doctor of medicine

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Doctor of medicine is an academic degree and in some countries a so-called professional doctorate.

In the USA, Austria and some other countries, but not e.g. B. in Germany, after completing a diploma course in human medicine without a doctorate, a so-called professional doctorate (in Austria Dr. med. Univ.) Is awarded. It corresponds to the final exam in Germany. The use of the medical professional doctorate is only possible in the original form awarded. Professional doctoral degrees from EEA countries may be used without the otherwise mandatory addition of origin. The leadership of these degrees as Dr. or as Dr. med. as well as in any other form translated into German is not permitted due to the lack of a doctoral performance.


In Germany, in order to obtain the degree of Dr. med. ( lat. doctor medicinae / doctor of medicine) a doctorate is necessary. The doctoral procedure can be started before graduation, but it cannot be finished. The doctoral degree may only be carried when the doctoral certificate is awarded, after the doctoral procedure has ended after completion of the degree. In most cases, as with other doctorates, this happens after a defense and publication of the doctorate.

Medical doctorates have a special role compared to doctorates in other subjects. On the one hand, work on the dissertation can be started before the end of the course, and on the other hand, doctorates are often more comparable to bachelor, master or diploma theses in terms of demands and scope. For this reason, the German Dr. med. ( doctor medicinae ) today in the Anglo-Saxon area not the Ph.D. considered equivalent, as the European Research Council (ERC) found in 2002. The German Science Council has taken a similar position since 2009. However, can the affected physicians prove that their doctoral work corresponds to the scope of a Ph.D. you can apply to the ERC for equation with a Ph.D. put.


In Austria the medical doctor is not referred to as "Dr. medicinae" (Dr. med.), But since 1872 as "Dr. medicinae universae" ( lat. Dr. med. Univ.), Ie as the "doctor of all medicine" . Historically, this can be traced back to an imperial resolution, according to which practical surgical and theoretical medical studies were combined into one. The first woman to become “Dr. med. univ. ”, was at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz Maria Schuhmeister on July 25, 1905.

Upon completion of the degree (beginning in 2002), the degree Dr. med. univ., awarded as part of a graduation . Earlier - at the time of the 1978 study regulations and before and up to 2004 - the course was conducted as a doctoral or rigorous course , which itself did not require writing a scientific thesis - at that time you could choose between writing a dissertation or attending an in-depth training (usually 2nd semester-hour special seminars). The Austrian medical studies were set at diploma level in the course of the 2002 University Act; Since then, with a standard course duration of 12 semesters, it has been the longest diploma course and, with a workload of 360 ECTS, it is more filled than a bachelor's and master’s course with a cumulative 300 ECTS. The degree is therefore no longer counted as a doctorate, but the academic degree awarded after completing a degree after writing a diploma thesis (professional doctorate). Therefore, for example, in Germany, entering this “Dr.” in the passport is not permitted and is prohibited according to the Passport Act 2009 (Section 4, Paragraph 1.3). In Germany, this degree may not be in the form of a "Dr.", but only with the full technical addition as "Dr. med. univ. ”.

An actual doctoral degree can be obtained with the subsequent at least three-year doctoral degree in medical science (in Vienna and Graz ) or a PhD degree (Vienna, Graz, Salzburg and Innsbruck ). In the past, after the previously awarded degree was withdrawn, this was supplemented with "Dr. med. Univ. Et scient. Med." (et scientiae medicae), but meanwhile the doctorate is awarded separately from the preparatory course: "Dr. med. univ. Dr. scient. med. Max Mustermann", usually abbreviated to "DDr. Max Mustermann". The completion of a PhD course entitles the holder to use a PhD which must be placed after the name: "Dr. med. Univ. Max Mustermann, PhD".

In some of the successor states of the Habsburg Monarchy , the "Dr. med. Univ". or a related form in contrast to "Dr. med." held, for example in the Czech Republic - as MUDr, medicinae universae doctor.

