Obtaining a Medical License to Practice in Vietnam

Hello, everyone.

I am a Canadian with a medical license in Canada and USA. I am wondering if any one has information on licensing and working in Vietnam. There was a similar question 2.5 years ago but no answer. I know in Vietnam, 2.5 years is a long time and much can change in government regulations. I am still a practicing physician currently working overseas for past few months with an aid agency.

Any help would be appreciated on where to start.

Markdgal :

Hello, everyone.

I am a Canadian with a medical license in Canada and USA. I am wondering if any one has information on licensing and working in Vietnam. There was a similar question 2.5 years ago but no answer. I know in Vietnam, 2.5 years is a long time and much can change in government regulations. I am still a practicing physician currently working overseas for past few months with an aid agency.

Any help would be appreciated on where to start.

The most important thing will likely be your ability (inability?) to speak the Vietnamese language.

It seems to me that you would need to find and contact the board or body that issues the license.

A quick search turns up this (copy and paste as there is some glitch with the end of the link):

https://www.asean.org/storage/2016/01/6 … ng_Period_(foreign).pdf

"Viet Nam  Licensing period: lifelong  Same requirement with local practitioner
 Must have license to practice in the country of origin, authenticated by the
embassy of the country of origin in Viet Nam
 Local language requirement or interpreter requirement"

Mark.
I do not know why you have chosen Vietnam to practice but as OceanBeach says, speaking Vietnamese is pretty much essential and believe me it is not easy to learn. You may even have to write prescriptions etc in Vietnamese. There are many international hospitals here that may be a possibility it rather depends on your area of expertise and even if accepted your salary will be quite low. It seems that only lawyers and high officials here manage to get a decent salary and that is often via somewhat 'questionable' means. Prior to my retirement I worked for the government here on and off as a consultant mechanical engineer and even though I was invited to the position there were still hoops to jump through. Medical professions seem to be more a vocation rather than financially aimed so, with respect, you my be better looking elsewhere to use your obvious talents.

I seem to recall people on this forum inquiring and answering about private clinics, particularly in HCMC, with English speaking doctors.  Most of these places were described as rather pricey by Vietnamese standards.  I note the last line of johnross23's post: 'Local language requirement or interpreter requirement"  I suppose these clinics will have such interpreters even if the bulk of the patients are expats.  I am sorry I can't give a name.  Maybe someone uses one of these clinics and can do so. 

Some people report that FV Hospital in HCMC has foreign doctors but I expect most are French.

One other source of information might be the Medical Universities.   Try Googling "University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City"  If you called their number you might find someone who speaks English. 

I was lucky to have a two English-speaking Vietnamese doctors, one an internist and one an ENT specialist who met 90% of my needs.  Every schoolteacher probably finds that they have a throat cold at least once a school year.  It's sort of an occupational illness.

Thank you everyone. I am looking at several options and countries. I like Vietnam, I like its people. I do not want to go back to the world of medicine in Canada which is why I work for an international humanitarian organization. I still go home to Canada for several months and work as a doctor but it is tiring.
Making money is not what I am worried about. I could make more than enough in Canada in 3-4 months to live for 8-9 months in Vietnam.
Yes, I have started Vietnamese lessons and it is difficult but I learned French once.
I have read most articles on the internet. I have applied in the past for other medical licenses like Australia and New Zealand. So it can be complicated.
I was hoping to hear what people may have experienced with the government regulations in reference to licensing, timeframe, lawyers, visas, work permits.
Staying in Vietnam is a problem because of visas. I could research other visas like business or investors if that helps to stay in Vietnam while I sort out regulations.
I was wondering if others had thoughts on where to start

Doctors in VN make the same as school teachers.   So you would be better off teaching English to kids than actually providing  first  world  medical care, as sad  as  that sounds,  its true...  I am in the same situation.

AmericanBulldog :

Doctors in VN make the same as school teachers.   So you would be better off teaching English to kids than actually providing  first  world  medical care, as sad  as  that sounds,  its true...  I am in the same situation.

Would you expound on that, please?

If monetary compensation is equal, how is he (or any physician) "better off" by choosing classroom instruction over primary patient care?

OceanBeach92107 :
AmericanBulldog :

Doctors in VN make the same as school teachers.   So you would be better off teaching English to kids than actually providing  first  world  medical care, as sad  as  that sounds,  its true...  I am in the same situation.

Would you expound on that, please?

If monetary compensation is equal, how is he (or any physician) "better off" by choosing classroom instruction over primary patient care?

I understood AmericanBulldog to mean that doctors make the same as Vietnamese school teachers which is quite a bit less than foreign ESL teachers. 

AmericanBulldog:  Are you an M.D.?  That seems to be what your comment implies.

I am a  little skeptical of the comparison anyway, as I see doctors driving late model cars and Vietnamese teachers driving used motorbikes.  Most of them work for peanuts in the government hospital but make most of the money taking patients afternoons and evenings.  Many also seem to own pharmacies adjacent to the private practice.

I do know that my brother in law is a surgeon and he makes about 1 billion per year.  Decent money by Vietnamese standards but I think that puts him about on par as an expat English teacher if they can get full time hours.

Ok Markdgal I have a lead for you but it is a bit cold.
In December 2016 I was treated at Family Medical Practice in Saigon by Dr Gillis Grant who diagnosed my dengue. He was from Nova Scotia and had arrived earlier that year. FMP is well known for taking foreign patients. However I don't see him listed on staff any longer:
https://www.vietnammedicalpractice.com/ … -city.html
Perhaps you have access to doctor directories that can locate him for   his experience. and FMP can certainly tell you about opportunities. There are several foreign doctors there. There are also other international clinics and hospitals.

My wife says that foreign doctors in Vietnam don't need to take tests or speak Vietnamese to practice. Foreign degrees are accepted.

We found out that in Thailand, a foreign doctor needs to speak Thai and pass 3 tests to practice.

I have been talking with a lawyer for the past week. It is a complicated system to get a medical license and open a LLC medical clinic. The language used in Vietnam and Canada/USA is different. He has had to explain it several times. I glad I have the time to put into this.
It is not cheap either.
I can help others with the details if needed.

D'oh, you didn't say you wanted to open a clinic!

Pretty sure opening a clinic in any country is difficult and expensive.

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