NewsElevate Your Career: Why Choosing Spain for Your Medical Residency is a...

Elevate Your Career: Why Choosing Spain for Your Medical Residency is a Smart Move

Are you a foreign medical graduate looking to pursue post-graduate medical training in Spain?

Spain offers excellent opportunities for medical residency and specialization for international students.

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Why Choose Spain for Medical Residency

MIR Exam Prep: Ace Spain’s Medical Residency Entrance Exam as an International Student

Spain is an attractive destination for post-graduate medical education for several reasons:

  • High-quality, well-respected medical education system
  • Opportunity to learn Spanish, an important language in global healthcare
  • Reasonable cost of living compared to some other European countries
  • Vibrant culture and excellent quality of life
  • Potential pathway to practicing medicine in Spain or the European Union after residency

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply for medical residency in Spain as a foreigner, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a medical degree from an accredited university, either in Spain or abroad
  • Have your medical degree officially recognized in Spain through a process called homologación
  • Pass a Spanish language exam to demonstrate proficiency
  • Take the MIR exam, Spain’s national medical residency entrance exam
  • Obtain a student visa to study in Spain

Let’s go through each of these steps in more detail.

1. Homologación: Getting Your Medical Degree Recognized in Spain

The first step is to have your foreign medical degree officially recognized by the Spanish government, a process called homologación. This certifies that your degree is equivalent to a Spanish medical degree.Required documents for homologación include:

  • Your official medical diploma
  • Academic transcripts
  • Passport
  • Proof of payment of the homologación fee

The homologación process can take several months. Consult the Spanish Ministry of Education website for the most current requirements and procedures: Homologación information

2. Demonstrate Spanish Language Proficiency

Foreign medical graduates must demonstrate a B1 level of Spanish proficiency to be eligible for medical residency. This can be done by taking the DELE Spanish language exam.

Click here to learn more about the DELE examThere are DELE exam sessions held throughout the year. It’s advisable to start preparing for the exam well in advance.

3. Take the MIR Exam

The MIR (Médico Interno Residente) is the national exam that all medical graduates, both Spanish and foreign, must take to apply for medical residency positions in Spain. The exam tests medical knowledge and clinical reasoning skills.

The MIR is a highly competitive exam, with a limited number of residency spots available each year. Preparation is key to success.

Some key facts about the MIR exam:

  • Held once a year, usually end of January/early February
  • Consists of 225 multiple choice questions
  • Scores are valid for one year
  • Results are used to rank applicants and assign residency spots

Click here for more information on the MIR exam

Consider enrolling in a MIR preparation course in Spain to boost your chances of success. Many foreign students find these courses very helpful.

4. Apply for a Student Visa

Once you pass the MIR exam and are offered a residency spot, you’ll need to apply for a student visa to legally study in Spain. The type of student visa you need is called the “estancia por estudios” and it’s valid for up to one year, renewable for the duration of your residency.

Required documents for the student visa include:

  • Passport
  • Proof of financial means
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Criminal background check
  • Letter of acceptance into the residency program
  • Proof of payment of visa fee

Click here for the most current Spanish student visa requirements

Apply for the student visa through the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country. The process can take 2-3 months, so apply as early as possible.

The Medical Residency Experience in Spain

Medical residency in Spain, also called MIR training, takes 4-5 years depending on specialty. You’ll be paid a monthly stipend during residency and have access to benefits like health insurance and paid vacation days.Nursing Abroad workforce plan

Some important things to know about medical residency in Spain:

  • Residents are considered both students and employees
  • Training takes place at public hospitals and health centers throughout Spain
  • Residents rotate through different specialties before focusing on their chosen specialty
  • Work hours are capped at 37.5 hours per week, with additional time for study and research

After completing residency, you’ll be eligible to take the specialist exam in your field to be a licensed medical specialist in Spain.

Many residents also use their training in Spain as a springboard for medical careers in other EU countries or back in their home countries.

Resources for Foreign Medical Residents in Spain

Moving to a new country for medical residency can be daunting, but there are resources available to help foreign residents adjust and succeed:

  • AMERC: Association of Foreign Medical Residents in Spain, offers advice and support
  • CGCOM: Spain’s national medical council, information on licensing and practice
  • SEDEM: Spanish Society of Medical Education, promotes excellence in medical education
  • FSE: Spain’s national foundation for health research, offers research opportunities for residents

Take advantage of these resources as you navigate the residency experience in Spain.


Pursuing medical residency in Spain as a foreign graduate requires planning, hard work, and dedication, but it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing available resources, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goal of specializing in medicine in Spain.

Spain’s medical education system is world-class, and the country offers a high quality of life along with the opportunity to learn valuable language and cultural skills.

Whether you choose to stay in Spain long-term or use your training as a pathway to a global medical career, a medical residency in Spain is an excellent choice.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to start your journey to a medical residency in Spain, here are your next steps:

  1. Begin the homologación process to get your medical degree recognized in Spain
  2. Start preparing for the DELE Spanish language exam
  3. Study for the MIR exam and consider a MIR preparation course
  4. Gather required documents for the student visa

Apply now for medical residency in Spain

By breaking the process down into manageable steps and staying focused on your end goal, you can make your dream of completing a medical residency in Spain a reality.

We wish you the best of luck on your medical education journey!

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