Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the split between theoretical/practical parts during the degree?
The degree consists of a 5 year long theoretical part followed by one practical year. The degree can usually be finished in about 6.3 years.
The first two years (preclinical) are very theoretical. During the third year, the contact with patients starts to intensify and many courses take place at the hospital or at a patient’s bed. This is also where the expression of „a white cloud buzzing through the ward“ comes from.
The practical year is split into thirds at most universities. 1/3 surgery; 1/3 internal medicine; 1/3 elective (one specialist are can be chosen by the student)
Which advanced courses should I choose during school?
The Numerus Clausus required for a medicine degree is very high. Therefore, I would advise you to take any advanced courses where you would expect to score very highly. Choose wisely and not just depending on what you like.
If you like Chemistry very much, but are bad at it, and at the same time you are very good at German then I would advise you to choose German as your advanced course.
But ultimately if you are very passionate about a subject you should be willing to dedicate enough spare time to revision to excel at it anyways.
Just remember to choose your courses wisely so you can secure a place at university after your Abitur.
Which natural sciences are most important for the degree?
This varies depending on which universities you go to but usually, Chemistry, Biology and Physics are always required.
For the entrance exam, a mix of all natural science is also always required. Additionally, mathematics is definitely useful during a medicine degree.
Spending time abroad during your degree?
It is very easy to organise internships, clinical traineeships and the practical year abroad. Going on exchange for a term is considerably harder though and entirely depends on the home university.
During my degree in Magdeburg, all partner universities offering exchanges were not of interest to me. In Cologne, Berlin or Giessen there are great partner programmes though.
If you are interested in going on exchange then you should inform yourself before choosing a university. A good place to start is the university’s website.
How do you sustain yourself during your degree seeing as you don’t have any income for 6 years?
Some medical students come from a privileged background and are lucky to have parents funding them during their degree.
If that is not the case the following websites may be of help:
Part-time jobs: Surgery assistant, academic assistant, Supermarket assistant, Online work (we are living in 2017 after all) etc.