Why Should You Work as a GP in Sweden?
BY: Irene Martínez, Recruitment Consultant and a Psychologist at MediCarrera
One of the biggest frustrations in primary care across the world is that general practitioners don’t have enough time to consult patients. A recent study shows that Sweden ranks number 1 in consultation time per patient in primary care. Find out what are the other benefits of working as a general practitioner in Sweden.
1. Professional recognition
In many European countries, patients don’t even know that GPs need a specialization and see them as doctors who can refer them to specialists, such as cardiologists, endocrinologists etc.
In Sweden, GPs are the most recognised doctors, they get paid better and have longer training. GPs are basically key specialists. So one of the most important advantages of working as a GP in Sweden is definitely professional recognition.
2. The salary
In general, doctors in Scandinavia are paid better than in other parts of Europe. GPs in Sweden are not only paid better than in other parts of Europe but better than the rest of the specialists in Sweden. Most doctors in Sweden get paid between €6K and €6,5K per month, whereas a GP gets paid around €1K more because they have one of the most important roles in Swedish healthcare.
3. Continuous training possibilities
The training for the GPs in Sweden lasts about 5-6 years, whereas it’s only 3-4 years in most European countries. Foreign doctors that move to Sweden have to take extra courses to keep up with the Swedish standards. The courses take place while the doctors are working so no time gets wasted, while the GPs get the opportunity to grow professionally and learn new things.
The reason behind the extended training is the responsibility GPs have in Sweden. They don’t only see patients to refer them to other specialists. They perform all kinds of examinations and can solve a lot of issues themselves.
4. More time available per patient
Southern European GPs have the highest workload because visiting a GP is the first step you have to take in order to see another specialist. Depending on the region, a GP from Southern Europe has only 5-8 minutes per patient, which is not enough. GPs in Sweden have around 20 minutes per patients. In some regions, they can even spend 30-40 minutes if necessary.
Having more time per patient means that GPs know their patients better and can solve their problems more efficiently. They can also prevent referrals to other specialist and, therefore, prevent the waste of money and time.
“Having more time per patient means that GPs know their patients better and can solve their problems more efficiently.”
5. More competencies
More competencies come with longer training. GPs in Sweden can perform small surgeries (e.g. stitches, removing moles/birthmarks), they have knowledge about dermatology, psychiatry and a lot of different fields from other specializations
When GPs in most European countries get depressed patients they can only send them to a psychiatrist because they’re not trained to treat them. In Sweden, GPs can treat some cases of depression alongside other illnesses. This also means other specialists only get more serious cases and can focus on these patients more.
Even though GPs that relocate to Sweden spend a lot of time on extra training and courses, they feel much more appreciated and recognized. They feel they’re really practising medicine and making a significant difference for their patients. If you’re a GP interested in opportunities in Sweden register here.