Medicine courses have been thoroughly reorganised in 2010-2011, particularly regarding reception of international students.

Medicine, pharmacy and dentistry studies are provided by universities in association with the most important hospitals, the CHUs (Centres hospitaliers universitaires, Higher Education Hospital Centres). There are about 30 in France.

A foreign student (ex UE) cannot join a course after the start of class.

European students that have a degree of second cycle of medical studies or equivalent and foreign students who have passed a second cycle of medical studies taken in full in France will take their specialisation (TCEM, for Troisième cycle d'études médicales, or third cycle of studies in medicine) normally (classifying national tests, then hospital training).

Foreign students (ex UE) who haven't passed a medicine degree in their country must, whatever their level of studies, start on first year of first cycle ("PAES" since 2010) and pass the end-of-year exam. After that, they may continue at the same level as their country of origin.

Hospital training exam for foreign students

Hospital training exam for foreign students (accessible to trained medical doctors ex UE) allows to pass a DES degree after a 4-year (medical fields) or 5-year (surgery) hospital training. It concerns medical specialities, anaesthesia-reanimation, medical biology, gynaecology-obstetrics, public health, psychiatry and surgical specialities. In 2010, 20 stations were provided for those (none for surgery). The list of stations available for classifying tests is revealed in February, and the deadline to apply is set in late March.

Speciality degrees are specifically designed for foreign doctors

Speciality degrees have been created specifically for foreign doctors (ex UE). First promotions are:

- the DFMS (diplôme de formation médicale spécialisée, or degree of specialised medical training), granted after 2 to 6 semesters of studies. The training is available to all doctors currently specialising in their country of origin

- the DFMSA (diplôme de formation médicale spécialisée approfondie, or degree of advanced specialised medical training), granted after 1 to 2 semesters of studies. The training is available to all doctors who already passed a speciality.

The number of stations provided is determined for each field and speciality by ministerial decree. Applicants must pass tests (including a language test). These tests are locally held in French embassies by the cultural services, at designated times in the first quarter.

In all cases, medicine studies require high skills in French language (at least Dalf B2).