Type of communication: Opinion letter
Author: Dr. Yashar Motayagheni
Germany is one of the most successful countries in the medical field. The country’s government and its university system have interesting policies that foster continuing work and education, and the result is a considerable degree of specialization in this field. In the last 20 years, Germany has gradually begun to increase its numbers of physicians and other professionals who are interested in studying and working in the country.
An important and controversial point about the condition of specialized medical education in Germany is its particular rules, especially the language level required. Also, it seems that the discussion and teaching methods its Goethe-Institut and some of its other institutions are not consistent generally accepted norm for education in medical specialties. It takes a relatively long process to acquire the level of language skills required by German universities, and those who wish to study in Germany must spend considerable time and energy to attain the required level. Even so, Germany’s insistence that applicants have the appropriate level of language skills is admirable, and it helps guarantee the country’s success. However, some recent unnecessary crackdowns could cause irreparable damage, since it seems that the country’s focus in on imposing additionally rigid requirements for the scientific capabilities of the applicants instead of increasing their level of understanding of the German language. When people become part of a society with which they are not familiar, generally they understand that an important factor in their success is gaining a thorough understanding of the language.
Thus, many of the problems related to a foreign language will be resolved simply by students’ spending time in the new environment, interacting with native speakers of the language, and increasing their knowledge of the language on a daily basis. However, it is noteworthy that studying in Germany is a common opportunity for better communication with the international society, for both the Germans and the applicants from different countries. With regards to specialized education for physicians of other countries in Germany, this action can meet the medical and health needs of Germany’s populous communities that have high proportions of immigrants, and it also can lead to the enhancement of the applicants’ levels of knowledge, resulting in the transfer of useful experiences to the applicants’ countries of origin.
Even though mastering of the German language is desirable and would be ideal for those seeking specialized medical education in Germany, the German government should develop a network of German training institutes in the cities of the applicants’ countries of origin to provide training in the German language and the culture of Germany. Another alternative action could be to provide training courses in German for foreign students who have the scientific qualifications to pursue specialized education in Germany.
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