I am a medical doctor from a non EU country and have a German MSc in Neuroscience. In Germany only doctors that do a 6 month research internship during their medical studies can get their “Dr.med” title and only the doctors holding and Dr.med.can do clinical research.

I want to get the equivalency of my medical studies. Can I be granted the Dr.med now that I did a whole 2 year MSc after my medical studies? If not why?

  • Strictly speaking, there is no MD title in Germany. There is only Dr. med and, although it's easier to get than other doctorates such as Dr. rer nat, it is not equivalent to a Masters degree.
    – user9482
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 12:32
  • Why would it be that a Dr.Med. of 6 months allow doctors to do clinical research and a MSc of 2 years not?
    – LenaMi
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 12:43
  • because rules often have silly consequences when applied to the real world Commented May 6, 2020 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


Well, your assumption is just wrong. Please read different "Promotionsordnungen" of different universities (they differ slightly), but usually you'll have to finish your medical exams and afterwards you might do your Dr. med.. May require a minimum period of two years for the dissertation.

Yes, sometimes students are staring the required research work during their studies, but this led to the poor reputation of a "Dr. med." compared to the other "Dr." flavours. And yes, often the quality of a medical dissertation is compareable to a good Masters thesis. Nonetheless, formally the "Dr." is one step on top of the "Master".

Nonetheless, you can do clinical research, but you are not allowed to apply as PI for some (many) funding schemes. But of course you can work in research! BTW: I never heard of a fresh medical doctor who succeeded in applying grants on his / her own - so in practice it makes no difference.

I would suggest looking for a position which allows you to obtain a doctoral degree - in your case you might even be able to get two (one Dr. med., one Dr. rer nat (or similar)) depending on whether you are building upon your medical or your neuroscience background. But it will take at least two years.

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