In this article, we are going to speak about the academic options for medical graduates in Germany. Some doctors might find the 10 steps to start medical residency in Germany hard, therefore, they might think about finishing a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. This could be interesting because medical doctors can directly enter into a PhD program in Germany without having done a Master’s degree before that.
• Universities in Germany
Germany has at least 250,000 thousand foreign university students out of a total of at least 2.5 million students. Foreign graduates in medical specialties can choose the academic route and do a Master’s and/or a PhD degree in Germany. The detailed steps for the clinical pathway is explained in the 10 steps article.
If you want to know about other possible career options for you in Germany, you can read the following article:
• Master’s or PhD degree?
Medical doctors can in many universities directly enter into a PhD program without doing a Master’s degree. Many German universities consider this degree to be equal to a Master’s degree.
• What are the requirements?
– Having a bachelor’s degree from a recognized univeristy
You simply need to have studied in a recognized university. Do not worry, most universities in the world are recognized. This is something else as applying for a permanent German medical license for non-EU/EEA graduates (die Gleichwertigkeitsvefahren). The lists of recognized universities are published in an official website called anabin (link).
The following article explains how to use anabin: link
Some Master’s/PhD programs are in English, but the majority are in German. But for medical specialties, there are many English programs. If your program is in English, you need to provide evidence for that (TOEFL or IELTS; depending on the university). Maybe there are exceptions, so please read the requirements of each university. Write a comment if you found exceptions 🥳. Do not worry, learning German is for English programs is not a must.🥳 But universities do offer free courses for learning German. You can take advantage of that and save 1500-3000 Euros.
If the program is in German, on the other hand, then you need to learn German.
– Die Approbation is NOT a requirement
Should I get a German permanent medical license (die Approbation) before enrolling in a Master’s/PhD program?
No! But in seldom cases, the research project might include working with patients and examining them. In this case, the medical license is a must. Your application could therefore be rejected. ☹️
• Scholarships? Are the Master’s/PhD programs paid?
In some cases, yes, because the industry (like pharma companies) and the universities work often hand in hand. Or you can apply for a grant/scholarship. We wrote an article about that:
But pay attention that some of these scholarships require you to go back to your home country after getting your degree in order to help in its development. So please read exactly the conditions of the grants/scholarships.
• How to find a Master’s/PhD topic that you like?
There are many websites that allow you to search for the topic of the Master’s degree you like to do (e.g., Public health, immunology, epidemiology, etc.).
Examples of these Websites:
- DAAD (Example: Link to all medicine P.h.D. programs in English in Germany)
- Higher Education Compass
- Study Portals Masters
- GERiT – German Research Institutions
- … plus many other websites. Link to Google search.
• How can you apply for the Master’s/PhD program?
The above website will explain on the page of each program how you can apply for it. But mostly, they will send you to the websites of the universities. The application requires many documents, and you need to do it for each university alone.
• Does continuing a PhD/Master’s program helps me in avoiding a medical knowledge exam?
No!!! ☹️ You can read this article on how to avoid a medical knowledge exam: Link.
• Does continuing a PhD/Master’s program help me in finding a job?
– Time invested vs profit
The effect of this in improving your CV is little compared the time that you will invest. The Master’s programs last usually two years and the PhD programs 3 to 5 years. Getting a German permanent medical license (🇩🇪 die Approbation) takes much less time: “🇩🇪 Duration of the residency programs in Germany (🇩🇪 die Dauer der Facharztausbildung)”
– Little learning of the German language
Mostly, you will be doing the work in English and working with foreign students. Moreover, your German colleagues will be speaking English to you; because it is much easier than speaking to a beginner in German. So, you will not learn a lot of German.
– No clinical experience
- A main disadvantage is to is that you do not have clinical experience and do not know how to do the normal work that is expected from residents (🇩🇪 die Assistenzärzte/Assitenzärztinnen).
Instead, we recommend that you do the following:
Want to learn more? Questions?
Join JETZT (🇺🇸 now) all of our groups & ask what you like
(On mobile phone: The links are at the end of this page/ On PC: On the right side)