Medical Education and Regulations in Iran
graduates of mentioned profession receive Doctorate Degree who are entitled with the title of “Doctor”. They can legally use the title of “Dr. “and write it before their names.
accredited degree for medical graduates is Doctor of Medicine (MD). The professional doctorate degree in medicine is awarded by Iranian universities of medical sciences. The training curriculum of medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry devised uniformly for all universities of medical sciences by Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education.
Admission to universities of medical sciences in Iran is competitive and restrictive and the main admission requirements are high school diploma and acceptance in nationwide official university entrance exam which is given once yearly by National Organization for Education Evaluation. The exam is a comprehensive, four and half hours multiple-choice exam that covers all subjects taught in Iranian high schools—from math and science to literature and foreign language. The Students can apply for medicine, dentistry and pharmacy academic program after achieving acceptable scores in the nationwide university entrance exam. Public universities, which are the only free educational institutes for higher education in the country, are at the top of Iran’s higher-education hierarchy. The students who score at the top of the nationwide university entrance exam can be accepted to public universities. Admission to the Islamic Azad University (a private university) and international branches of public universities is quite easier and the enrollees are subject to pay the tuition fees.
Doctor of Medicine (MD):
Undergraduate medical training in Iran takes 7 years which will lead to the award of MD and consists of the following:
- Two years of Basic Science Training followed by basic science exam which is a requirement to proceed to the next stage.
- Three and half years of clinical training (theoretical training and hospital placements) followed by "Pre-Internship Examination" which is a requirement to proceed to internship.
- Eighteen months of Internship during which a research dissertation should be submitted.
Medical students are assigned to specialized hospital wards where they care for patients and are supervised by board-certified faculty specialists who provide role modeling and expertise in providing patient care.
Upon completion of medical school and successfully submitting dissertation, MD is awarded. However in order to practice medicine in Iran, registration within Iranian Medical Council and License to Practice is required which will be issued by Iranian Medical Council upon enrolling Government Service: military service (for male doctors) and working in remote areas (for male and female doctors) for certain months.
It is maximum 2 years for MD graduates (general practitioners/physicians) and 4-12 years for specialists. The latter is based on certain terms and conditions set by Iranian Ministry of Health.
After completion the Government Service which approximately lasts for 2 years (for MD & DDS graduates), physicians and dentists can work in their own private office.
Doctors who want to practice in Iran must be registered legally with IRIMC and receive membership/license number and License to Practice from this Licensing Authority. IRIMC registration/license number is valid nationwide. Therefore, the registered doctors are recognized as doctor of medicine and doctor of dental surgery across the country.
After registration with IRIMC, doctors receive their own Membership Card. IRIMC registered members pay annual membership fees (as the retention fee) to remain as active members. IRIMC checks every doctor’s identity and qualifications before they are able to join the register and keeps track of changes to doctors’ records to make sure that the medical & dental register is accurate and up to date.
IRIMC active registered members must update their IRIMC profiles including their photos and contact details in a regular basis and renew their membership cards every five years.
All licensed medical and dental doctors must demonstrate on an ongoing basis that they are up to date and fit to practice in their chosen field and able to provide a good level of care. Relicensing procedure takes every five years for IRIMC registered doctors and healthcare professionals.
Doctors must provide evidence of successfully completion of CPD courses provided by IRIMC or other accredited medical organizations and providing related CPD credits to Iranian Medical Council to be relicensed. 25 CPD credits are required for each year.
Iranian Medical Council supervises doctors’ practice to assure that doctors achieve good medical & dental practice and takes action when they are not met the set standards. IRIMC has the powers to issue a warning to a doctor, suspend or place conditions on their registration or remove a doctor from the register.
Iranian Medical Council issues the Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) or Certificate of Professional Conduct in a signed and sealed envelope for its active registered members upon their request for being sent to a licensing/regulatory authority. The certificate is issued based on assessment of disciplinary records of the applicants.
Regulations with regard to specialist medical training and licensing:
Iranian medical graduates can apply for a residency program after achieving adequate scores in the residency entrance exam, which is given once yearly by the National Center for Evaluation of Medical Education. The training curriculum of each residency program is devised uniformly for all universities of medical sciences by Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education and is consisted of a 4-6year training of major and collateral rotations in specialized hospital wards and divisions as well as continuity clinics where they care for patients and are supervised by board-certified faculty specialists who provide role modeling and expertise in providing care.
There are specified learning goals and objectives in the Iranian curriculum for each residency program. These objectives are stipulated as specific competencies and skills in the curriculum and correspond to activities expected of residents on each clinical rotation.
Upon completion of postgraduate program and successfully submitting dissertation, the graduates become eligible for National Board Exam. Board Certification is granted to the specialists who achieve adequate scores in this exam.
By submitting the Specialty Certification to IRIMC, doctors can receive License to Practice as specialist in the chosen field. However, IRIMC recognizes the previous certifications of specialists and they are eligible to practice medicine as general practitioners/physicians as well.