Registration as a Medical Specialist in the Netherlands

Recognition procedure

In the Netherlands, the recognition of specialist training is arranged by the Registration Committee for Medical Specialisms (RGS). In the application form for the assessment (recognition procedure as a basic doctor) you will be asked whether you are a basic doctor or a specialist. If you fill in ‘specialist’, you will receive an email from the RGS after submitting your application. If you have not yet completed the AKV test, the specialty recognition procedure will be suspended until you have successfully completed your AKV tests. After taking the AKV tests, you can contact the RGS at any time to continue the procedure. For the recognition procedure for specialism you must submit other documents than for the assessment procedure, namely the following:

List of documents

1) The application form “recognition and registration of foreign graduates”

2) A copy of your specialist diploma

3) A statement by the institution that issued your specialist certificate stating that they are a competent authority to issue this document.

4) The official training curriculum.

5) An overview of the training as followed by you.

6) Evidence of further training or refresher courses that may have been followed after completion of your specialist training.

7) Statement (s) about the work performed by you as a specialist (i.e. after completing your specialist training).

8) A complete and up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV).

Which documents does the RGS receive from the CIBG?

9) A documentary evidence issued by the competent authority in the countries where you have worked as a specialist, showing that you are allowed to practice the specialty without restrictions and that there have been no serious professional misconduct or criminal offenses that temporarily prevent the practice of the specialty. or permanently ban it. RGS will contact the CIBG about this.

10) A copy of the registration information from the BIG register for doctors. The RGS receives this copy of your registration details in the BIG register directly from the CIBG when you are registered in the BIG register for doctors. (For current information about the documents, see or contact the RGS)

The RGS makes a personal decision based on the above documents. Doctors who have followed their training within the EEA or Switzerland receive automatic recognition according to European regulations. Physicians outside of these areas will in most cases require additional training. This training is called an ‘adaptation internship’ and varies in duration between 6 months and several years (comparable to the internship advice). After receiving the decision from the RGS, you must arrange your internship yourself within 1 year. After this period, the decision becomes invalid.

Duration training periods specialisms in the Netherlands

The duration of the training periods for the different specialisms in the Netherlands varies. If the duration of your study program is considerably shorter than the duration of the same study program in the Netherlands, your application may be completely rejected. In this case, your diploma as a specialist is invalid in the Netherlands and you must specialize again here. Below you can see the training years per specialism. More information per specialism can also be found on this page  of Medical Contact.

General practitioner: 3 years

Geriatrics specialist: 3 years

Doctor Mentally Handicapped: 3 years

General Military physician: 2-3 years

Company doctor: 4 years

Pediatrician: 5 years

ENT specialist: 5 years

Ophthalmologist: 5 years

Psychiatrist: 4.5 years

Dermatologist: 5 years

Cardiologist: 6 years

Pulmonologist: 6 years

Internist: 6 years

MDL physician: 6 years

Gynecologist: 6 years

Surgeon: 6 years

Orthopedist: 6 years

Radiologist: 5 years

Geriatrician: 6 years old

Anaesthesiologist: 5 years

Rheumatologist: 6 years

Urologist: 6 years

The decision of the RGS is independent of the advice of the CBGV. If you still have to do internships in connection with the recognition procedure as a medical doctor, the RGS can suspend your procedure again so that the 1 year search period is not exceeded. While this is possible in theory, there is no guarantee that they will do so. That is why we advise you to start the recognition procedure for your specialty after obtaining your BIG registration. In this way, it is less likely that you will accidentally lose time in that one year to arrange an internship.

There is also a chance that, because you have to follow an adapted training program, you may not be eligible for a regular resident position. You may also have to work unpaid during this period.

Do you think that information on this page is incorrect or do you have any additions? Please contact us via our contact page or send an email to  info @ . We will then make the corrections!

Useful links

KNMG website: Training and re-registration

BIG register: with a foreign diploma – specialization