Medical Doctor Registration In South Africa

Who is a Medical Doctor?

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a health professional who practices medicine,

which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments.

Medical Doctor Registration In South Africa

Registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is a prerequisite for professional practice, and it is also a legal requirement to keep all personal details up to date at all times.

You must pay an annual fee for this registration and failure to pay this fee could result in suspension from the register. If for some reason you are suspended from the register, you can redeem yourself by applying for restoration and paying the restoration fee.

Voluntary erasure from the register is possible if you do not intend to practice your profession in South Africa for a given period. Submit a written request before 31 March of the year for voluntary erasure.

There are six main registration categories (not all categories apply to all professions), namely:

  • Student Registration
  • Intern Registration
  • Community Service
  • Independent Practice (including Registrars who are training in a specific specialty)

Other categories for temporary or restricted registration include:

  • Education
  • Post Graduate
  • Volunteer

The registration guidelines vary from one professional board to another. A detailed reference guide is available for the registration requirements for each of the 12 professional boards:

How long does it take to become a medical doctor in South Africa?

In total, the journey to becoming a doctor in South Africa takes around 6-7 years. In the United States, there is no direct pathway to medical school.

Instead, students must follow these steps: Aspiring doctors must complete a 4-year undergraduate degree in Pre-med, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, or a related major.

How difficult is medicine in South Africa?

How hard is medical school and getting into medical school? Medical school is very difficult. There is a huge amount of knowledge to learn —

some of it can be figured out from principles such as in physiology and many others like anatomy just need to be memorized. It’s a lot of work.