XII: Subspecialty and Uncertified Subspecialty Training:
12-1) A non-certified subspecialty fellowship is a training fellowship for qualification purposes obtained by a trainee through a standardized training program after passing an examination in the same subspecialty at a recognized academic institution. It is classified as a non-certified subspecialty fellowship following a postgraduate degree in general specialty.
12-2) A non-certified subspecialty training course (fellowship) which does not include an examination at the end and in which the fellow is awarded a certificate of completion by the academic institution or university hospital is equivalent to a course commensurate with its actual training period.
Three years of training in the non-certified subspecialty, in addition to one year of experience in the same subspecialty
Two years of training in the non-certified subspecialty in addition to two one years of experience in the same subspecialty
One year of training in the non-certified subspecialty, in addition to four years of experience in the same subspecialty
Six years of experience in the subspecialty in specialized units at a recognized center, preceded by a postgraduate degree.
12-4) The holder of a specialty certificate who completes a three-year training program and has four years of experience in the same specialty, so that total training and experience are seven years, is qualified to become a non-certified consultant in the subspecialty. However, the title shall be limited to the subspecialty.
XIII: Additional Specialties:
Additional specialties is the acquisition of additional skills/techniques related to the main specialty, the practice of which requires obtaining an additional license; moreover, the holder must have complete a training course or have sufficient experience at a hospital or a specialty center in the required field, such as:
1. Infertility and in vitro fertilization (IVF), for gynecologists, obstetricians and senior house officers in embryology and endocrinology.
2. Laser eye surgery (for consultant ophthalmologists).
3. An additional license to use hair removal and excimer laser is granted to a dermatology senior house officer/consultant who attends a two-hour (min) training course - approved by the Commission - after having passed the professional assessment administered by the Commission.
4. An additional license to use laser, intense pulse light (IPL) , radio waves and photodynamic therapy (PDT) is granted to a dermatology (senior house officer/consultant) who attends a four-hour training course - approved by the Commission - after having passed the professional assessment administered by the Commission.
5. Endoscopy license for non-gastroenterology consultants, i.e. specialists in internal medicine, pediatrics and general surgery.
6. Circumcision license (physicians who are not urologists, pediatricians, plastic surgeons or general surgeons).
7. Analgesia (for consultants in anesthesia or neurosurgery).
8. Endoscopic surgery (for surgical consultants).
9. Ultrasound (for non-radiologists).
10. Hair transplantation (for dermatologists and plastic surgeons).
11. Dental implantology.
A- Additional license for dental implants (prosthodontic component):
The additional license for the prosthodontic component of the implant is granted to a senior house officer/consultant in oral and maxillofacial surgery or periodontologywho completes at least 100 hours of standardized training on the prosthodontic component in one or more recognized courses at scientific institutions/commissions recognized by the Commission. After passing the theoretic and clinical assessment, the trainee must provide proof that he trained on the prosthodontic component – no less than 15 cases – issued by the recognized training institution/commission, not a commercial company.
B- Additional license for dental implants (surgical component):
The additional license for the surgical component of the implant to is granted to a senior house officer/consultant in oral prosthodontics or restorative dentistry who completes at least 100 hours of standardized training on the surgical component in one or more recognized courses at scientific institutions/commissions recognized by the Commission. After passing the theoretic and clinical assessment, the trainee must provide proof that he trained on the surgical component – no less than 15 cases – issued by the recognized training institution/commission, not a commercial company.
C- Additional license for dental implants (prosthodontic/surgical component) for general dentists:
The additional license for the prosthodontic/surgical component of the implant to is granted to a general dentist who has at least four years of experience and standardized training on one or both components of dental implantology. The dentist must attend at least 200 hours of training – one or more courses – on the prosthodontic and surgical components (100 hours each) of the implant at a scientific institution/commission recognized by the Commission, not a commercial company. Moreover, the dentist must finish treating 20 cases surgically and prosthodontically (documented by the recognized training institution/commission. After passing the theoretic and clinical assessment, the license is given either in the prosthodontic component, the surgical component or both.
XIV: Definitions of Some Special Certificates:
14-1 Diploma in Field Epidemiology:
A diploma awarded by the School of Medicine at King Saud University in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Physicians and non-physician practitioners are eligible for admission. This diploma is equivalent to a two-year diploma in the same specialty.
14-2 Degrees/certificates from the Russian Federation and Ukraine:
14-2-1) Nursing and technical certificates: less than four years after high school qualifies the applicant to practice as a (technician) if he passes the assessment, while more than four years qualifies the applicant to practice as a (specialist).
14-2-2) Bachelor of Pharmacy: duration is five years; equivalent to a bachelor of pharmacy in the Kingdom.
4-2-3) Dentistry: duration is five years; equivalent to a bachelor’s degree and a training (internship) year.
