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How to Be a Doctor in Singapore

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There are alot of opportunities for studying and working in countries with remarkable institutions and industries. In Asia, Singapore is one of these countries as they continuously maintain high standards in their educational institutions and other employment industries on an international scale. It’s no wonder why a lot of people across the globe choose Singapore for their schooling as well as to settle with a high-paying job.

One of the most in-demand professions that Singapore universities offer is medicine. Coupled with the country’s progressive school system, they have great facilities that boost learning and training programs for the students.

So in this quick guide, we will show you a few things you should know if you’re planning to become a doctor in Singapore and be part of its exceptional medical industry.


Singapore's Healthcare System

For a quick overview, Singapore’s Healthcare System is primarily managed by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH). It is managed and designed to implement rules and regulations, programs, and other needed facilities that prioritize the health and well-being of the country’s citizens.

The Ministry of Health also manages the employment of medical professionals in their hospitals. The institution lists four (4) types of medical registration for aspiring doctors who plan to practice medicine in Singapore. Depending on your eligibility, you will need to register as a medical practitioner.


Medical Registration

Provisional Registration

Allows a local/overseas-trained fresh medical graduate to be employed as a house officer in approved hospitals.

Conditional Registration

Allows an overseas-trained doctor (who has completed housemanship) to work in a healthcare establishment, under supervision by a fully registered doctor.

Temporary Registration

Allows an overseas-trained doctor to have short attachment at public hospitals for teaching, research, or postgraduate study; conduct lectures, etc. as a visiting expert.

Full Registration

Allows a local/overseas-trained doctor who has completed his housemanship) to practice on his own. (SMC requires an overseas-trained doctor to complete a specified period of conditional registration before he can be fully registered.)


(Tabulated from: https://www.moh.gov.sg/hpp/doctors/career-practices/CareerNPracticesDetails/practicing-as-doctor-or-specialist-in-singapore)


How to Be a Doctor in Singapore

Registration Process

There are 3 different registration processes available for you to be able to work as a doctor in Singapore. The process you should proceed with depends on whether you’re a Fresh Medical Graduate, a Practicing Non-Specialist, or a Practicing Specialist.

Generally, your first step in each registration process is to fulfill the criteria set by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC)—your earned degree and housemanship. After meeting their criteria, you need to be employed in a healthcare establishment and register at SMC. You can apply directly here

Your employer will then require you to secure all the documents they need from you such as: your medical registration form(s), documents and transcripts from your undergraduate and graduate universities, letter of verification, letter of offer, your curriculum vitae, and other certificates.

Upon securing the needed documents, your employer will follow up on the Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB) along with SMC. Take note that this will take about 2-3 weeks of processing time. After that, you’ll successfully be registered and accredited as either a House Officer, a Medical Officer, or a Specialist depending on your qualifications.

You can see more details about the registration process from the tables made by MOH below or access it directly from the institution’s site here.


For Fresh Medical Graduates

Step 1

Fulfill the SMC criteria for registration as a medical practitioner.

  • Basic degree recognized by SMC

Step 2

Secure a job with a Singapore healthcare establishment.

Step 3

Submit medical registration form(s) to employer.

  • Note: SMC strictly requires originals for certain documents to be submitted for processing.

Supporting documents

  • Undergraduate qualifications, including exam result transcripts

  • Letter of verification from university

  • Letter of offer from employer

Prospective employer

  • Employer will follow up with SMC and SAB on the registration & accreditation process.

  • Successful application for registration as a medical practitioner with SMC.

Provisional Registration as a House Officer


For Practicing Non-Specialists

Step 1

Fulfill the SMC criteria for registration as a medical practitioner.

  • HO criteria: Basic degree recognized by SMC

  • Housemanship

Step 2

Secure a job with a Singapore healthcare establishment.

Step 3

Submit medical registration form(s) to employer.

  • Note: SMC strictly requires originals for certain documents to be submitted for processing.

Supporting documents

  • HO documents: Undergraduate qualification (incl exam result transcripts), Letter of verification from university, Letter of offer.

