Young Internists group in Germany

The German Young Internists (“Junge Internisten”, JI) were founded in 2010.  The German Youg Internists (YI) are an officially accepted and supported group within the German Society of Internal Medicine (“Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin”, DGIM).  Over the last half-decade degree of organization and number of projects have increased. Today the German YI consist of a core group of around 6 actively participating young doctors lead by a speaker and his deputy. The German YI communicate by monthly telephone conferences and physical meetings once to twice per year.

The German YI recently worked/ are working primarily on the following projects:

1. For the upcoming 121st annual DGIM congress (2015) the German YI have organized the first German YI day with an own program (main topics: Postgraduate education, clinical cases and ultrasound in Internal Medicine).

2. Under the lead of the German YI speaker young doctors groups of almost all different medical specialties in Germany are joining to promote the needs of young doctors and address points of criticism with one strong voice.

3. From October to November 2014 the German YI (in collaboration with another young doctors group of the BDI, “Berufsverband Deutscher Internisten”) conducted a successful national survey on various aspects of working conditions among German internists in postgraduate education (almost 1700 YI took part). Results of this survey will be published and presented within an own session at the upcoming DGIM congress.

4. German YI participate in EFIM YI projects.

Some goals for the future are: Building up an even stronger German YI group with broader active participation. Settle up an official structure with regular elections. Establish the German YI day as a yearly event. Keep a strong connection to the EFIM YI and involvement in their projects.


German Society of Internal Medicine:

German young internists:

For questions/ suggestions:


Training in Internal Medicine in Germany

In Germany young doctors apply (after graduating from university) directly at the hospital/ department of their choice for a contract/ placement. As Germany is a federal country made up by 16 states (“Bundesländer”), setting the framework for postgraduate medial education is primarily done by each of these states separately (and therefore varies a little; the institutions in charge are named “Landesärztekammer”). For general internal medicine training until specialisation it takes 5 years minimum with rotations to other disciplines within internal medicine (e.g. cardiology, nephrology, emergency care… depending on the size of the hospital) every 6-12 months. The training includes 6 months minimum in intensive care. For postgraduate medial education a requested number of rotations, a defined number of various procedures and a defined knowledge of skills has to be achieved.  These achievements have to be proven by many signatures of distinct senior doctors in each department in your “postgraduate medical education book”. Despite these precise requirements in fact there is little control in hospitals on the quality of postgraduate medication. The learning style is most often “learning by doing” rather than a closely watched and guided learning process. Quality of postgraduate education further more depends primarily on the senior doctors/ consultants, who are in charge for postgraduate medical education in the hospital.

For achieving a subspecialisation like cardiology or gastroenterology young doctors can either choose a combined education (6 years) or first achieve the specialisation in general internal medicine (5 years) followed by training in a subspecialisation (+ another 3 years = 8 years). The latter option leads to the achievement of two different officially accredited specializations (e.g. general internal medicine AND cardiology). In Germany usually only small hospitals have wards for general internal medicine. In larger hospitals internal medicine is divided into wards/ departments for all the different subspecialisations. The final specialisation exam is an orally (not written) conducted test.

In Germany no special requirements or restrictions for different subspecialisations exist (of course placements are a matter of “demand and supply”).


Moving to Germany to train or work in Internal Medicine

The federal legal institution for all different aspects in medicine is the “Bundesärztekammer”. This institution provides useful information for foreign doctors who wish to work in Germany (see link below). On the state level responsible institutions are called “Landesärztekammer” (the are 17 since on state is divided in two). These local authorities are your main contact when it comes to details and precise questions.

Generally speaking it is quite easy for doctors from the EU to work in Germany. But all doctors have to prove sufficient language skills.

For doctors from outside the EU (again depending on the country) it is more difficult since they have to prove that their education is similar in terms of length, depth etc. to the German/ European education.

Doctors who wish to work in Germany need to acquire an official license. There are different types of licences depending on the country you come from and the education you went through. There is e.g. the “normal” licence like for all German doctors, which enables you to work throughout the country. Some foreign doctors who start working in Germany may first get a “restricted” license issued, which enables them e.g. to work just for a certain period of time and/ or just in a certain city or state.

Extremely valuable information can be found on the webpage of the medical state authority “Bundesärztekammer” (topic: “Work and training in Germany”):


This page has been prepared by Matthias Raspe, Young Internists assembly representative for Germany, April 2015.


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