Medical organisations and associations
German Medical Association / State Chambers of Physicians
The State Chambers of Physicians (Landesärztekammern) are corporations under public law and are set up in accordance with the law of the respective state. The German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer) is the joint association of the 17 State Chambers of Physicians. As the central organisation in the system of medical self-administration in Germany, it represents the interests of all physicians working in Germany in matters relating to professional policy. In order to practice in Germany, physicians must become a member of one of the 17 State Chambers of Physicians (North Rhine-Westphalia has two State Chambers). For information concerning membership of the State Chambers of Physicians (compulsory or voluntary) please contact them directly.
The central area of competency of the State Chambers of Physicians lies in the monitoring of the compliance to professional duties and standards. In addition, the State Chambers of Physicians are responsible for speciality medical training as well as continuing medical education. Each State Chambers of Physicians has its own speciality training regulations (Weiterbildungsordnung), which their members are legally bound to adhere to. These can be viewed on the websites of the State Chambers of Physicians under “Weiterbildung“.
Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians
Due to their role as institutions of medical self-administration, the regional Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Vereinigungen), as well as the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung), are registered as corporations under public law. They function under the supervision of the respective state and federal ministries for Health and Social Security.
The regional and national Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians are responsible for safeguarding accessibility to and quality assurance in practise-based healthcare at a national level, as well as the distribution of payments to physicians. They also represent physicians and psychotherapists in campaigning for fair wages.
More information on the activities of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians can be found on their website. Detailed information about setting up practise in Germany can be found on the websites of the regional Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians.
The Joint Association of Professional Pension Schemes (Arbeitsgemeinschaft berufsständischer Versorgungseinrichtungen e.V.) is the central organisation of the 89 compulsory public pension schemes operating under state law for members of the independent professions. The Association promotes the exchange of information between these schemes and represents the political interests of its members.
Further information about the Joint Association of Professional Pension Schemes, as well as the contact details of pension schemes for the medical profession in each state, may be found on their website.
Since 1 January 2005 physicians have been compulsory members of the pension scheme in the region covered by their State Chamber of Physicians (principle of locality). If a physician moves out of the region, he or she must begin a new, additional membership of the pension scheme of that state. The transition of funds to the new pension scheme is possible for up to the equivalent of 60 monthly payments, as long as the member is under the age of 45. Membership of pension schemes started before 1 January 2005 remains valid, as long as the physician remains a member of the same State Chamber of Physicians.
For questions relating to individual cases or the services provided (e.g. retirement funds, retirement due to professional incapacity, widow/er’s pension) please contact the appropriate authority.
The Marburger Bund is the trade union which represents the professional and political interests of all physicians employed in Germany, as well as medical students. Central aspects of this representation revolve around striving for better working conditions and fair pay for hospital physicians, promoting opportunities for female physicians and urging a more practical orientation in medical training.
The Marburger Bund negotiates individual wage settlements with employers. More information about this may be found on the website of the Marbuger Bund.
Other interest groups
The following associations are also active in the area of healthcare in Germany. For further information please visit their websites:
The Hartmannbund is an organisation which represents the professional, political and social interests of physicians, dentists and medical students.
The Virchowbund is the professional association for practise-based physicians in Germany.
The Verband der leitenden Krankenhausärzte Deutschlands is the association of chief hospital physicians in Germany.