An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training Further info
Dr. med. Keivan Daneshvar, Doctor of Medicine (Approbation)

The new law brought with it en­tire­ly new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The 2012 law for recognising foreign occupational qualifications was the proverbial lifesaver for the Iranian physician Keivan Daneshvar after a five-year struggle of navigating the jungle of bureaucracy in Germany. The law finally provided the legal basis for third country nationals to obtain approbation as a doctor of medicine.

My advice
The best thing is to talk to the IQ net­work ad­vi­sors and ask them for sup­port. It is a very dif­fi­cult process when at­tempt­ed alone and one los­es a lot of time. The IQ-Net­zw­erk Baden-Würt­tem­berg has helped me a lot.
Dr. med. Keivan Daneshvar
Reference occupation
Doctor of Medicine (Approbation)
Country of origin of qualification
Current job
Senior physician at the radiology department

My story

Keivan Daneshvar did not have an easy start in Germany. He had to fight many years for his right to live and work here. The formal recognition as a doctor of medicine (approbation) was one of the biggest obstacles in this process. As early as in 2006, the Iranian was unable to accept a job offer because he lacked both the licence to practise in his profession and the residence permit.

Following a six-month advanced training course in the field of radiology in Switzerland, Keivan Daneshvar first worked for two years as a visiting physician at the Heidelberg University Hospital. "There were many bureaucratic problems. For example, as a visiting physician the residence permit was granted only for half a year at a time", he says, looking back. Every time he wanted to rotate within the university hospital or change his place of employment, the licence to practise in his occupation had to be newly applied for. "I had to inform the prospective new employers that the process prior to taking up the job is likely to take three to four months, but even so I could not provide an exact date when I would receive the licence to practise, so many obviously withdrew their job offers."

But Keivan Daneshvar did not give up. He urgently wanted to work in Germany in the long term and receive in-depth training as a medical specialist. "They use high-class devices in the field of radiology here. Also, I had read many German publications and knew that research is held in high regard in Germany; that piqued my interest. Moreover, the location in Central Europe is good and I had already made many acquaintances here, so everything matched. Essentially ..."

He changed jobs to work at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg in 2009, yet required a new licence to practise to do so. "The Landesprüfungsamt (Federal State Examination Office) in Stuttgart granted me the temporary licence to practise in my profession. I had to sign an agreement to sit the theory examination for physicians. At the time it was the rule that one was automatically issued an appointment to take the exam after six months", Keivan Daneshvar remembers. Following the examination in March 2010 he then had it in writing: his Iranian degree is equivalent to the German medical university course.

Even so, he still felt a little like a "second class" physician, because under the legal provisions effective at the time he as a third country national was barred from being granted approbation – the formal state-issued occupational licence for doctors of medicine. It was only after receiving information from the IQ advisory office in Mannheim regarding the options under the new Recognition Act that had become effective in spring 2012 that Keivan Daneshvar filed a renewed application; he eventually received approbation in April 2012. As he had previously passed the theory examination, he did not have to sit any additional examinations.

"At last I can work as a physician in Germany in a regular manner. In spite of all the difficulties, I have made it from visiting physician to senior physician within seven years. In the meantime I have retaken a doctoral degree, because my doctoral title had not been recognised either. Now I hold a title as a medical specialist and work as a senior physician in radiology. I would not have achieved all this without the recognition."

The interview with Keivan Daneshvar was conducted in November 2014.

My procedure in brief

  1. Keivan Daneshvar completes a medical degree in Iran. He is a doctor of medicine and in Switzerland completes a six-month advanced training course in the field of radiology.
  2. In Germany he first works for two years as a visiting physician at the Heidelberg University Hospital. He does not have the authorisation to practice he needs for a permanent position as a medical practitioner.
  3. In 2009, Keivan Daneshvar changes jobs to work at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. He passes the knowledge test for medical practitioners. in 2010. His Iranian qualification is recognised as equivalent.
  4. At the IQ advice centre in Mannheim he learns about the regulations under the Recognition Act. In April 2012 he applies for and receives approbation (licence to practise medicine in Germany).
  5. Dr. med. Keivan Daneshvar has now retaken his doctorate. He holds the title of medical specialist and works as a senior physician in radiology.