easiest country to practice medicine

Embarking on a career in a foreign country can be a rewarding and life-changing experience, but it often comes with various challenges, including visa regulations and residency requirements. This article explores the easiest countries to practice various professions, with a focus on medical residency, permanent residency in Europe without investment, and nursing. Whether you’re a healthcare professional or simply seeking a new opportunity abroad, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

Easiest Country to Get Medical Residency

The United States

The United States is renowned for its high-quality medical education and training programs. For international medical graduates (IMGs), securing a medical residency can be a challenging process due to the competitive nature of the healthcare system. However, the U.S. offers several avenues for IMGs to obtain medical residency, including the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). With dedication and persistence, many IMGs have successfully pursued medical residencies in the United States.

Easiest Country to Get Permanent Residency in Europe Without Investment


Portugal stands out as one of the easiest European countries for obtaining permanent residency without significant financial investments. The country’s Golden Visa program, which was once popular, has now been revised, making it more challenging for individuals to obtain residency through investment. However, Portugal offers a D7 Visa, designed for retirees and those with passive income, which allows for permanent residency. It doesn’t require a substantial upfront investment, making it an attractive option for those seeking long-term residence in Europe.

Easiest Country to Work as a Nurse


Canada consistently ranks among the top destinations for healthcare professionals, including nurses. The Canadian healthcare system values diversity and actively welcomes qualified nurses from around the world. To work as a nurse in Canada, international candidates generally need to undergo a credential evaluation, language proficiency testing (English or French), and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Once these requirements are met, you can apply for a nursing license and work in this beautiful and diverse country.

Easiest Countries for General Practice


Australia is renowned for its high living standards, healthcare system, and diverse job opportunities for healthcare professionals. General practitioners and family physicians will find Australia to be a welcoming destination. To practice medicine in Australia, international medical graduates can apply for the Competent Authority Pathway or the Standard Pathway, both of which require thorough assessment of qualifications and experience. Once certified, you can start your medical career in the Land Down Under.

Easiest Countries for Dentists

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rapidly become a hub for healthcare professionals, including dentists. With a growing population and expanding healthcare infrastructure, the UAE offers attractive employment opportunities for dental professionals. Dentists can explore job openings in government hospitals, private clinics, and dental practices. While the requirements for practicing in the UAE may vary, generally, dentists need to obtain licensure from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) or Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

Easiest Countries for Engineers


Germany is known for its robust engineering sector and offers numerous opportunities for engineers, especially in fields like mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. The country has a high demand for skilled professionals and is welcoming to international engineers. To practice engineering in Germany, you may need to have your educational qualifications evaluated and potentially pass an aptitude test if your degree doesn’t directly align with German standards. Once the requirements are met, engineers can find rewarding careers in Germany’s industrial landscape.

Easy on the Wallet Medical Doctor Degree Programs

Higher education is expensive no matter what you intend to major in. But studying medicine poses a particular challenge because the courses involve both academic and clinical studies. You must pay for textbooks and other study materials, along with lab and other equipment. You could hardly go on hospital rounds without a lab coat or stethoscope, after all.

Besides course tuition and other fees, you have to factor in living expenses. The cost of living varies across countries, something you must think about if you want to study medicine overseas as an Australian. In this category, Poland ranks high on the list.

The average tuition for Polish university medical programs is around A$2000/year. Also, despite being a European Union (EU) member, Poland uses its own currency, the Zloty. As I write this, the Zloty trades at just under PLN4 to A$1.

Poland’s medical schools welcome thousands of international students each year but Germany’s universities are far more selective. Candidates must first sit that country’s Test for Medical Studies, an exam like our Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). If you score well on it and pass further assessments, you may study medicine at no charge. But the cost of living in Germany won’t be easy on your wallet.

Belgium is considered one of the easiest EU countries to become a doctor, if only because Belgian universities shave a year off of their program. This is a diverse country with an international presence; you’d fit in well with all the international students this country hosts. How much medical studies cost depends on what part of the country your university is in. Expect higher tuition costs and living expenses in Brussels or Leuven than anywhere in Flanders.

China is also renowned for welcoming international students into its medical study programs. Peking and Jiao Tong Universities are world-renowned research centres; it doesn’t cost a lot to attend classes at either school.

The cost of living in China is fairly low too; you might get by on just a few thousand dollars a year. The only catch is that China universities teach in Mandarin only.

A person wearing a lab coat with a stethoscope around their neck sits at a desk in a space with wooden tones, holding a tablet and looking at an open laptop.
Universities in Asia have excellent medical programs but they’re not taught in English. Getty Images via Unsplash

Medical Doctor Degree Programs That Are Easy to Get Into

Argentina also enjoys a low cost of living and offers low-cost medical degree programs. These programs are very easy to get into; you only need a high school diploma to qualify. But you must speak Spanish fluently because all of the courses are taught in that language.

