The course is aimed at successful candidates in the national competitive examinations organised by the Ministry of Education (*)

The course

Duration: 8 to 16 weeks

Physicians who have been successful in the competitive examinations are assigned to their place of work within the academic inspectorates and undergo 8 to 16 weeks of training at the EHESP before being made permanent. The content and duration of the training course depends on each person’s professional experience within the education system. Training is based on a mix of on-the-job and classroom training and aims to:

  • Improve medical expertise (learning difficulties, psychopathology of children and adolescents, occupational medicine) and public health expertise in the area of childhood and adolescence
  • Acquire the methods and tools necessary to promote health from a decision support and project management perspective
  • Understanding the political, institutional and legal context in which the profession operates

The individual training programmes consist of 7 teaching units lasting 1 to 3 weeks organised between October and June:

  • Institutional, political and legal context
  • Health screening in the school environment
  • Epidemiology and applied statistics
  • Care and child welfare policies
  • Health promotion concepts and methods
  • Student environment and health
  • Communication and professional practices

Certification involves the submission and oral defence of a piece of written work. Certification is one of the conditions for permanency.

ECTS (European Credits Transfer System) credits can be earned through certification with a view to obtaining a masters degree.


Competitive recruitment based on school file followed by an interview, open to holders of a degree, certificate or qualification required to practice as a physician and to those who are licensed to practice medicine in France.

(*) Please note that, in the 2006 to 2008 competitive examinations, a distinction was made between candidates with less than 8 years of service and those with 8 years or more experience in the public service, with 2/3 of all positions being reserved for the latter. Those who successfully passed the examinations and who could provide proof of at least 3 years experience in school medicine were exempted from training. This temporary provision was removed in 2008.

The job

The profession of school physician was established by the order of 27 November 1991, which confirmed the transfer of school medicine to the Ministry of Education.

The school physician practices in geographical zones encompassing primary schools, collèges and lycées (secondary school). He or she forms part of the educational community which is explained by his or her dual competence:

  • Clinical/medical expertise available to all students irrespective of their disability or illness, in support of educational achievement
  • Expertise in the field of public health through his or her assistance in determining the health needs of students and through the achievement of national and regional objectives for public health and child and adolescent health promotion and prevention.

The physician acts as a:

  • Clinician when he examines students, does health screening, makes a diagnosis and prescribes appropriate counselling,
  • Medical expert when he suggests changes to make school life easier or when he intervenes in a situation covered by physician patient confidentiality (mistreatment, suspicion of sexual abuse)
  • Expert in public health when he identifies risk factors and contributes to the implementation of a health policy within the institutions
  • Educator when he deals with students or their families within the context of the health education programme
  • Instructor when he trains staff within the education system on the impact of health problems on academic performance and what they are required to do.

The physician ensures that patient confidentiality is administered, in all professionally applicable situations, in a fashion that complies with all legal and ethical requirements and that recognises the potential scientific importance of information gleaned within the context of health education projects.

The school physician relies on numerous colleagues and partners due to his position at the interface between the education and healthcare systems.

The school physician career development structure permits access to managerial positions at département (inspection académique – academic in


Office responsible for School physician training
Sylvie Chable
Tel : +33 (0) 2 99 02 26 29

To find out more about the profession or the conditions of admission, visit the website of the Ministry of Education

Modified on 14 January 2016