  • Service testimonials + Certificate of Registration & Good Standing (from other licensing authorities)

Prospective employer

  • Employer will follow up with SMC and SAB on the registration & accreditation process

  • Successful application for registration as a medical practitioner with SMC.

Conditional Registration as a Medical Officer


For Practicing Specialists

Step 1

Fulfill the SMC criteria for medical (or specialist) registration.

  • MO criteria: Basic degree recognized by SMC + Housemanship AND Specialist training (Basic degree need not be recognized by SMC if postgraduate qualification is accepted by SAB)

Step 2

Secure a job with Singapore healthcare establishment.

Step 3

Submit medical registration form(s) to employer.

  • Note: SMC strictly requires originals for some supporting documents. Do submit these to expedite processing.

Step 3a: Submit specialist accreditation form to employer.

Supporting Documents

  • MO documents: Undergraduate qualifications (including exam result transcripts), Letter of offer, service testimonials, certificate of Registration & Good Standing (from other licensing authorities)

  • Additional service testimonials + Certificate of Registration & Good Standing

Supporting Documents

  • Undergraduate/postgraduate qualification

  • Certificate of completion for specialist training or equivalent

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Letter of offer

Prospective employer

  • Employer will follow up with SMC and SAB on the registration & accreditation process

Successful application for registration as a medical practitioner

Successful application for specialist accreditation

Conditional Registration as a Medical Officer

Step 4: Submit form for specialist registration to employer/SMC (with copy of SAB certificate)


Prospective employer will follow up with SMC 


Successful application for specialist registration

Conditional Registration as a Specialist



For Foreigners and/or International Students/Employees

How to Be a Doctor in Singapore

Employment Pass

For foreigners who want to work as a doctor in Singapore, they must also secure their Employment Pass (EP) alongside the registration process. The EP is issued to foreign professionals who plan to work in Singapore. The company you are employed in can help you in the EP application. However, take note that you must meet certain qualifications (i.e. good academic background, past working experience, and other special skills) in accordance to the criteria set by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and earn a minimum of $3,600 for the full-time job.

These are the required documents (as stated from MOM) for you to apply for your Employment Pass:

  • Personal particulars page of the applicant’s passport.

  • If the applicant’s name on the passport is different from the other documents, you need to include one of the following: explanation letter and supporting documents, e.g. deed poll OR an affidavit.

  • Company’s latest business profile or instant information registered with ACRA.

  • Candidate’s educational certificates, e.g. degree certificate.

And these are the steps you’ll need to take for the processing of your EP:

  • Step 1: Your employer will assist you in submitting your application. After the processing, you will receive an in-principle approval letter or a rejection letter.

  • Step 2: If you received an approval letter, you’ll get your pass issued by your employer.

  • Step 3: Register your fingerprints and photo. You will then receive an acknowledgement of card delivery.

  • Step 4: Receive your Employment Pass card.

You can learn more about FAQs about the EP here.


How to Be a Doctor in Singapore

Language Requirements

International medical professionals seeking employment and willing to practice medicine in Singapore must be proficient in English as this is one of the most commonly used languages in the country.

For countries who do not use English as their primary language, SMC accepts test results from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Occupational English Test (OET), or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). As long as you pass the band score set by SMC, You are eligible to apply in the country.




How to Be a Doctor in Singapore

Medical Schools in Singapore

You can also opt to study medicine in Singapore and have more opportunities upon graduation. As mentioned earlier, the facilities that the schools offer, along with Singapore’s remarkable educational institutions, can make your medical career go even further in the future.

At the moment, there are 3 universities in Singapore offering medical courses and degrees. These are the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin Medical SchoolLee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Main Campus, and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School for graduate or advanced studies.


Conclusion

Becoming a part of the medical industry will surely not be easy and require a lot of your time, energy and resources. While this may be the case, as long as you are committed and passionate, you will experience exceptional learning and training to be the doctor you’ve always dreamed to be.



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