Every doctor or nurse in Poland must have a Licence to practice. This document allows them to work legally. It’s issued by the Medical Council (Rada Lekarska). Doctors and nurses who have graduated from universities in countries outside the European Union, as well as ended internships and medical specialities there, can obtain the Licence to practice (PWZ) in two ways:
1. By obtaining the Consent of the Minister of Health to practise the profession (Zgoda Ministra Zdrowia na wykonywanie zawodu) and the Conditional Licence to Practise (WPWZ – Warunkowe Prawo Wykonywania Zawodu) issued by the District Medical Council (Okręgowa Rada Lekarska).
2. By the nostrification of the diploma – i.e. recognition of the conformity of the education received with Polish and EU standards
Doctors and nurses from Ukraine do not have to nostrify the diploma immediately. They can first obtain a WPWZ. This procedure was considerably simplified.
1. Consent of the Minister of Health
The Conditional License to Practice allows the doctor or nurse to work in the profession for a specified period (5 years). They can only work under supervision for the first year. The list of allowed medical procedures is included in The Conditional License. A doctor/nurse who starts to work based on the WPWZ must report to the Minister of Health where and for how long they have been employed within 7 days after starting the job. Failure to report may constitute a basis for withdrawal of the License.
To obtain the consent of the Ministry of Health, one has to send an application and a set of documents to the address of the Ministry of Health, Department of Medical Personnel Development, ul. Miodowa 15 00-952 Warsaw. The documents should have numbers following the order indicated in the application on the Ministry’s website, and the translations should be marked with the letter a. The application must contain
1. the diploma of doctor/dentist confirming at least five years of studies. It is not required to legalize diplomas or duplicates.
Persons who crossed the border of Ukraine with Poland after February 24, 2022, may present a diploma in the form of a good quality copy. Within six months after the war in Ukraine ends, they should provide the original or a notarized copy of the document.
2. following statement: ‘I am aware of criminal liability for making a false statement and I declare that I have the full legal capacity (the statement should contain the name and surname, place and date of making the statement and a legible signature)
3. medical certificate issued by a doctor
4. documents attesting that you have an ‘impeccable ethical attitude’:
a) Following statement: ‘I am aware of the criminal liability for making a false statement, I declare that I have not been punished for an intentional crime or an intentional fiscal offence and that I am not subject to criminal proceedings in the case of an intentionally committed crime or fiscal offence, and that there are no circumstances that, by the Code of Medical Ethics and other legal provisions, within the meaning of the requirement specified in art. 5 section 1 point 5 of the Act of 5 December 1996 on the professions of doctor and dentist, could affect the practice of the profession of doctor or dentist in the territory of the Republic of Poland OR
b) a document confirming professional conduct and compliance with ethical requirements issued by a competent authority in Ukraine
All documents should be translated into Polish by a sworn translator. You can find a list of volunteer translators below in this article.
A document with a photo confirming citizenship (passport, identity card) and a document confirming the date of crossing the border with Poland will also be required.
2. Conditional License to practice
After receiving a positive response, the doctor/nurse should report to the appropriate District Medical Council (Okręgow Rada Lekarska). District Medical Council issues the Conditional License to practice. The Council can ask for the same documents required by the Ministry of Health, so it is worth preparing them in two copies.
After obtaining an ORL decision, the doctor/nurse can start working. They must report the place and period of employment to the Minister of Health through the Medical Records System (System Ewidencji Lekarzy).
The Conditional License for healthcare professionals from Ukraine is valid for five years. However, it’s impossible to extend it.
Important! If the applicant does not request the documents return, they will remain in the Ministry of Health. To retrieve them, you must apply to the Ministry.
Source and template of applications and list of necessary documents:
People from countries outside the European Union other than Ukrainego through the same procedure, except that they cannot present a notarized copy of the diploma or confirm the ethical attitude by a statement. To obtain the WPWZ, they must also demonstrate their knowledge of the Polish language and indicate the medical entity that will employ them.
Full and indefinite right to practise the profession of doctor/dentist and the recognition of the medical speciality can be obtained only by the nostrification of the medical diploma. Nostrification can be carried out independently of work based on a Conditional License.
To obtain the full right to practise the profession, you must:
1. Proceed to the nostrification of your diploma at one of the medical universities in Poland.Nostrification
consists of a comparison of study programs by the university and a possible call to fill the program deficiencies and complete internships. This part of the procedure costs – it can be up to ½ of the professor’s salary, usually approx. 3,000 PLN
2. Pass the so-called LEW or LDEW, i.e. the Medical Verification Exam/Medical and Dental Verification Exam conducted by the Medical Exams Centre in Łódź
To take the exam, you must apply online via the CEM website: https://www.cem.edu.pl/.The examinations take place twice a year, in the winter and summer sessions.
3. complete a postgraduate internship in Poland or seek recognition for the internship by the Postgraduate Medical Education Center
To complete a postgraduate internship in the territory of Poland, one should apply to the Regional Medical Chamber
To accept the internship, one should apply to the Medical Center for Postgraduate Education and attach the documents confirming
1. the License to practice or another document that allowed to complete a postgraduate internship;
2. the programme and time of completion of the postgraduate internship and its place;
3. the authorities or institutions which have completed the final credit of the postgraduate internship;
4. Description of professional career
5. diplomas or certificates of professional qualifications obtained;
6. a professional opinion issued by a person entitled to it from the last place of employment;
4. Pass the LEK/LDEK, i.e. the Medical Final Exam/Medical and Dental Final Exam at the Medical Exams Centre in Łódź https://www.cem.edu.pl/ .
Nurses and midwives only have to nostrify their diploma, and then apply to the District Chamber of Nurses and Midwives.
Where to get help?
The Supreme Medical Chamber and District Medical Chambers, as well as the Supreme Chamber of Nurses and Midwives, will help obtain the right to practice the profession.
General Medical Chamber:
General Chamber of Nurses and Midwives:
Assistance with translations, including sworn translations: