He is a well-going dentist and plastic surgeon in Germany.

As I can decode it, I can see:

  • Prof, meaning that he is a full-time permanent teacher on a University
  • "Dr. med" means he has a Phd in medicine
  • "Dr. med dent" means he has another Phd in dentistry
  • "Dr. med habil" means he has also a habilitation (as I know, it means he is an old prof with high prestige, but I what is its accurate meaning?)

Am I correct? Currently there were here some changes in the academical title system regarding the EU, his title may in the new or in the old (non-EU) system.

What does it mean?


The usual doctoral degrees in medicine and dentistry in the U.S. are not Ph.D.'s but M.D. and D.D.S. (for "medical doctor" and "doctor of dental surgery" or some Latin variant of those). So I'd use those to translate Dr. med. Dr. med. dent.

As for habilitation, I don't know exactly what it involves in medicine, but in mathematics it indicates research accomplishment after the doctoral degree. In many cases, it involves a second thesis ("Habilitationsschrift" in German), but it can also be just a collection of published papers. I imagine medicine is similar, but I have no real knowledge of that.

  • Ok, thanks! It means, that he has 2 phds and and a Habilitationsschrift? – peterh - Reinstate Monica Dec 11 '16 at 3:17
  • There are two separate dental degrees in the U.S.: Most dentists are D.D.S., but there is also the somewhat more rigorous D.M.D. degree, Doctor of Medical Dentistry. – Buzz Dec 11 '16 at 3:38
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    In Germany a medical PhD is much less of an accomplishment than other PhDs. That is fine, if you visit a doctor you want her or him to be able to heal and couldn't care less about her or his ability to do research. However German (academic) hospitals are notoriously focussed on status, which is why you get such a string of titles. For example, a habil was a prerequisite for a professorship, so outside medicine you would not mention the habil once you have a professorship. – Maarten Buis Dec 11 '16 at 15:35
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    The DMD degree is NOT more rigorous than the DDS degree it is a matter of which state your dental school happens to be located in. It is as simple as that. Both degrees require the same 4 year curriculum and offer the same benefits oust graduation. – Duke Scott Jul 8 '20 at 2:28
  • @DukeScott Did your disagreement with Buzz's comment result in a downvote on my answer, or did you or someone else find something wrong with the answer itself? – Andreas Blass Jul 8 '20 at 12:54

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