Opening a private clinic / self employed

I have been staying here on an extended vacation for a month.
I really enjoy the Dominican way of life and natural beauty.

I am seriously considering buying a place, but since I don't want to retire, what are the options for being self employed?

I am a Doctor in integrative medicine and I love my work. I would like to open a small private clinic or do private consultations.  I do not speak Spanish, but I am willing to learn. However, realistically to offer the best service, my clients would need to be English speaking.

I won't be practising invasive medical procedures e.g. surgery or prescribing medications because the liability insurance, regulations and licensing would be prohibitive (also because that is generally not my philosophical approach any longer - although there is certainly a place for drugs and surgery!)

My specialism is neurodegenerative diseases but many of current clients have chronic conditions, such as diabetes, weight issues, anxiety, brain fog, etc.  It's so rewarding to help people achieve wellness and enjoy good health. It would be wonderful to do that here.

Do you think there is a market for these services in the Peurto plata area? I'm currently in Perla Marina  between Sosua and Caberete, and so far I'm very happy here.

Any advice regarding setting up as an independent consultant, employment laws, strange taxes, marketing, needing to become a Dominican Resident, etc. would be appreciated. 

Obviously, I would speak to a lawyer before making it official, but would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you

Hi jenny,  glad you are enjoying your stay.

To practice medicine here in any form will require you to jump through a bunch of hoops. One of our members Bob, is a doctor and he can tell us more.

You will need residency at the very least to work here in any capacity.  That process starts at home. 

You will want to work via a corporation and set things up properly.

Its all doable but won't be easy to get all this done. I will see what I can find about  qualifying here medically.

You will need every document you have from your education including courses you did.  That will all have to be submitted and approved. Then you have to do additional courses here that you will not have taken. 

That is what I know so far.

Thanks planner!

Its probably just better to do it and dont mention it to anybody but your gringo patients. We see suchlike all the time.

Thanks for view MXT.
I wonder do other professional expats; e.g. Osteopath, counsellor, psychotherapist, personal trainer, message therapist (not happy endings massages 😉) also need to get re-certified?
Or do their clients recognize their USA/UK credentials?

Many of those professions cannot operate here legally without recertification! 

Some are not regulated at all.

Doctors are. Get caught practicing medicine illegally and you go to jail!  And I guarantee that you will be reported and quickly!

It does not matter what clients or expats recognize it's what is recognized here legally!

Thanks planner.
And rightly so.....


I'm wondering if you were able to make that work, starting your private practice?

I'm a medical massage and shiatsu therapist, somatic therapist, and meditation teacher and would love to legally practice in Santo Domingo to start. I'm just not sure if it's possible and to do it all by the laws.

Hope to hear from you. I may post a separate thread. I'm new to this website.

Hi Dianne welcome to the forums. I am not sure on the credentials you have and what you would need here.  I certainly have the contacts here in Santo Domingo to help you. 

I will message you to ask a few questions!

Welcome to the forums.  I  do not have any expertise in that area or experience helping anyone open educational / therapy center.

I will message you privately to ask more questions and  see what I can find out for you!

Hello all,

I just found this forum and I am grateful already as I see how responsive and community oriented it is.

I am a licensed mental health clinician in New York and in Florida.

I am here starting the process of legalizing my foreign degrees (which won't be a walk in the park, even with the levels of technology) with the end goal of seeing patients in the DR.

I wondered if anyone has gone through this process of becoming licensed or the licensure recognized to practice here. If so, what was the process?

Thank you in advance.

Evelyn Olivo

Welcome Evelyn,  we have been asked about this a few times.  So far no one has come back to say how it was!  I know its  a daunting task. Good luck to you.

Hi, I would love to open a rehabilitation clinic in santo domingo to start. I am an occupational therapist and have dual citizenship in RD. Can you help or point me to the right direction on what documents and certifications I would need. I would gladly appreciate it.

-Thank you

Welcome to the forums!  A rehabilitation clinic - as in physiotherapy?  Or ?

Give me more info and I can help!

Hi @planner,

Yes physiotherapy.

Ok.  I thought so but had to ask. I am going thru physiotherapy right now so let me find out!

@planner thank you


Look in to The DREAM project in Cabarete.     It is the premier NGO educational center on the North Coast and it does effective, important work with schools and with community support related to education and child development.     Well managed by dedicated hard working teachers and staff with volunteers. 

Rehab clinics - I am told to open a clinic you need to be a doctor or affiliated with a doctor.  There is an educational element as a physiotherapist, so all your studies, grades etc must be translated and presented. At that point I am told you sit a local exam in Spanish!  Fees, of course, will be paid!  Only then can you practice.