How to get a Job in Scandinavian Public Healthcare
BY: Dóra Kántor, Recruitment Consultant at MediCarrera
Scandinavian countries are known for their advanced healthcare systems as well as very good working conditions and professional growth opportunities for doctors. However, relocating to another country, learning a new language, integrating into a new work environment and adapting to a new culture can be challenging. If you’re interested in job opportunities in Scandinavian healthcare, the following steps can help you:
1. Be determined
Make sure this is what you want. Get as much information as you can before you make a decision. MediCarrera can help you with extensive information about Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We can tell you about the cost of living, taxation, parenting, holidays and pensions. It’s really important that you have realistic expectations and that you base your decision on that. Once you’ve made up your mind, be persistent. The process itself may take a lot of time, so patience is key. Keep in mind that the relocation process is faster if your specialization is one of the most wanted ones in Scandinavia.
2. Prepare a good CV
You need a CV that really expresses your motivation and represents your experience and knowledge. The employer will decide whether they are interested in you or not based on your CV. At MediCarrera, we already have an impression of the candidate since we hold the first interview. However, the employer doesn’t. Their first impression will, therefore, be based solely on a piece of paper. Be as detailed as possible, show both your professional and personal side because this can make a huge difference. In order to present yourself in the best possible way, we offer a CV template and a CV guide that can help you fill it in.
3. Present the best version of yourself
The first step, after the employer shows an interest in a candidate’s CV, is either an online interview or a study tour. If it’s an online interview, we give tips on how to prepare and what to take into consideration (e.g. whether you should use headphones or not, what should be in the background and where should the light come from). The first online interview is basically a quick introduction, a way to get a first impression and to see whether there is a valuable match. This way, both parties get a feeling and understanding of each other. If the interview goes well, the candidate gets an invitation for a study tour.
Study tours are quite intense; in two days you visit the specific hospital or the primary care center, the department, the colleagues and of course the Head of Department. There is a personal interview where you can ask more questions about the professional part of the job and the department. Be aware that it’s not only the interview that matters, the entire study tour matters. Make sure to leave a good impression during the lunches and dinners as well. The hospitals really like when the candidates ask questions and show an interest in that specific place.
“The hospitals really like when the candidates ask questions and show an interest in that specific place.”
4. Learn the language
In order to get the medical license in any of these countries, it’s necessary to have a certain language level. In Denmark and Norway it’s B2 and in Sweden it’s C1. MediCarrera offers a free intensive language course after a candidate gets a job offer from the hospital. The language teachers are mostly native and the entire family is included in the program. This makes the adaptation process easier for the whole family. The language course starts with an online platform, that teaches basic language skills (A1-A2 level). As soon as the intensive language course starts, the teacher uses only Swedish, Norwegian or Danish from the first day onwards. At MediCarrera we believe in the “learning by doing’’ concept, which has proven to be successful. The Swedish and Norwegian intensive course takes around 4 months, while the Danish intensive course takes around 5 months.
5. Get the license
In Sweden, the application for the Swedish medical license can begin once the candidate obtains the C1 language certificate. In Denmark and Norway, the application process can already begin while the candidate is in the language course. Once the candidate obtains the B2 level, it is only necessary to attach the language certificate in order to receive the medical license by the end of the course. MediCarrera makes sure to support the candidates every step of the way. We provide as much information as we can, to make this journey as smooth as possible. If you made your decision and want to become a part of the Scandinavian public healthcare register here.