Europejska Fundacja Rozwoju Medycyny i Edukacji

Residency vs non-residency. Two ways to approve doctor’s qualification in Poland


Residency vs non-residency. Two ways to approve doctor’s qualification in Poland

Foreign doctors received nostrification and successfully passed the language exam have several ways to pursue medical practice in Poland. The first is approving the diploma. This path is good for doctors with extensive experience, who do not want to change their field. For other doctors, there are two other options, and we will go through them.

The physician becomes fully qualified to the profession (PWZ) within 13 months of postgraduate training. However, it is too early getting rest on his laurels. In most cases, physicians decide to take vocational training, leading to the approved MD qualification on passing the qualification examination (PES) after several years of non-stop medical practice.

The beginning of vocational training is one of the most important events for many internship doctors. According to the law, on completion of the internship and successfully passing the final exam (LEK), the doctor may submit the applications for residency and non-residency training. How do they differ?


In 2020, the amendments were made to the law on the professions of a doctor and a dentist regarding residency. However, they are to come into force in 2022. Therefore, in 2021, the Old Rules are being in force, and submitting applications for residency may only occur in one field of medicine and only in one voivodship.

However, since February 1, 2022, residency recruitment will take place through the national electronic system. Physicians may submit an application in 15 voivodships at once. The measure is supposed to reduce the cases when, as example, an applying surgeon keen to practice ends up as a family doctor due to the lack of available surgeon jobs in one of the voivodships.


In this case, a doctor enters into a contract with the hospital hiring him on a paid basis. Currently, due to the shortage of medical staff, it is not difficult at all to find such a hospital. However, hiring physicians for non-residency training is being likely for hospitals in small cities, as province has an acute shortage of doctor staff. It is opposite to the state of matters in big cities, where the hospitals in need of doctors are rare.

The contract

As part of the residency, physicians sign a fixed-term employment contract with an accredited hospital. In this case, the reward to be paid is set prior to service period, ranging from PLN 4,299 to PLN 4, for the first two years of residency and then from PLN 4,633 to PLN 5,300 early (gross). The priority jobs’ list suppose higher rewards for doctors.

The doctors applying for non-residency have better options. They may choose between an employment contract and a civil contract, providing:

  • paid study leave granted to a physician during the course he is required to take as part of the vocational training program;
  • an option to sign contract with other employing facility, thus obtaining two jobs at the same time;
  • an option for Doctorate following the vocational training if the both parties confirmed.

It worth noticing, that the doctor may negotiate the amount of his salary within the non-residency. On the one hand, this binds the physician completed the vocational training to a single location to stay to practice. However, if the hospital does not have enough staff, offering a salary raise for such doctor may occur.

Let us to focus your attention on the fact, that the law prohibits internship and vocational training on a volunteer basis. Expat physicians as well as Polish ones have equal employment rights and guaranteed wages.

Approving body

The Minister of Health determines the availability of residency jobs, whereas the non-residency list is under the voivode’s authority. The authorities announce the information listing such positions to the facilities due to provide the vocational training.

What can improve your score on entering the Vocational Training Competition?

  • max. 200 points for the LEK exam score;
  • max. 5 points (or 0.5 points each for the second publication) for the article in a journal listed in a modern Academic list of journals.

What is in common within the mentioned plans?

The vocational training syllabus is. Regardless either residency or non-residency, the physician must complete special courses and pass a number of testing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures included in the syllabus.

Where to start?

An active Medical Education Monitoring System (SMK) account is required within both mentioned plans. To obtain it, the physician must apply online for vocational training attaching the relevant documents (LEK result, links to scientific publications, etc.).

Leave a request for a consultation
right now!
EUROMED © 2015-2021.
All Rights Reserved.
NIP:5272760288, REGON:363758595
00-241,Warszawa ul. Długa 44/50 of. 119/120
button vertical