The total length of the specific training programme in General Medecine cannot be for less than 3 years (Ministerial Decree of 1/10/2002, European Directive 2001/19/CE).The length of the training programme is at least two years after having acquired the degree of Doctor in Medecine. The first year of the DES may be validated by following the 4th study year of the PhD programme in Medecine, with the "General Medecine" orientation.
Besides theoretical and practical sessions, it includes full-time training periods carried out with general practitioners or in hospital services, approved by the Ministry for Public Health and recognised by the Faculty of Medecine. The student degree holders who have successfully followed the "General Medicine Orientation" in the 4th year of studies of their PhD in medecine, obtain the credit of 6 months apprenticeship in an approved hospital service and 6 months work experience with a recognised General Practitioner or in a recognised centre for primary care.
The graduate students who have not followed the "General Medecine" orientation in the 4th year of PhD studies in medecine must follow the programme described below during the course of the DES. The length of the work experience in a hospital is a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of one year for the ensemble of the training. Apprenticeships in developing countries are authorised and counted as a quarter of their length. These training periods may only concern one year of the complementary training (Ministerial Decree of 06/04/1999). Apprenticeships in a country of the European Community are authorised for the maximal duration of one year (Ministerial decree of 06/04/1999).