14-2-4) General Medicine: six years plus one year of training (internship year). It is called “Stagior” in Russian, i.e. (bachelor’s/diploma) and it is equivalent to a bachelor of medicine / bachelor of surgery in the Kingdom.
14-2-5) Specialist Certificate (Clinical Ordinatura): “KauhuUeckou opguka type” in Russian. At least three years of training is required to receive the certificate. It is equivalent to a two-year program: specialist = master = magista and qualifies its holder to practice as a senior house officer after gaining the required experience.
14-2-6) Fellowship (PhD/MD): “Kandidate Nauk” in Russian. It requires three to five years of training after receiving a master’s degree. It is equivalent to the Saudi Specialty Certificate (PhD).
14-3 Degrees/certificates from Poland:
14-3-1) Nursing, including:
A. Nurse: four years of studying at a secondary nursing school after middle school and it is called “Dyplom Pielegniarki/Pielegniarza”.
It is equivalent to the diploma granted by secondary health institutes and qualifies its holder to practice as a nursing technician.
B. Qualified nurse: two years of studying at a nursing institute after high school and it is called “Dyplom dielegniarza”, “Diplom Pyplomowanego” or “Pielegniarki Dyplomowanej”.
It is equivalent to the diploma granted by advanced secondary health institutes and qualifies its holder to practice as a nursing technician.
C. Bachelor of Nursing: four years of studying at the school of medicine- nursing department and it is called “Dyplom Magistra Pielegniarstwa”.
It is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree and qualifies its holder to practice as a specialist.
D. Pharmacy: its duration is five years and it is called “Dyplom Magistra Farmacji”.
It is equivalent to a bachelor of pharmacy.
E. Dentistry: five years plus an internship year. It is called “Dyplom Lekarza Stomatologa” and it is equivalent to a bachelor of dentistry.
F. Medicine: six years plus an internship year. It is called “Dyplom Lekarza Medyeyny” and it is equivalent to a bachelor of medicine / bachelor of surgery in the Kingdom.
14-3-5) Specialty certificates:
14-3-5-1) Until 1999, specialty programs were divided into two levels and comprised two stages:
A. Level 1: 2-3 years of training; the degree is called “Dyplom I Stopnia” and it is equivalent to a master’s degree.
B. Level 2: 3-4 years of training in addition to a state’s examination. The degree is called “Dyplom II Stopnia”; it is equivalent to a PhD and qualifies the practitioner to become a specialist registrar.
14-3-5-2) Starting early 1999, the European Union specialties’ system was applied and the specialty was changed into one level. The program is now no less than five years, depending on the specialty, and the degree is called “Dyplom Specjalisty”; it is equivalent to a PhD and qualifies its holder to become a specialist registrar.
14-3-5-3) Sub-specialties (such as heart surgery, neurosurgery and plastic surgery):
- Until 1999: it required 3-4 years of training after completing level 1”Dyplom I Stopnia” and passing the state’s examination; it qualifies its holder to become a subspecialist.
- Since early 1999: requires 2-3 years of training after completing “Dyplom Specjalisty” and passing the state’s examination; it qualifies its holder to become a specialist.
14-4 Degrees/certificates from the Czech Republic:
14-4-1) The specialty certificate “Prvniho Stupune” qualifies its holder to become a senior house officer after passing the professional assessment.
14-4-2) The specialty certificate “Druheho Stupune” qualifies its holder to become a specialist registrar or consultant, based on experience.
14-5 Bachelors of nursing, applied medical sciences and equivalents from the Philippines and India:
14-15-1) upon the completion of ten years of general education, holders of bachelor degrees in nursing and applied medical sciences are classified as specialists in their specialties, provided that they have a four-year bachelor degree, the Board Certificate in the same specialty and three years of experience in the whatever specialty stated in the certificate, whether optometry, physiotherapy, nutrition, respiratory therapy, medical labs, dental technology, radiology, etc. except for pharmacy.
XV: Visiting Doctors:
1. Pursuant to Ministerial Resolution No. 2118/20, dated Jun 6 1999 AH, the Commission shall classify visiting doctors according to the following criteria:
The visiting doctor must be a consultant in his home country; he must be specialized in rare specialty and familiar with new techniques not available in the Kingdom.
The visiting doctor must have a valid practicing license in his home country.
The visiting doctor must have never been convicted of a Sharia violation, a criminal offence or a medical error, nor deported from the Kingdom for any reason related to the medical profession.
The Commission’s recommendation to invite a visiting doctor is not considered as a permanent classification certificate to work in the Kingdom.
XVI: General Terms:
16-1) Applicants that have health-related certificates from abroad are classified through professional assessment.
16-2) Those who were not qualified because of failing the assessment may be reclassified after spending a training period and gaining new experience at a hospital that accommodates the respective specialty, or after receiving a higher qualification recognized by the Commission. The application is accepted after one year from the date of the decision.
