geriatrics in Germany

Geriatric medicine in Germany

Geriatric Medicine (GM) is far spread all over Germany. There are officially more than 400 departments or hospitals designated to GM, ~ 40% of them accredited as Rehab Hospitals with a mean stay of about three weeks, ~ 60% as hospitals / departments offering acute care including early rehab medicine. The length of stay here is ranging from 10 to 28 days. The rates of acute intake in these hospitals vary from little more than 10% to almost 100%. There probably more than 1800 specialists in GM in Germany and more than 300 trainees. Psychiatry has a own, not officially accepted sub-specialisation in Geronto-Psychiatry.

As the specialists training system in Germany differs slightly from region to region there are, or will be in the next future, two different post-graduate training curricula in GM: A specialty in the common trunk Internal Medicine (IM) with three years training in IM and three years Training in GM ending up as specialist in IM and GM. This is the curriculum German Geriatric Medicine favours; however it is not the officially recommended one. In the majority of regions GM is placed as supra-specialty, thus requiring a basic specialty first. This basic specialty may in some regions be any specialty (even Paediatrics or Pathology) in most regions it requires a basic speciality in IM, General Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry or Rehab Medicine. GM including rehab is refunded by all insurances, quality control is implemented.

On academic level GM is poorly represented in Germany, only in 6/36 universities have a chair in GM. Since 2003 there is a national obligation to include "Medicine of Ageing and of the Elderly" in the pre-graduate training, however there is no national curriculum, the curriculum of the German Geriatric Society is not followed by the universities and in the majority of universities GM is little or not at all taught by Geriatricians.

GM in Germany is mainly represented by the German Geriatric Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geriatrie, DGG), the rather small section of GM in the German Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, DGGG), the Association of Geriatric Hospitals (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Klinische Geriatrie, BAG) and the Section GM in the Professional Association of Internal Medicine (Berufsverband Deutscher Internisten, BDI). The DGG is officially represented in the EUGMS, the DGGG in the IAG, the BDI in SGM UEMS; however there are close links and agreements between all groups. At the moment DGG, BAG and BDI are represented in SGM UEMS via members of their boards as delegates.

German abbreviations for medical societies

DGG (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geriatrie) - German Geriatric Society

DGGG (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontologie und Geriatrie) - German Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics 

BDI (Berufsverband Deutscher Internisten) - German Professional Society of Internal Medicine (Section Geriatric Medicine) 

BAGKGE (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Klinisch-Geriatrischer Einrichtungen) - Association of Geriatric Hospitals in Germany 

BÄK (Bundesärztekammer) - National Chamber of Medical Doctors 

Different LÄK (Landesärztekammer) - Board of medical doctors in different regions of Germany see via  and a map of Germany, gives information about training rules.

contacts in Germany

Prof (adj.), Dr.

Dieter Lütje
+49 542 405 7200
Professor and Chair

Cornelius Bollheimer, MD
(0) 241 7501 625