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A girl and her dreams of being a doctor

LocachicaLocachica 0 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1 New Member
Hello my name is Gretel and I'm currently a sophomore in high school. I plan to become a surgeon and need help. I have always been vaguely informed about the process of college and becoming a doctor however this year I had a big change in heart and decided to follow my dreams and study in Germany. It's really hard and seems impossible but I'm really determined. I want to go study in Germany and work as a surgeon throughout Europe. I know that if I decide to come back to practice medicine in America I will have to take a really difficult test. I need help with the process and steps to achieve my dream of becoming a surgeon in Germany.
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Replies to: A girl and her dreams of being a doctor

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10054 replies200 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,254 Senior Member
    edited February 2016
    First, are you near native-fluent in German?
    All your coursework will be taught in German and all your clinical training with done with German-speaking patients.
    Medical study in Germany requires the German skills. Even students who would like to take german course at the Studienkolleg to improve the German language skills, are expected to have attained a certain proficiency level right from day one. Students may prove German language skills by presenting a certificate issued for passing a DSH or TestDaF exam (after approx. 400 to 600 class hours), corresponding roughly to level B1 of the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages".

    You will need a level B2 or better score to start medical studies.

    Second, do you hold EU citizenship or dual US-EU citizenship? It's extraordinarily difficult for someone who is not a German citizen to be admitted to German medical training. Fewer than 6% of all German medical school seats are open to international students and a strong preference is given to EU applicants.

    Third, you will need to enroll in a 2 year IB program and specialize in sciences. You'll need to take your IB exams and score well. Those scores will be evaluated by the international registrar at each German university you apply to to see if you meet minimum qualifications for admission consideration.

    Lastly, if you study medicine in Germany, it will be extremely difficult to return to the US and practice. You will need to take and score well on a series of 4 standardized exams (USMLEs), then you you'll need to completely redo your medical residency. (For surgery, residency is 5 years plus additional fellowship years if you sub-specialize.) You may not be able to find a surgery residency as IMG. There is a coming residency crunch and already fewer than 40% of US citizens who are international medical graduates find a residency in any specialty. I know orthopedic surgeons who trained overseas who are now family practice doc or pediatricians because they couldn't qualify for a residency in surgery, IOW, if you train in Germany, don't plan on coming back to practice in the US.


    edited February 2016
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