The 31-year-old becomes the first Derry player to be included in a national squad since Niall McGinn against Hungary in 2008.
He is unlikely to make his international bow in midweek, but will form part of Michael O'Neill's plans at the Ta'Qali National Stadium.
Upon hearing the news, Derry posed on their official Twitter account: "We are delighted to announced that Gerard Doherty has been called into the Northern Ireland squad for the Malta game.
"Gerard, called up for the first time, joins three ex City players: (Paddy) McCourt, (Kyle) Lafferty, McGinn in Michael O'Neill's squad for the friendly game this week."
Doherty said: "Delighted at being called into the squad for the game. I can't wait to meet up with the players and get stuck into a few days training and see what happens for Wednesday."