Although a relatively small nation, Singapore is the economic and cultural hub of Asia. Because of its geographical position, it has come to be a point in which different religions, traditions, and ways of life intertwine. As a result, Singapore has one of the highest qualities of life in the world.

Every year, more and more people decide to relocate both their lives and careers to Singapore. With that in mind, one of the most sought-after professions in recent years has been that of medical practitioners. As the number of residents rises, so does the need for medical doctors both foreign and domestic. To help future and present medical professionals looking to relocate to this country, this article lays out the necessary steps to become a doctor in Singapore.

Steps to Become a Doctor in Singapore

1. All practitioners will be required to have a medical degree.

As mentioned, Singapore is known as the melting pot of Asia. Because of its unique cultural profile, many students decide to pursue their tertiary education here and for medical students, this would only be a plus. Once they have spent a couple of years in Singapore, they come to understand the inner workings of the community they will come to treat one day.

Another reason for choosing a medical university in Singapore would have to be their highly-equipped laboratories and internationally renowned teaching staff. At present, Singapore has three medical schools: Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University, and the Duke-NUS Medical School.

In the case of the first two, applicants will need a stellar GPA and a high school curriculum focused on natural sciences such as chemistry, mathematics, and biology. The medical program is known as the MBBS – Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science and will take five years to complete.

On the other hand, students also have the option to apply to Duke-NUS Medical School. The programs here are structured following American institutions. In other words, students are required to obtain a bachelor’s degree and pass the MCAT admissions test before applying to the medical program. After they are admitted into the program, they have to complete a three-year medical training program. Although this may sound complicated, it has the advantage of an internationally recognized diploma, excellent for students who want to pursue medical careers outside of Singapore.

2. The next requirement is language proficiency.

Since obtaining a medical degree in Singapore is highly recommended, it would make sense that it comes with necessary language requirements as well. As the three aforementioned medical programs are taught entirely in English, this is the language students will need to be proficient in. Of course, for those coming from English-speaking countries, this should not be a problem. However, other foreign students will be required to provide proof of language proficiency in the form of an IELTS or other similar exam as part of becoming a doctor in Singapore.

Those coming to practice rather than study medicine in Singapore will also need to speak Malay, Singapore’s official language. This will help them communicate with Singapore citizens who are not fluent in English but require medical assistance nevertheless.

3. Once they obtain a medical degree, graduates will also need to obtain a medical license.

After completing a medical program, the next step to become a doctor in Singapore is obtaining a medical license. In Singapore, all medical graduates are required to complete a housemanship after graduation. This means that they will need to work as junior doctors in hospitals or medical centers, depending on their chosen specializations.

After completing their housemanship, Singapore medical graduates are ready to register with the Singapore Medical Council and receive their medical license. This includes applying with all the necessary credentials and documents, including your medical degree and certificate of completed housemanship. Once licensed, medical doctors will be known as House Officers in Singapore.

4. Foreign medical workers will need to meet several other requirements.

Those coming to Singapore to practice medicine will need to meet a few more requirements before becoming licensed medical doctors. In addition to proof of English proficiency and a valid medical degree, one more necessity is a job offer from a healthcare institution approved by the Singapore Medical Council. The most soundproof way of securing a job offer is with the help of a job search agency. They will already be versed in the application process and make sure you provide all the required documentation.

Upon receiving an offer, foreign practitioners will need to apply for a work visa as well to become a doctor in Singapore. This document is known as the Employment Pass and is equivalent to a highly-skilled migrant visa. In addition to the aforementioned, it will require participants to have an outstanding academic record, meet Singapore’s minimum wage requirement, and active participation in clinical practice at the moment of application.


I hope that you found this article on the steps to become a doctor in Singapore informative and helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.