Young Internists group in Iceland

There is no specifically defined young internist group in Iceland but the Young Internists Assembly for EFIM has one Icelandic representative. As there is only one postgraduate internal medicine training programme in Iceland with approximately 50 trainees, the Icelandic representative is in close contact with all the trainees and informs them of the projects and activities of EFIM on a regular basis.


Postgraduate training in internal medicine in Iceland

After graduating with a medical degree, a completion of a twelve month long internship is required in order to obtain a medical license. The internship, which is completed under supervision, includes at least four months of internal medicine, two months of surgery or emergency medicine and at least four months of general practice. A general license to practice as a medical doctor is issued by the Directorate of Health. Once the trainee has acquired a license, he or she can apply for residency. Due to the small size of the Icelandic population (340.000), postgraduate training can only be completed in in psychiatry and general practice. In other specialties only partial training is offered so that most physicians need to complete their postgraduate training in other countries. From September 2015, Landspitali_The University Hospital of Iceland has offered a three year postgraduate training programme in internal medicine in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians in London. The UK Core Medical Training has been implemented (slightly adapted to Icelandic circumstances) and the  trainees use the same curriculum  and have the same responsabilities and requirements as UK trainees. As the Icelandic internship is one-year long while the UK Foundation programme takes two years, the Core Medical Training programme is three years in Iceland compared to two years in the UK. If all the requirements are met (including the internal medicine postgraduate exams) one can achieve a Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP). However, an Icelandic regulation established by the Ministry of Welfare states that in order to become certified in internal medicine, one has to complete a five-year training programme in the specialty. Additional two years of subspecialty training is required for dual certification. The majority of physicians therefore move abroad for further training. Postgraduate training in the subspecialties of internal medicine is not offered in Iceland.


Moving to Iceland for internal medicine training or practice

There are different rules for citizens of the  EU/EEA member states and citizens of other countries outside of EU/EEA, who wish to practise in Iceland. Please see and

One has to apply for a general license to practice as a medical doctor in Iceland issued by the Directorate of Health (

For more information, please see Regulation on the Education, Rights and Obligations of Medical Doctors and Criteria for Granting of License to Practise Medicine and Specialist Licences (

For practical information for international employees and students seeking to train or practise at the University Hospital in Reykjavik, see


This page has been prepared by Thorunn H. Thordardottir, Young Internists assembly representative for Iceland, August 2018.

Relevant EFIM Publications

Clinical practice guidelines adaptation for internists - An EFIM methodology

Author(s): Wiktoria Leśniak, Laura Morbidoni, Dror Dicker, Ignacio Marín-León
Date:25 June 2020

The challenge of implementing Less is More medicine: A European perspective

Author(s): Omar Kherad, Nathan Peiffer-Smadja, Lina Karlafti, Margus Lember, Nathalie Van Aerde, Orvar Gunnarsson, Cristian Baicus, Miguel Bigotte Vieira, António Vaz-Carneiro, Antonio Brucato, Ivica Lazurova, Wiktoria Leśniak, Thomas Hanslik, Stephen Hewitt, Eleni Papanicolaou, Olga Boeva, Dror Dicker, Biljana Ivanovska, Pinar Yldiz, Patrick Lacor, Mark Cranston, Frauke Weidanz, Giorgio Costantino, Nicola Montano
Date:16 April 2020

Medical and surgical co-management – A strategy of improving the quality and outcomes of perioperative care

Author(s): Carmen Fierbinţeanu-Braticevicia, Matthias Raspeb, Alin Liviu Predac, Evija Livčāned, Leonid Lazebnike, Soňa Kiňováf, Evert- Jan de Kruijfg, Radovan Hojsh, Thomas Hansliki, Mine Durusu-Tanrioverj, Francesco Dentalik, Xavier Corbellal, Pietro Castellinom, Monica Bivoln, Stefano Bassettio, Vasco Barretop, Eduardo Montero Ruizq, Luis Camposr, The Working Group on Professional Issues and Quality of Care of the European Federation of Internal Medicine (EFIM)
Date:15 November 2018

More publications

What is EFIM?

The principal objectives of EFIM is to promote internal medicine on a scientific educational, ethical and professional level and to support internists in providing better care for patients throughout Europe.

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What is internal medicine?

The specialty of internal medicine covers a wide range of conditions affecting the internal organs of the body. Although some diseases specifically affect individual organs, the majority of common diseases. The internist must then be trained to recognise and manage a broad range of diseases and, with the aging population, many patients with chronic and multiple disorders.

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