Argentinian medical study programs are unique because they do not set any prerequisites. Most universities around the world require at least a Medical Colleges Admission Test (MCAT). Since 2010, more schools also require medical school applicants to submit a Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer) test result.

You can bypass entrance exam requirements by making Belize your destination for medical studies. No need to submit MCAT or CASPer results along with your application. But you’ll have to have a large chunk of money because the cost of living in Belize is very high. Tuition is roughly A$5000 per three-month term.

Like Belize universities, Ireland’s six medical schools have minimal conditions for enrolment. You must speak English, of course, and you should have a satisfactory school-leaving certificate. Medical schools in Ireland also accept International Baccalaureate results, especially if you tested in Chemistry, Biology and other such subjects.

Note that Irish universities give preference to domestic medical school applicants. Should you be accepted into an Irish university Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program, tuition will be steep. All estimates point to a minimum price tag of A$88,500.00 for the whole course. That doesn’t include study materials or living expenses.

Sweden puts almost all of these medical programs to shame. If you passed high school chemistry, biology, physics and maths, you’re welcome to apply. You may get a waiver on having to know the Swedish language because you are a native English speaker. It will take you less than six years to earn your MBBS and you might save a lot of money, too.

A person wearing a white lab coat and glasses mounts diagnostic images onto a lit backboard.
Medical schools around the world teach using the latest medical technology. Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Easy to Complete Medical Doctor Programs

In this ‘easy’ category, India takes the prize. In this country, undergraduate medical programs only last four and a half years. That’s one of the shortest MBBS programs on the planet. Admission into such a program is easy, too, particularly if you enrol in a public university.

India has four types of universities. Central institutions are nationally funded and overseen by the government. State universities are just what their name implies; the state government oversees these facilities. Deemed universities aren’t officially designed as such but they have the same academic profile and privileges as any other university. Private universities are approved by India’s University Grants Commission but their scope of operations is limited.

Tuition is based on the degree plan and university you choose so it’s hard to estimate a baseline cost. However, the cost of living in India and the exchange rate is favourable so you’ll likely pay far less than in most countries. Also, English is one of India’s official languages and Indian universities teach all their medical courses in English.

If you prefer medical courses in Europe, train your sights on Italy. Italian universities set aside places for two categories of international students, European and from elsewhere in the world. Admission to a medical study program requires only a high school transcript and a passing score on the International Medical Admissions Test (IMAT).

Italy’s MBBS study program takes six years to complete but tuition can be quite low, depending on your selected university. Some schools have initiatives to lower tuition for qualifying students, too. The cost of living is lower in Italy than in Western Europe, particularly in southern Italy. Many Italian universities offer medical courses in English.

A dimly lit operating room with several gowned medical professionals surrounding an operating table and much technical equipment lining the back of the room.
In some countries, surgical residencies add to the study program’s length. Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash

The Easiest Country to Become a Doctor

You might have noticed that neither the United States nor Canada features on any of our ‘easy’ lists. Both the US and Canada have highly sought-after medical study programs but neither country qualifies for any definition of ‘easy’. In the US, entry requirements – to the country and the schools, are expensive and onerous. The medical programs are convoluted and take a long time to complete.

Canada and its schools are slightly easier to get into but almost as expensive. Also, the cost of living in both countries is very high. despite all this, if you still have your mind set on North America, consider that Canada is rated as one of the safest countries in the world.

None of the factors that would plague you on that side of the world would feature if you studied medicine in Romania. There, you’ll find everything we covered in all the other countries’ ‘easy’ medicine courses, except for the program durations. You will study six years for your MBBS in Romania. But that’s still less time than medical courses in Australia, which normally run about seven years.

Romania’s nine universities with medical faculties all have study programs in English. Entry requirements are limited to your high school transcripts; high marks in science and maths reflect favourably on your admission. You will not need to take any entrance exams; Romanian medical schools demand neither MCAT nor IMAT. But once finished, you will have to sit the International Medical Graduate exam to practise medicine in Australia.

The average tuition is around A$7,000/year (€5,000.00); lower even than the tuition fees Australian universities charge. Some of the smaller schools outside of Bucharest charge as little as €3,000/year. But the cost of living in Romania seals the deal. You could live comfortably on A$400 a month and still have enough leftover for fun and travel.

Now, knowing all this, is it a good idea to study medicine abroad? Like every other proposition, the idea has its pluses and minuses. Experiencing historic Romania is tantalising but could you get over the culture shock?


When considering practicing your profession abroad, it’s crucial to research and understand the specific requirements and pathways for your field of expertise. The easiest country for you may depend on various factors, including your qualifications, language proficiency, and long-term career goals. Whether you aspire to become a doctor, nurse, engineer, or any other professional, the world offers numerous opportunities for those willing to embark on an international career journey. Remember that while these countries may offer easier pathways, each still has its own set of challenges, but with determination and preparation, you can achieve your dreams of practicing your profession abroad.

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