The registration with the French Medical Council (“Conseil de l’Ordre des médecins” in French) may appear as a long and tedious process but if you have the right methodology, this can be run seamlessly.
We are here to help you and assist you in this process, and this assistance is of course free of charge (just like the rest of our consulting work) to all our doctor candidates seeking for an adequate role and future professional challenge in France.
Step 1 and 2: searching for a job and securing a work contract
The first thing to know is that you need to have a job secured in order to be able to apply, meaning that you need to send to the French Medical Council (“Conseil de l’Ordre des Médecins”) a signed work or collaboration contract together with the rest of your documents.
Whether applying as an employee of the public healthcare system or as a self-employed doctor working in collaboration with a clinic or by yourself (for eg. as a GP in his/her own practice), you need to have this contract. You cannot secure your registration just as a freelance candidate without a contract (although this was possible in the past).
Step 3: collecting your documents meanwhile
As the job search can last several weeks to several months, the best thing to do in the meantime is to gather all necessary documents which should be sent later to the Ordre des Médecins together with your work or collaboration contract. The list of required documents includes among others both certificates of conformity from your local Health Ministry, copies of degrees, certificate of good standing, filled application file (‘dossier’) of the Ordre des Médecins, clean criminal record of less than 3 months when applying. Therefore, the latter document must be produced and sent to the Ordre des Médecins in the last stage of your application process. All documents must be translated into French by a regular or official translator from your home country.
You can find the list of required documents (available in French, English, Romanian, Bulgarian, Italian) on our website (see link below) or just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you this list for free.
About the required language level
Although the Ordre des Médecins does not specify it as such, it should be at least at B2 level (upper intermediate) or ideally C1 (fluent). No certificate is needed like the DELF or the DALF from a French Institute or an Alliance Française. Yet, it is good to provide one if available. There will be an interview with a representative of the Ordre des Médecins and this person will judge whether your level is good enough to ensure a smooth level of communication with patients and thus give you the authorization to work or not. In the worst case, you may be asked to come back at a later stage to perform a new interview, hoping you will have improved your linguistic skills in the meantime.
Step 4: submitting your application file to the Ordre des médecins
Once you have secured a job or collaboration contract and collected all necessary documents together with their translations and the filled form of the Ordre des médecins, you will need to send the complete application file to the Conseil départemental de l’Ordre des Médecins in the “département” (smaller administrative region – there are 100 in France) where you would like to work. Upon receiving your full application file, the Conseil départemental de l’Ordre des médecins will check whether no document is missing and if complete it will send the documents to the Conseil national de l’Ordre des Médecins in Paris. There, ad hoc lawyers will check your documents and more specifically your certificates of conformity.
At AGISANTÉ, based on our 13-year long experience, we are able to tell candidates whether their certificates will be accepted right away or not. This is very important to know this from the beginning as candidates should not give their resignation prior to receiving their confirmation of registration with the Ordre des médecins.
Usually the process of receiving an answer from the Ordre national des Médecins as to whether your documents are OK and you are eligible to work as a doctor in France takes about two months.
Step 5: the interview with a representative of the Ordre des médecins
Once the Ordre national has communicated its positive decision to the Ordre départemental des médecins where you initially left your full application file, the Ordre départemental will notify this to you and invite you for a face to face interview with one of its representatives. Thus you will need to travel there prior to starting your job (provided you pass the interview of course). Once the representative of the Conseil départemental de l’Ordre des médecins has met you and given his/her consent to accept you as a fellow doctor of the local Medical Council, the local Council shall meet with all its members and make the decision to accept you or not. This meeting usually takes place once a month and during the month following to your meeting with the representative.
Step 6: getting registered with the Ordre des médecins
Once you have been positively notified and thus been accepted in the Ordre départemental, you will need to pay the yearly registration fee (€ 335, but 50% for the first year of registration) and then receive your doctor’s card (‘Caducée’) and “RPPS” number which will be your number as a doctor in the national official registry of French healthcare professionals (including not only doctors).
Conclusion: patience, methodology and team up with the right recruitment partner
So work may start only then after all these steps have successfully done. All in all, the whole process takes 3 to 4 months prior to start your job in France – provided papers are approved and the interview goes well. Please do not give your resignation in your home country prior to having received the official confirmation of registration with the Ordre des Médecins.
We are here to help you find an adequate job as a doctor in France. Our assistance also includes French language course for people having at least some basics in French and meeting our clients’ expectations in terms of experience and profile.
Founder, Managing Director – AGISANTÉ Healthcare Recruitment Ltd
Useful downloads (documents’ list): http://www.agisante.com/sites/default/files/agisante-liste_des_documents_inscription_com_france.pdf)
Our YouTube channel gives you more details as well (in French and English):
French Medical Council: https://www.conseil-national.medecin.fr/