now I want to go malaysia

    • Max says:

      If you already have your MBBS degree and want to study more or work as a doctor in Malaysia:
      Look into Malaysian medical regulatory bodies or universities.
      You can either go to graduate school or work as a doctor.
      Meet the requirements for admission or licensing, which could include tests, language skills, and applications.
      Get the student or work visa you need.
      Plan ahead for tuition, living costs, and housing.
      If you need to, go to orientation and get used to life in Malaysia.
      Keep up with the rules about immigration and licenses.