Road to Residency

In order to enroll in a medical or dental residency program in Saudi Arabia, the applicant needs to graduate medical or dental school and finish internship year. After which the applicant needs to take the Saudi Medical Licensure Exam (SMLE) or the Saudi Dental License Exam (SDLE) that is designed by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) and apply through as a unified scoring system used for admitting applicants to the suitable postgraduate training programs. The matching system for the residency in Saudi Arabia is updated almost every year. However, it has remained the same with slight changes over the past three years.

When an applicant submit their application to the residency, they upload their information through a matching website which can be accessed through here. Each applicant can score a maximum of 100 distributed as the following: 50% for the SMLE grade, 30% for the GPA and 20% for the CV. Furthermore, the CV portfolio is distributed into six categories each graded differently. The first points are allocated to medical research activity and is given a total of 6 points. Two points for participation in a medical research and four points for publication of an article. The second remark is having a postgraduate academic degree which is given a total of 2 points with the condition of it being health related with a minimum duration of study of 12 months and that it was obtained in the past 5 years. Third, community volunteering and is given 5 points for a total of two activities with 2.5 point for each public or community activity. Then, showing a strong interest in the specialty of choice is awarded three points followed by clinical experience with 2 points. Lastly, if the applicant is employed full time as a health practitioner, they are awarded the last 2 points.

There are numerous residency programs available in Saudi Arabia and the applicants get to make a preference based on their interests and desires. For example, choosing between surgical versus medical specialty or adult versus pediatrics. Furthermore, the location of the program, the intensity of training, the challenges during residency years, the level of required education, the number of residency years and the personal limits. It is advised to take elective training courses in the fields of interest in order to get proper exposure to the type of cases, the workload, the lifestyle and to generally have a more realistic vision about the specialty. It is also recommended to get to know the faculty members and to build a good reputation at the desired center.

Elective courses can be taken as a part of medical school curriculum or during internship year. When the applicants are choosing a career path, they must take into account the strength and weaknesses of their CV, their accumulative GPA and to be able to have the highest grade possible in the SMLE.

Better Mentors will help the applicant in their residency road as tutors who are available can guide you through the SMLE, the CV points and help you determine your strength and weaknesses to have more of a realistic goals and achieve the best possible outcome.