New measure helps doctors who have left to return to healthcare system

  • 2023-04-04
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Ministry of Social Affairs and the University of Tartu have prepared a training program that will offer training and practical courses to people trained as doctors in Estonia who have left the healthcare system, so that they can restore their professional status and return to work as doctors.

The program for 18 doctors, which seeks to alleviate the shortage of health professionals, is aimed at people who have completed their training as doctors in Estonia but who, for various reasons, are not registered as health professionals here.

To be registered as a health professional, a person who has completed doctor's training needs to pass general practitioner theory and practical examinations. As part of the program, the University of Tartu organizes a three-month practical training with supervision and theoretical training for the would-be doctors to prepare for the general practitioner exam.

"There are very different reasons why colleagues who once studied to be a doctor at the university did not immediately go on to either residency or work in healthcare institutions," said Heidi Alasepp, deputy secretary general for health at the Ministry of Social Affairs. "It is all the more welcome that in cooperation with the University of Tartu, the 'Doctors Back to Healthcare' training course has been created, which is a great opportunity for graduates of the faculty of medicine to return to healthcare." 

Margus Lember, dean of medicine at the University of Tartu, said the program is meant for people who have graduated in medicine but are not registered as doctors and have worked for a long time in other professions. After the traineeship and training course, these people can sit an exam and go on to residency or work as general practitioners.

Half of the three-month traineeship is spent by the trainees in a family medicine practice and the other half at the internal medicine department of one of Estonia's hospitals. The places of traineeship will provide the trainees with individual tutors. The University of Tartu pays a traineeship fee to the trainees and a tutoring fee to the supervisors according to the time spent on supervising the trainee. Simultaneously with the traineeship, the university will organize theoretical training for the trainees on the main issues of internal medicine and family medicine, which will help the participants prepare for the exam in general medicine.

The Ministry of Social Affairs will provide 201,157 euros towards the program from the European Union's crisis funding.