gms | German Medical Science

GMS Journal for Medical Education

Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

ISSN 2366-5017

Influencing the Attractiveness of the Medical Profession through Family-Friendly Structures

Abstract medicine

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  • corresponding author Nora Heinemann - Bundesvertretung der Medizinstudierenden in Deutschland e.V. (bvmd), Bonn, Germany

GMS Z Med Ausbild 2012;29(2):Doc27

doi: 10.3205/zma000797, urn:nbn:de:0183-zma0007973

This is the English version of the article.
The German version can be found at:

Received: March 16, 2011
Revised: May 4, 2011
Accepted: May 24, 2011
Published: April 23, 2012

© 2012 Heinemann.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


If the medical profession is to remain attractive to the next generation, more focus must be put on family and career. More family-friendly structures are needed.

Family changes everything

When a young person decides to start a family, everything changes. A family takes time, energy and love. Things that are not in limitless supply in a demanding job with long working hours.

Employers must address changes

Being family-friendly means working hours which are compatible with family life. For childcare provision to be near to the workplace and flexible. Career and children should not be mutually exclusive.

Family is moving into the focus

The young physician of today is a woman, with 70% of all medical students female. And along with the flood of female graduates, a generation of men is heading for the hospitals who are not prepared to give up on family. They are not willing to be forced to make a choice between job and family. The shortage of doctors in Germany can only be countered by offering attractive working conditions. A debate on “family-friendliness” is long overdue.

Competing interests

The author declares that she has no competing interests.