Dentists Career in Germany
When it comes to advances in both medicine and medical research, few countries in the world can match the strides that Germany has singularly made. Over the last 6 decades it has outshone its European counterparts and even America in its innovation and adaption of the latest in medicine. Therefore it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the country has become one of the preferred destinations for doctors of all specialties including dentistry, nurses and other medical professionals. In fact in a global ranking of countries that hire doctors, dentists and nurses from a worldwide talent pool, Germany is ranked second. With an ageing population and a lack of educated and trained medical staff to take care of them, especially outside the larger cities, the country is always looking out for trained professionals in all strata of medicine, especially in dental care.
Healthcare is a highly organised industry in Germany that employs more than 4.6 million professionals. This massive industry, with a notable penetration of healthcare facilities even in rural areas, is now worth over 260 billion Euros. What it means is that the infrastructure is already in place, there is financial stability and growth, with the only thing missing is skilled professionals. But unlike a lot of other countries, Germany has extremely strict norms that international dentists, especially if they from non-EU countries, have to meet before they can start working in the country. Here, we will list out the criteria, the necessary documentation and permits and other licenses, and provides a brief glimpse into the salary and work condition for dentists in the country, along with resources for further information.
The qualifications, the conditions & the criteria
As stated earlier, candidates have to meet certain stringent criteria and should have a host of important documents to successfully be a dentist.
1. EU Blue Card
EU has multiple work permits for residents and non-residents across the Union. Non-residents need a EU Blue Card to be eligible to work there as a dentist. This immensely respected and sought after card is exclusively given to highly skilled professionals. This card comes with added benefits, vis-a-vis the ordinary card, one of which is higher remuneration. A significant benefit of this work permit is that visa application from a EU Blue Card holder is seldom rejected.
The central government has a nodal authority for registration and approval of all the required documents, called Approbationsbehörde. They routinely publish all the documents necessary to apply for a work permit. A professional who wants to work in the German healthcare industry as a dentist must have all the necessary documentation, including but not limited to a recognised medical diploma or and equivalent medical degree certificate, the individual’s birth certificate from a competent authority in his or her country, a valid passport and clearance from police, a conduct certificate that ratifies the individual’s character, referred to as Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung.
Since unlike the UK, English is not the national language of the country, it is important to remember that whenever you submit these documents, they should be translated in Germany. In this regard, the government has a list of translators that are authorised by the authorities. The state justice departments have a database exclusively for interpreters and translators and you can easily find a competent translator there. While submitting, the copies you provide of original documents must be all certified. The Town Hall, or any of the authorised offices at a local level or even public notaries can do that job for you.
3. Licence Procedure for becoming a Dentist in Germany
The highly organised and credible healthcare authorisation and licensing structure in Germany is internationally respected. The federal government has a license called Approbation, which is accreditation from the government. This is the crucial first step for non-EU dentists or fresh graduates in dentistry.
A curious thing about Germany is the multiple regulations at the federal or central level and at the state levels. They may slightly vary from region to region. Therefore, for any non-EU dentist, the first step is to decide where he or she would like to practise Approbation and then learn about that region’s requirements. Fortunately, most of these can be easily found online. Once you figure out your destination, there are numerous agencies you can contact there, including Dental, Medical or Pharmacist Associations.
You can apply for Approbation even if you are currently not in Germany, provided you have a relevant degree that’s equivalent to the concerning German qualification. The German Dentistry Act (Zahnheilkundegesetz) provides all the necessary information to learn if your current degree meets German educational criteria. To be eligible for Approbation, you must also have no criminal cases against you, nor have you been found guilty of any character misconduct. You should also be fit enough to practice, and importantly, that you have proficiency in German language.
If you are a specialised dentist with further qualifications and clinical experience, there’s another way. You could wish to be recognised as another category, that of specialised professionals. For more information, you could contact the regional association or chamber of dentists in the area you wish to work, or the chamber in Berlin.
4. The Importance of Learning German
A candidate needs to take an oral and written exam related to German medical knowledge. Here, the exam lasts for 60 minutes where you have to examine a patient in German to establish his/her medical history. This knowledge exam gives you a permanent right to practice as a dentist in Germany and makes them eligible for “Approbation”. Some language courses are available to help to crack this special exam.
Once you pass this test, you are given a permanent right to be a practicing dentist in the country and you automatically become eligible for Approbation. There are several courses that one can take to achieve the expected proficiency in German medical language. Interestingly, one doesn’t have to come to Germany to learn the language as there are multiple centers worldwide, the highly reputed Goethe Institute.
5. Professional Experience
One need not be highly experienced to apply to be a dentist in Germany. From a fresher to someone with a year’s experience can apply to practice in the country.
6. Age Limit
Only those between the ages of 20 and 40 can apply.
7. Letters of Recommendation and Motivation
Letters of recommendation would greatly help your case if it’s from a trusted and competent authority. Most candidates carry two or more. Along with that, excellent recommendations and endorsements from institutions and senior figures in your CV will also aid your cause. It’s also mandatory to have a letter of motivation as part of your documents.
The advantages of being a Dentist in Germany
For well skilled dentists and researchers of the field, Germany offers excellent remuneration, unmatched infrastructure to practice and prosper, a well-entrenched tie-up with industries devoted to medical research, social stability and respect, among others. You can be employed in state run hospitals, or with partner practices, or you could even start your own practice in medicine. So, now you have a clearer idea about the opportunities, the process and the perks of being a dentist in Germany. If you prepare carefully, beginning with the language, you could end up as a specialist in any of the leading German hospitals or be on your way to a successful dental practice in a beautiful city.
How to find a job as a Dentist in Germany
The first step to starting your career as a dentist in Germany is finalizing the city or region where you wish to practice and acquainting yourself with the rules and regulations there. Once you are clear about the region, you need to get in touch with the concerned authorities for accurate information. There are many credible authorities at the state level in the region who will help you with all the documentation and answer your queries. For e.g., the institution of Health Services Authorities is one such credible institution that has all the information a migrant dentist might require. Apart from that, the local chambers of dentists also provide comprehensive information at regional and at times, country wide level. You could also go through the detailed list of job exchange opportunities that The Federal Employment Agency of Germany provides, to see if there are any opportunities in dentistry that match your skill sets. You may also contact the German Dental Association for opportunities and requirements. Please keep in mind that knowledge of the German language is a necessity for you to kick starts your career through Approbation.
The advantages of being a Dentist in Germany
For well skilled dentists and researchers of the field, Germany offers excellent remuneration, unmatched infrastructure to practice and prosper, a well-entrenched tie-up with industries devoted to medical research, social stability and respect, among others. You can be employed in state run hospitals, or with partner practices, or you could even start your own practice in medicine.
Now that you have a clearer idea about the opportunities, the process and the perks of being a dentist in Germany, it should be easy for you to chart your career with greater precision. Any profession in medicine is rewarding, but a specialized field like dentistry would often its own set of challenges and satisfaction. With an exceptionally developed if you prepare carefully, beginning with the language, you could end up as a specialist in any of the leading German hospitals or be on your way to a successful dental practice in a beautiful city.