Choosing Your Speciality

Once you have been granted your licence to practice medicine, you can start your further training as a medical specialist. Have you already decided what specialist title you would like to acquire?

In Germany, a medical specialist’s title is acquired after a further training phase of several years which is completed with an examination before the Medical Association.The purpose of the further training is to gain certain knowledge, experience and skills in a regulated way in order to acquire special medical competence. The further training takes place in a structured form, the purpose being to obtain the qualification as a medical specialist in certain fields and, on this basis, to specialise in main areas or to receive additional further training.

An overview of all possibilities to be trained further as a specialist in Saxony can be found in the Further Training Regulations of the State Chamber of Physicians of Saxony.

Decision Aid 1: Personal Interests

Once you have been granted your licence to practice medicine, you can start your further training as a medical specialist. Have you already decided what specialist title you would like to acquire? Your personal interests and preferences are particularly important for your decision, because only what you like to do will fill you with enthusiasm over a long period and will let you face the challenges of your speciality easily.

You have certainly got to know different specialist departments in the course of your studies – e.g. during the clinical traineeship or the Practical Year – and asked yourself whether you would like to work in some of those fields. On this basis, you will make a good decision for your own career!

Decision Aid 2: Exchange with Friends and Colleagues

If you have not made your decision yet, talking to friends and colleagues will help you. Ask them why they have chosen their particular speciality and what distinguishes it in their opinion.

Decision Aid 3: Professional Associations and Expert Societies

The websites of the Professional Associations and Expert Societies in the field of medicine can also be a good decision aid. On those sites, you can find overviews of the individual specialities and much other useful information.

Decision Aid 4: Statistical Data on the Development of the Number of Doctors

A look at the statistical data can also help you with your decision. You certainly know that in the last ten years, the medical employment market has developed rapidly from an offer-driven market with ten thousands of unemployed doctors into a demand-driven market with thousands of vacancies. So you have the best chances for your career entry!

On the basis of an evaluation of the job advertisements published nationwide in “Deutsches Ärzteblatt”, the journal of the German Medical Association, you can see a comparison of the groups of specialists for which there was the highest demand in the 1st halves of 2008 and 2009. The number of vacancies for doctors in further training was almost equally high. Source: Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2009, 106 (31-32): A-1585

The medical specialist’s index compiled by Mainmedico each year enables a comparison of the demand situation in the different specialities. For this index, the number of job advertisements published in “Deutsches Ärzteblatt” for a particular speciality is placed in relation to the total number of doctors who have an employment in this speciality in Germany. The resulting index indicates the number of doctors per job advertisement (in purely arithmetical terms). The lower the index, the lower the number of potential competitors per job advertisement. Source: Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2009, 106 (18): A-897/ B-769/ C-745