Czech Republic and Slovakia

The Czech and Slovak academic degrees of Doctor of Medicine ( cs : doktor všeobecného lékařství, doktor medicíny; sk : doktor všeobecného lekárstva, doktor medicíny; la : medicinae universae doctor) , abbreviated as MUDr., Are awarded with the completion of a six-year degree in medicine awarded without additional doctoral work. This degree is a so-called professional doctorate .


Successful completion of the Hungarian medical degree entitles graduates to use the title dr. med. This is not an academic degree, but a so-called professional doctorate , which is awarded with the degree and is not to be equated with a doctorate. In Germany this title may only be used if the awarding institution is specified. Please note the lower case "dr." As well as the mandatory indication of the addition "med.". Unauthorized use of this title as an academic degree (e.g. in the form of a "Dr." or "Dr. med.") Is punishable in Germany according to Section 132a of the Criminal Code.

United States of America

In the USA , the Doctor of Medicine, abbreviated as MD, is a professional degree in medical studies (so-called professional doctorate , "professional degree"), which is also awarded without a doctorate.

MD (medicinae doctor)

The doctoral degree acquired in medicine was previously also listed after the name according to the Latin name medicinae doctor , abbreviated as MD. In this capacity, the title of MD is still awarded in the United Kingdom today, so unlike the US MD, it is still a research and not a professional doctorate and requires a scientific doctoral thesis.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c anabin: Information portal for the recognition of foreign qualifications.
  2. ^ Resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of September 21, 2001 i. d. F. May 15, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  3. U. Beisiegel: Doctorate in Medicine. The position of the Science Council. In: Research & Teaching 7/09, 2009, p. 491. ( online at )
  4. Doctor med.ioker. In: Retrieved July 28, 2020 .
  5. Science Council criticizes the quality of the "Dr. med." In: Retrieved July 28, 2020 .
  6. ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees 2016 (PDF 0.3 MB), in , accessed on July 28, 2020.
  7. Ehrlich, Anna: Doctors, Baders, Scharlatans - The history of Austrian medicine. Amalthea Verlag Vienna, 2007. p. 180.
  8. Robert Engele: 150 Years of Medicine at the University , Austria-Forum, February 13, 2013, accessed on July 28, 2020.
  9. University Act 2002, Federal Law Gazette I No. 120/2002 last amended by Federal Law Gazette I No. 81/2009
  10. Ordinance on the study regulations for the field of medicine, Federal Law Gazette No. 473/1978
  11. N201 Doctoral Program Medicine - Med Uni Wien , on , accessed on July 28, 2020.
  12. MedUniWien: Study plan 1992 (PDF 0.1 MB)
  13. MedUniGraz: In-depth training , accessed on July 28, 2020
  14. FAQ Medical Faculty Heidelberg, Paragraph “I already have a doctorate, can I submit a second doctoral thesis?” , Accessed on July 28, 2020
  15. Passport Law GMBl. 2009, No. 81 (excerpt) (PDF 2.4 MB), at Heidelberg University, accessed on July 28, 2020.
  16. Equivalence Agreement Germany-Austria, BGBl 2004 Part II No. 4, Art. 5 Paragraph 3 , on: Standing Conference, accessed on July 28, 2020.
  17. The PhD and Doctoral Studies at MedUni Vienna , accessed on July 28, 2020
  18. MedUniInnsbruck: For students , accessed on July 28, 2020
  19. MedUniGraz: Medical Science , accessed on July 28, 2020
  20. MedUniGraz: Ph.D. Medicine , accessed July 28, 2020
  21. Paracelsus Medical Private University: Doctoral Program in Medical Science (Ph.D.) , accessed on July 28, 2020
  22. Czech Higher Education Act 111/1998 of April 22, 1998 ( Memento of January 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  23. Slovak Higher Education Act 131/2002 of February 21, 2002
  24. Section 52, Paragraph 7 of the Hungarian Law CCIV / 2011 on National Higher Education
  25. Semmelweis University, section “Title” AMS University
  26. Agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the Republic of Hungary on the recognition of equivalences in higher education (Federal Law Gazette II 2004, p. 954 ff.), Equivalence agreement
  27. s. Inscription on a historical portrait showing DionySius Papin MD .