In the past, the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) regularly used its general recommendations to address the structure of university medicine and the respective training situation, which the WR considers unsatisfactory. Currently, it advocates that medical education be equally competence-oriented and practice-oriented as well as based on strict scientific standards.
Bolstering the scientific competence of future doctors is becoming increasingly important in light of ever-growing scientific insight. Scientific thought and action are required to find specific solutions for the choice of the right diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic measures for patients and to implement these solutions in an evidence-based manner. This requires scientific thinking and action. The foundations for this, and thereby also for responsible medical practice, must be laid in medical school.
As part of its ongoing involvement in the development of medical training, and at the request of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the WR appointed an independent expert commission in 2017. Its mandate was to develop recommendations for restructuring Medicine degree programmes and amending licensing regulations on the basis of the so-called Master Plan for Medicine Degree Programmes 2020. Thanks to this plan, the cornerstone for reforming medical training has been laid by science and healthcare policymakers both at the federal and state levels. The expert commission’s recommendations were published in 2018 and included an assessment of the financial and capacity-related effects of the planned reform.
Recommendations on the development of medical education in Germany based on a review of model medical degree programmes | Executive Summary (Drs. 4017-14_Executive-Summary), July 2014
In addition, in October 2023 the German Science and Humanities Council adopted Perspectives for the further development of the health professions (German only), which, in continuation of its recommendations from 2012 emphasises the need for personnel with higher education qualifications in the health professions. Essential prerequisites for the further development of the health professions are both the promotion of scientific discipline formation and the transition and shaping of professional practice. The present recommendations are based on the extensive
The WR also first commented on quality assurance in medical education in Germany in 2016, including with regard to non-governmental institutions: Key Points on Non-State Medical Education in Germany | Position Paper (5100-16_engl), January 2016.