Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry

Medicine is the science of the causes, the healing, the alleviation and the prevention of diseases. The medical activities extend to the detection (diagnosis) and treatment (therapy) of illness, suffering or bodily injury, to health care and follow-up and research.

The study field at a glance

The education of doctors, vets and dentists is regulated nationwide by the respective ordinance for approval. Within the scope of model studies in human medicine, currently the private university Witten-Herdecke, the private medical college Brandenburg in Neuruppin and the state universities Aachen, Berlin (Charité), Dusseldorf, Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hannover, Heidelberg (Faculty of Medicine in Mannheim), Cologne and Oldenburg, can deviate from the requirements of the licensing regulations for physicians and, in particular, the separation of preclinical and clinical study sections be repealed.

Offered courses

The study of human, animal or dental medicine has limited admission in Germany. Courses are offered only at universities.

Contents of the course

Human medicine

  • In addition to teaching the scientific basics, coordinating, general medical, pharmacotherapeutic and health economics issues are also dealt with.
  • Interdisciplinary and case-based teaching with problem-oriented and subject-linking mediation of topic-related content that is geared to the patient (s).
  • Courses e.g. in pain medicine, palliative medicine, emergency medicine.
  • Practice-based teaching at the bedside in the form of patient demonstrations in small groups of a maximum of six, in patient examinations of a maximum of three students.

Students complete a four-month internship (medical internship) during the non-teaching period between the first section and the second section of the medical examination (written only). It has to be provided by various institutions with fixed minimum periods (hospitals, medical practices, GP's, etc.).

There are also practical exercises and block internships of one or two to six weeks duration in the most important medical areas.

At the end of the medical studies, after the second part of the medical examination, a coherent practical training of 48 weeks (practical year) follows in a hospital or partly also in suitable medical practices (teaching practices). Finally, the third section of the medical examination must be taken (only orally).

Medical Examination: The first part of the (state) medical examination takes place after two years of studies. The universities review the qualifications acquired in the clinical subjects and cross-sectional areas of the subsequent three-year study period in the form of graded certificates of achievement. These are also required for reporting to the Second Section of the Medical Examination after five years of study.

This is followed by the practical year, which includes training periods of 16 weeks each in internal medicine, surgery, general medicine or another field of clinical practice. The third part of the medical exam will be taken after a total of six years, including the practical year.

Physicians can start an internship immediately after completing their studies or take up specialist training.

Further education: After the medical approbation there are various possibilities of the specialized medical further education which take place on the basis of the continuing education regulations of the national medical associations.

Veterinary Medicine

Pre-clinical studies (four semesters): Lectures and internships in physics, chemistry, zoology, botany, anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology, biochemistry, animal breeding and genetics.

Clinical studies (six semesters): Virology, Bacteriology and Mycology, Parasitology, Animal Nutrition, Animal Husbandry and Animal Hygiene, General Pathology and Special Pathological Anatomy and Histology, Internal Medicine, Surgery and Anaesthesiology, Radiology, Reproductive Medicine, Avian Diseases, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Animal Welfare, Animal Disease Control , Food science, dairy science, meat hygiene, drug and narcotic law, clinical propaedeutics and veterinary professional and professional law.

The scientific section (Vorphysikum) of the veterinary preliminary examination takes place after the 1st or 2nd semester, the anatomical-physiological section (Physikum) after the 4th semester. The clinical study from the 5th to the 11th semester is accompanied by several sections of the veterinary examination.

The Veterinary Examination will be published in several sections, usually in the lecture-free periods, whereby the examinations promptly to the instruction courses are to be carried out.

Further education: Further training as a specialist veterinarian for individual specialties is possible (duration three to five years).

During their studies, prospective veterinarians must complete various internships: 70 hours in agriculture, animal husbandry and animal husbandry, 150 hours in a veterinary practice or veterinary clinic, 75 hours in hygiene control and food inspection / examination, 100 hours of practical training in ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection 75 hours in public veterinary practice and another 700 hours in a veterinary practice or veterinary clinic; a part of this can be done in an elective placement in other institutions, e.g. in a scientific institute of a university or a scientifically directed zoological garden.


Dental and oral surgery requires good eyesight and skill in handling complicated equipment and instruments.

The study of dentistry is governed by the law on the practice of dentistry and the licensing of dentists. It is divided into a preclinical and a clinical section. In addition to theoretical instruction, it is strongly geared towards practical training as a dentist.

Pre-clinical studies (5 semesters): lectures, internships and courses in zoology or biology, physics and chemistry, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, materials science, technical propaedeutics and dentistry. Scientific preliminary examination after the 2nd semester, preliminary dental examination after the 5th semester.

Clinical studies (5 semesters): Theoretical and practical training in dentistry and other related medical subjects. Volunteer Famulaturen in European and non-European foreign countries mediates the Dental Exchange Service (ZAD).

Further education: After their approval, dentists can continue their education in oral surgery, orthodontics, periodontics or public health on the basis of the continuing education regulations of the national dental associations (duration: four years).

Before and during the study internships in the dental laboratory are recommended.

The dental exam is taken after completion of the clinical study within six months after the semester closing.

Admission criteria & study application

The places of study in human, animal and dental medicine are awarded centrally by the Foundation for Admission to Higher Education. An application is possible via the portal hochschulstart.de. Since there are significantly more applicants than free study places, interested people must bring a very good grade point average or possiblyy expect with long waiting times.


Prospective students must complete a three-month nursing service and receive first aid training prior to their studies or during the non-teaching period at the latest prior to the first section of the medical examination after four semesters (crediting certain types of training possible).

Veterinary Medicine:

The beginning of studies is only possible during the winter semester.

Possible careers after graduation

Human medicine

and as medical officers of the Bundeswehr. Employment opportunities can also be found in research and teaching, public administration (such as public health offices), occupational health services, the pharmaceutical industry and sports medicine.

In addition to the clinical area, doctors also offer other non-curative occupational fields, such as in medical informatics, in health management, in medical journalism, in marketing and sales or in environmental medicine alternatives. Additionally acquired knowledge in business administration and EDP could be important for this.

Veterinary medicine

Veterinarians work independently or as practical assistants predominantly in small animal and large animal practices, in veterinary clinics, in the official veterinary service (animal disease control, animal welfare, ante-mortem and meat inspection, food and feed monitoring), state and federal authorities as well as in the pharmaceutical Industry (e.g. research, technical service, sales and marketing). Employment opportunities, albeit to a lesser extent, are also found in large zoological gardens and shelters or at colleges and research institutes in Germany and abroad.


Dentists work mainly in private practice, but also in hospitals, dental clinics, sanatoriums and spa facilities, in research and teaching as well as medical officers of the Bundeswehr. In addition, there are job opportunities in a more advisory, administrative function in social insurance institutions, in the pharmaceutical industry, medical technology, at dental associations, associations of medical associations and at professional and trade associations.