Medical work and continuing education in Spain

Country facts and demographic data

Area: 504,750 km², population: 64 million (as of 2008).
17.80 % are older than 65, 67.80 % are between 15 and 64 years old, 14.40 % are younger than 14. The capital is Madrid. The official language is Spanish; officially recognised regional languages are Aranese, Basque, Catalan/Valenican and Galician.

Healthcare system

Spain has a national healthcare system, which is mostly financed by taxes. It is administered by the Institut Insalud (Instituto Nacional de Gestión Sanitaria). The healthcare system guarantees free medical treatment for every Spanish person. Each of the 17 autonomous regions is individually responsible for the organisation of the healthcare system in their area.

Medical education and further training

The study of medicine takes six years. After its completion, students are „Licenciado en Medicina y Cirugia“. Before they can continue their further training, they have to pass an exam called the “MIR” (medicao interno residente system / sistema – medical internship system). This exam is organised each year by the Ministry of Education and Science and is held only in Spanish. The better the result, the more one can be sure of a position in the MIR. The internships take about three to four years, depending on the specialisation. In Spain there are 49 areas of specialisation, 45 of which are clinical specialisations.

Specialist training

To be able to begin specialist training, students first have to pass the MIR exam. To be eligible to take the exam, students have to be licensed to practice medicine. More information at:


Medical doctors have to register with the medical institute of the province (Colegio de Medicos de la Provincia) in which they want to practice and with the Ministry for Education and Science.

Important addresses

Personal accounts


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European Public Health Association (EUPHA)Österreichische Gesellschaft für Public HealthAMREF - African Medical and Research FoundationCentro per la Formazione Permanente e l'Aggiornamento del Personale del Servizio SanitarioAnästhesie in Entwicklungsländern e. V.Österreichisches Rotes KreuzCenter of ExcellenceÖsterreichische Akademie der Ärzte