Converting A Kenyan Medical Degree to a German Equivalent
The current state of the Kenyan healthcare system and the poor recruitment practices of county governments towards medical doctors have led many to consider a career in foreign countries. One such country is Germany.
Here’s a short breakdown on what you need to consider if you apply for a German medical license in Bayern. Germans are known for their bureaucracy and in this case it is no different. The process may take up to 2 years or longer due to this.
Request for registration
You will be required to request formally at the Chamber of doctors (Ärztekammer) of the region you plan to work in. Each chamber has its own requirements so please inform yourself of the requirements you need to fulfill. A formal application is available for download at the respective website of the chamber of doctors. Documents required at this point are ID Card/Aufenthalterlaubnis/Passport, Degree certificate.
You receive a confirmation email and you will be asked to produce the following documents both in certified copies of the original and translated into German by a government recognised translator:
- Degree certificate
- Internship completion letter
- Kenyan medical license
- Certificate of Good Standing from Kenya
- Identity card/Passport
- Residence permit
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of good conduct from the Kenyan police- can be easily requested through the Kenyan embassy in Berlin.
- Certificate of employment from all workplaces till the time of seeking registration
- University curriculum
- Certificate of good conduct from the German police
- Knowledge of German language B2 level. Only the following certificates are recognized:
- telc, Goethe, TestDAF, ÖSD
The cost of translation in Germany is approximately 40 Euros per page.
Scrutiny of documents
This process may take 6 – 8 months maybe longer. The chamber will contact you per email if they require any other documents. Afterwards you will receive back all copies of the above documents since they are already scanned and secured as electronic copies by the Chamber.(Bureaucracy)
In case a curriculum from your university study cannot be accessed the chamber can (at request) appoint an evaluator to look through your transcripts and internship logbook to find out whether the study matches to the German system. Independent of the outcome of the evaluation you have to pay 2000 – 3000 Euros
Invitation to Fachsprachprüfung
This exam is in German and aims to find out if you can speak fluent German with patients and colleagues and document your findings in grammatically correct German. It does not aim to test medical knowledge and looks mainly at sentence structure, clarity and tone of speech and grammar. It’s in 3 parts (20 min each), History taking, Writing an Arztbrief and consulting with a colleague. The patients are simulated. This costs 440Euros. You are required to pay the amount beforehand, you then receive an invitation to the exam. If you attempt it twice without passing you have to wait for at least 6 months before you are allowed to retake it. Take note that the exam has a high failure rate.
Then you receive the work permit and are allowed to work immediately.
If the evaluator is not satisfied with your study in relation to German standards you will be required to take an exam (Fachkenntniseprüfung). This is no difference for the Viva Voce exams that Kenyan doctors must take during their undergraduate study.