๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช For physicians: Doing a Master’s or PhD degree in Germany

โ€ข Introduction

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.

If you have the slightest doubt about a certain point or do not understand any information, askย at any time in the main group of our community “Facharzt JETZT” onย Facebookย and Telegram (groups will appear as a folder). We remind you that this article is a guidance article to help you understand things and you should not rely solely on it. You should always return to the official websites. ๐Ÿ˜Š


โ€ข 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:


โ€ข 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.

๐Ÿ’ก Medical doctors can in most German universities directly do a PhD

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โ€ข 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


– Language

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 ๐Ÿฅณ. Do not worry, learning German is for English programs is not a must.๐Ÿฅณ 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. โ˜น๏ธ


โ€ข 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.


โ€ข 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:


โ€ข 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.


โ€ข Does continuing a PhD/Master’s program helps me in avoiding a medical knowledge exam?

No!!! โ˜น๏ธ You can read this article on how to avoid a medical knowledge exam: Link.


โ€ข 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 (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die Approbation) takes much less time: “๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Duration of the residency programs in Germany (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช 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 (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die Assistenzรคrzte/Assitenzรคrztinnen).

๐Ÿ’ก So in total, if your aim from doing the Master’s/PhD program is to get quicker a residency position, then this is
certainly a bad idea!

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Instead, we recommend that you do the following:

Want to learn more? Questions?
Join JETZT (๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ now) all of our groups & ask what you like
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