The study at the University of Tampere aims to clarify the relationship between poor language skills and the high failure rate in qualification exams. A staggering figure – over 60 percent – of foreign doctors fail the exam.
Medical scientists are conducting the study together with linguists. The School of Medicine at Tampere is the only facility in Finland offering examinations for validating foreign doctors.
The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, Valvira, oversees the qualification of foreign doctors in Finland.
“We are keen to get to the bottom of the problem and find solutions, which we can then report to Valvira,” said Kari Mattila, professor of general practice at the University of Tampere.
The number of foreign doctors in Finland is on the increase. At the start of 2010, more than 1,100 doctors speaking native tongues other than Finnish or Swedish were working in Finland.