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Open up medicine to solve doctor shortage, Rösler urges

The Local · 4 Apr 2010, 16:32

Published: 04 Apr 2010 16:32 GMT+02:00

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“I’m asking for an end to restricted admission and for a stronger emphasis on selection interviews,” he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Grade point averages alone could not determine who would make a good doctor, he said.

Rösler added that he supported an expansion of university places for medical degrees.

A serious doctor shortage was looming, particularly in rural areas, said Rösler, who is himself a trained doctor.

“We have an oversupply of doctors in city areas and already a dramatic shortage in rural areas,” he said.

Furthermore, many doctors were approaching retirement age, he said. And the shortage was being more acutely felt than the figures showed.

“Countermeasures must be taken now,” he said.

He acknowledged the responsibility would ultimately fall to the states to find new ways of allocating places at medical schools, but said he had encountered no resistance from state health ministers – indeed there was agreement.

“I’d like to get the restructuring under way politically in this legislative period,” he said. “We need to determine, with the states, what carefully targeted selection criteria (for medicine courses) should be.”

Stronger regulation of the supply of medical care was needed today, he said.

Story continues below…

“In the 1990s, there was a glut of doctors. Today the circumstances are different. When a doctor shortage is identified, it must be responded to flexibly.''

One possibility was that communities or the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians could set up practices in underserved areas. Young doctors could be encouraged to work there as employees.

“After a certain time, they can be offered the opportunity to take over the practice,” he said.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

22:02 April 4, 2010 by Bensonradar
¦quot;We have an oversupply of doctors in city areas and already a dramatic shortage in rural areas¦quot;.

OK, then make more effort to advertise the rural jobs. Doctors can move to where the jobs are.

"including less emphasis on school grades", "Grade point averages alone could not determine who would make a good doctor".

Who are you kidding?
23:39 April 4, 2010 by pepsionice
This is an odd educational system. You can't get into gymnasium (the upper level high school system)....unless you show dramatic attention to the arts, music or culture. I sat there laughing as this was explained to me. So you could have a kid really into science and medicine at age ten....but because he can't sing, paint, or recite a piece of literature....he's destined to a lesser school plan.

So imagine the doctor corps of today in Germany....they only got to their position because of arts or music. Imagine if they just opened up the front door and took any kid with interest in science.
00:06 April 5, 2010 by mrsams
pepsionice i really don't know where did you got this informations.Are you really living in Germany? arts, music is almost nothing during the decision making.Teachers are looking the main subjects :Deutsch, Math,Science,Englisch . You can be put in gymnasium when you have a total 1 or 2 note from this 4 subjects.The rest of the subjects sports,music,arts religion they don't care.
09:50 April 5, 2010 by townboy28
In the 4th class this are the subjects that the children has to struggle in aiming 1 or -1 the Mathe and Deutsch .

While Englisch and Sachunterricht they have to aim from 1 to 2. So that they will qualify to gymnasium.Forget the painting and singing.LOL.
15:54 April 5, 2010 by fritzwiz
The medical schools should admit students who are technically qualified and are genuinely grateful for the opportunity, not those with the arrogant attitude of a Baron with a 700 year old family name. There are too many of those already.

19:46 April 5, 2010 by cocovelvet

hee heee !!! I love the way you put it with those with an "arrogant attitude of a Baron with a 700 year old family name". Incredible sometimes......
10:57 April 10, 2010 by Deutschguy
This early selection in German education is bizarre. I know and have known good doctors who simply didn't apply themselves to studies, until they matured a bit and then went to university and medical school.

I also know physicians who were top of the class, removed gall bladders for 20 years, got bored, and then went to law or architecture school. There's no predicting who will do well in Uni or medical school, who will make a good doc and stay motivated, as early as early selection time or even graduation from gymnasium.

Remove these nonsensical barriers, pretending that learning calculus has something to do with good medical practice.
11:12 April 11, 2010 by dbert4
@ jmjdk - "What a revolutionary idea, but it will not happen.... ... tooooo many entrenched interests/forces that would be against it. "

You may be right, but if it could happen anywhere, it would be in Germany. Where is could never happen is the US.

Imagine if, in exchange for a free medical school education and no debt. One must agree to spending ones career in a rural area and to accept fees which the common man could afford?
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