Well, that’s a difficult question to ask. Let me tell you first a little about my journey. I arrived in Germany in 2015 and landed in Berlin. I have dedicated the first 6 months to learning the German language until I reached the required B2 level. Afterwards, I have discovered that I was also required to do the so-called Fachsprachprüfung, which I didn’t know about beforehand, as it was entirely new back then.
In fact, had I submitted my documents 3 days earlier I wouldn’t have had to do that exam. That meant another 3 to 6 months of preparation for that exam. In addition, there were all of the documents that I needed to translate, the money spent on living, courses, etc., and the waiting times in Germany that sometimes can be pretty long…
Benefits of Becoming a physician in Germany in 2021
So is it all worth it now? Well, I would say that for me – yes. Listed below are the main reasons why I believe that it is truly worth it to be a physician in Germany:
- I am currently working in one of the best medical systems in the world. I have access to all of the new devices, medications, technologies, etc. I find that to be a huge advantage when it comes to the medical field.
- I have one of Germany’s most secured jobs – Doctors are highly needed in Germany (In 2014, there were 2.213 vacancies, and in 2018, 2.875, and this figure rises every single year). So, there are always places that need you, regardless of your specialty. Your chances of being unemployed as a licensed physician in Germany are practically ZERO.
- You earn more than the average salary in Germany, right from the start. Even as a first-year resident, you start off at a minimum of 4800E and that’s without any extra shifts, etc, that increase this sum substantially.
- A great work-to-life balance: That is one of the benefits that I least thought about when choosing Germany as my place to do my residency, but this is probably one of the most important ones for me. In Germany, there is a very distinct and sharp balance between work and pleasure. That means, once you are finished with your shift, you are literally finished with your shift. No one will dare to bother you outside the work hours. And if you haven’t visited Germany just yet, you should know that there are so many great things to do in your free time in Germany – I am referring to the multiple parks, lakes, shopping centers, etc. In most hospitals, you have a minimum of 30 paid vacation leave per year. Just make your math, it means that you are vacationing at least 6 weeks out of 52 weeks every single year. This is simply terrific!!!
- The medical system here in Germany is HIGHLY financed – there are so many open spots for doctors needed, and still, there is a great shortage of doctors. That means, regardless of the field you want to specialize in, chances are that you will find a spot, and you will not have to look for it for a long time. Of course, however, there are specialties that are easier to find, such as internal medicine, anesthesia, general surgery, and others, but if you are willing to go out of the city even the more desired specialties such as Dermatology, plastic surgery, HNO, and others are possible and available.
So, yes, if you are willing to invest some time and money into your future in Germany, I believe it is DEFINITELY worth it to be a physician in Germany. Nothing that is worthwhile is ever easy. However, your future self will thank you for putting in the effort.
Written by Dr. Itay Shahar
The author is a medical resident in Germany and the co-founder of DoctorinGermany.com
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