16-3) Practitioners given exceptions who pass the professional assessment are reassessed one year after the professional classification decision. However, a final non-qualification decision is issued for those failing for the second time.
16-3-1) Saudi practitioners who pass on their fourth attempt must be reassessed one year after the classification decision. The classification decision must state (reassessment after one year).
16-4) Classification from one level to another requires a new application and a new assessment.
16-5) Government employees may not be classified as consultants without the approval of their departments.
16-6) Those failing the assessment for a certain professional level may not be classified to a lower level. However, this does not apply to nurses working at health centers, clinics and clinic complexes, as they may take the nursing assistant assessment if they fail the nursing assessment, provided they work exclusively in health centers, clinics and clinic complexes after passing the nursing assistant assessment.
16-7) An applicant for the level of a specialist registrar/consultant who fails the first attempt may redo the assessment. If he passes, he is classified to a lower professional level than what he applied for or to the actual level if it was lower. However, he may submit a new professional classification request to upgrade his level one year after he passes the assessment or one year after the classification decision.
16-8) If a non-physician does not practice for 2-5 years, he must go back to training for 2-6 months, based on the time spent without practicing. However, if a practitioner does not practice for more than five years, he must train for six months if he had previous experience or for one year if he did not have previous experience, in addition to passing the professional classification assessment.
16-9) Non-practicing (physician):
2-5 years: the practitioner's experience is evaluated, he must receive 2-6 months of training in the field of his specialty, based on the time spent without practicing, and he must pass the professional classification assessment.
5-10 years: the practitioner's experience is evaluated, he must receive six months of training in the field of his specialty if he had previous practical experience and one year if he did not practice before, and he must pass the professional classification assessment.
Non-practicing for more than ten years: with previous practicing experience must have their experience evaluated, receive one year of training and pass the professional classification assessment.
Non-practicing for more than ten years: those without previous practicing experience must train for at least one year at a recognized training center and successfully complete 4 three-month courses in (internal medicine, pediatrics, general surgery and OB/GYN).
16-10) The number of examination attempts shall be as described below.
The Commission’s examination administered by Prometric: the applicant is allowed two attempts for the classification examination within three months. If the applicant fails or does not attend the examination, he is given another opportunity to sit for the examination within three months from the date of the last attempt and he must pay the stipulated fees. However, if the applicant fails or does not attend the examination, he will be automatically declared non-qualified.
Scheduled written examinations (committees): the applicant is allowed two attempts in a row. If the applicant fails or does not attend the examination, he is given another opportunity to sit for the examination before the next committee and he must pay the stipulated fees. However, if the applicant fails or does not attend the examination, he will be automatically declared non-qualified.
In case of non-qualification, the applicant may apply again one year after the non-qualification decision and he must pay the stipulated fees.
Graduates of private health institutes, health colleges, and community colleges in the Kingdom are given two attempts. Those failing the examination must undergo additional training, and then they are given two additional attempts. Those failing the additional two attempts will be assessed by a committee until the Commission implements a system of standardized tests.
16-10-1) The applicant's employer must be notified if the applicant is not qualified.
16-11) The date the board of the college/university adopts the decision is considered the actual date of the certificate.
16-12) Holders of a bachelor of medicine / bachelor of surgery may be classified as medial advertising and pharmaceutical marketing representatives if they pass the pharmaceutical professional classification assessment.
16-13) Classified ophthalmology senior house officers who wish to work in optical centers must apply for an additional license and take a written examination in optometry, provided that they work exclusively in the field of optometry.
16-14) The physical (hearing, sight, etc.), psychological and neural abilities of professional classification or registration applicants over (60) years old must be tested. The result is either "fit for medical practice" or "unfit for medical practice".
16-15) All graduates of government programs below a bachelor's degree must sit for the professional classification examination.
16-16) In accordance with the Health Professional Practice Act issued pursuant to Royal Decree No. M/59, dated 15 December 2005, subscription to cooperative insurance against medical errors is mandatory for all physicians and dentists both in the public and the private sectors.
16-17) Changing professional level:
A. The Commission may change the professional level or revoke the practitioner's classification and registration certificate by virtue of a court order or due to the request of the competent authorities for reassessment purposes, or if the practitioner turned out to have received the certificate by mistake or in an illegal manner.
B. If the practitioner submits a request to upgrade his professional level, the Commission may either change or revoke the professional classification certificate based on the recommendation of the assessment committee.
16-18) The Commission may amend any article of this Manual whenever it deems appropriate without prior notice.
16-19) The Secretary General may chose to make exceptions to any of this Manual's provisions, if necessary.
XVII: Professional Classification and Registration Fees:
Professional classification and registration fees are paid for with a check written to the order of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, by credit card or by a bank deposit to the Commission's bank account as described below:
A. Professional classification fees:
Physician (senior house officer/ specialist registrar)