The specified course lengths for continuing medical training as cited in this document are  minimum requirements that may change from case to case, if the continuing training syllabuses cannot be acquired within the minimum allowed time. The tables below only serve as a general overview of the continuing training periods in the various fields, Schwerpunkte (Specialities) and Zusatz-Weiterbildungen (Extra Qualifications). As mentioned above, continuing training as a Facharzt (Specialist) on in a Schwerpunkt (Specialty) can be followed up in many fields of medicine. There is no obligation to engage in any of the latter courses or in any extra ualification courses.


The following examples aim to explain the summary table “Facharzt- und hwerpunktkompetenz” (Specialist and Specialty Competence). They specify the minimum time needed for four different “Facharzt” (Specialist) qualifications. At the end of each Specialist, Specialty or Extra Qualification course, the trained doctor must document the required disciplinary competencies by passing an examination in order to gain the relevant title: Specialist, Specialty or Extra Qualification.

Titles for Fachärzte (Specialists)

Candidates who complete their continuing training as a Facharzt (Specialist) in accordance with the prescribed continuing training syllabuses and periods and are able to document the disciplinary competence required for this by passing an examination, will be awarded the title of Facharzt (Specialist).

Zusatzbezeichnungen (Extra Qualifications)

Candidates who gain Extra Qualifications in accordance with the prescribed training syllabuses and periods and are able to document that they have the disciplinary competence required for this by passing an examination will be awarded a Zusatzbezeichnung (Extra Qualification).


A doctor must complete at least 60 months (5 years) of continuing medical training to qualify as an Anesthetist.


To gain the specialist competencies listed in the table for the field of “Surgery”, a doctor must initially complete at least 24 months (2years) of basic continuing training. This is then followed by specialist continuing surgical training in the desired field. The choice of specialist competencies in the field of surgery are: General Surgery; Vascular Surgery; Cardiac Surgery; Pediatric Surgery; Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery; Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery; Thorax Surgery and Visceral Surgery. In other words: A doctor wishing to gain qualification as a Facharzt (Specialist) in the field of thorax surgery must, for example, complete at least 24 months of basic continuing training plus at least 48 months of subsequent specialist continuing training in thorax surgery. This means 24 months + 48 months = a minimum of at least 72 months (6 years).

Internal Medicine and General Medicine

Continuing training in the fields of “Internal and General Medicine” lasts (a total of) at least: 60 months (5 years) for disciplinary competence (Fachkompetenz) as a “General Practitioner” – 72 months (6 years) for specialist competence (Facharztkompetenz) as an “Internist” and additional disciplinary competencies (e.g. Internist and Pneumologist)”.


Continuing training in the field of Pediatrics lasts at least 60 months. After passing the final examination, the qualified doctor is given the title: “Facharzt für Kinder- und ugendmedizin” “Paediatrician”. Subsequent specialization, for example in the field of “Neuropaediatrics / Child Neurology”, takes at least 36 months and is completed with a further examination.

Summary Table of Specialist and Specialty Competence

The following table lists the minimum times required for medical continuing training in the various medical fields and Specialty Competencies.

Remarks: The figures listed in this table are based on the Model Continuing Education Rules of the Bundesärztekammer (German Medical Association). The study regulations of the respective Landesärztekammern (State Medical Associations) may differ slightly.

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SpecializationNo of MonthsSpecializationHours
Anatomy48Vascular Surgeon24+48
Industrial Medicine /Occupational Med60Cardiac Surgeon24+48
Ophthalmology60Paediatric Surgeon24+48
Biochemistry48Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon24+48
Gynaecology and Obstetrics60Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeon24+48
Dermatological and Venereal Diseases60Thorax Surgeon24+48
Human Genetics60Visceral Surgeon24+48
Hygiene and Environmental Medicine60Gynaecological Endocrinology & Reproductive Med60+36
Internal and General Medicine60Gynaecological Oncology60+36
Internist:60Special Obstetrics and Perinatal Medicine60+36
Internist and Angiologist72Ear-Nose-Throat Medicine24+48
Internist and Endocrinologist and Diabetologist72Speech, Voice &Paediatric Hearing DO, Phoniatrician24+48
Internist and Gastroenterologist72Paediatric Haematology and Oncology60+36
Internist and Haematologist and Oncologist72Paediatric Cardiology60+36
Internist and Cardiologist72Neonatology60+36
Internist and Nephrologist72Neuropaediatrics / Child Neurology60+36
Internist and Pneumologist72Pathology24+48
Internist and Rheumatologist72Pathologist24+48
Paediatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy60Pharmacologist and Toxicologist24+48
Laboratory Medicine60Forensic Psychiatrist60+36
Microbiology, Virology & Epidemiology60Paediatric Radiology60+36
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery60Neuroradiology60+36
Neurosurgery60Psychosomatic Medicine,sychotherapy60
Nuclear Medicine60Transfusion Medicine60
Public Health60Urology60
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatrist)60Forensic Pathology60
Physiology48Radiation Therapy60
Psychiatry and sychotherapy60

Summary Table of Extra Qualifications

In addition to medical continuing training and qualification in the Schwerpunkte (Specialities), doctors wishing to further specialise can gain a Zusatz-Weiterbildung (Extra  Qualification). The minimum time needed for the individual disciplinary competencies is as follows: As already mentioned above, such Extra Qualification is not counted as part of the time prescribed for training as a specialist. The following special competencies are gained, in particular, by completing an Extra Qualification course.

S.NOExtra QualificationNo of Months / hours
1Medical Quality Management200 hrs
2Acupuncture120 h + 60 h +20 h
3Allergology18 m
4Andrology18 m
5Occupational Health36 h + 360 h
6Dermatological Histology24 m
7Diabetology18 m
8Aviation Medicine6 m + 180 h
9Geriatric Medicine18 m
10Gynaecological Exfoliative CytologyNo proof of minimal continuing training hrs required
11Haemostaseology12 m
12Hand Surgery36 m
13Homeopathy6 m +160 h
14Infectology12 m
15Intensive Care24 m
16Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology36 m
17Paediatric Gastroenterology18 m
18Paediatric Nephrology36 m
19Paediatric Orthopaedics18 m
20Paediatric Pneumology36 m
21Paediatric Rheumatology18 m
22Laboratory Diagnosis– subject specific6 m
23Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) –subject specific24m
24Manual Medicine/Chirotherapy120 h +200 h
25Pharmacological tumour therapy12 m
26Medical Information Systems12 m +360 h +480 h
27Naturopathy3 m / or 80 h + 160 h
28Emergency (Trauma) Medicine6 m + 80 h + proof of 50 emergency
29Orthopedic Rheumatology36m
30Palliative Medicine12 m + 40 h
31Phlebology18 m
32Physical Therapy and Balneology12 m + 240 h
33Plastic Operations24 m
34Proctology12 m
35Psychoanalysis250 h + 240 +600 h
36Psychotherapy – subject specific100 h + 16 double hr + 15 double hr + 15 double hr + 120 h +100 h + 120 h + 16 double + 15 double hr +15 double hr +15 double +120 h + 100 h
37Rehabilitation Medicine12 +160 h + 160 h
38X-ray Diagnostics – subject specific18 m and/or 12 m (depending on the subject)
39Sleep Medicine18 m
40Social Medicine12 m +160 h +160 h
41Special Orthopaedic Surgery36 m
42Special Pain Therapy12 m + 80 h
43Special Trauma Surgery36 m
44Sports Medicine12 m +240 h +120 h
45Addiction Medicine50 h
46Tropical Medicine12 h +12 h +3 m