gms | German Medical Science

GMS Journal for Medical Education

Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

ISSN 2366-5017

Position Paper of the Society for Medical Education (GMA) regarding appointments of professors in medical education/educational research

position paper medicine

  • corresponding author Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung, executive comittee - GMA-Office, Erlangen, Germany

GMS Z Med Ausbild 2012;29(3):Doc48

doi: 10.3205/zma000818, urn:nbn:de:0183-zma0008181

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

Received: October 13, 2011
Revised: January 27, 2012
Accepted: April 24, 2012
Published: May 15, 2012

© 2012 Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung, executive comittee.
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.


The Society for Medical Education (GMA), a scientific society whose special concern is the development of quality assurance and quality development of education in medical schools and strengthening professionalization in academic teaching, has grown a lot in recent years. Given that the appointment process for professors is the full responsibility of faculty and university committees and based on the observation of some appointment procedures to professorships and chairs for medical didactics/research in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and in other countries, the GMA has decided to take the liberty of making some suggestions for filling such positions.

In German-speaking countries professorships in medical didactics and research have only been established at a few universities to date. These range from professors with strong roots in a clinical subject to dedicated chairs. In addition to research and teaching of medical didactic content and methods, their tasks usually also include routine work for the faculty, such as leading participation in curriculum development and design, evaluation of teaching, exams and implementing and conducting educational qualifications for the teaching staff as part of faculty development programs and in coordination with deans of studies and other key institutions.

In order to fulfil those very specific and indispensable requirements for medical education at the intersection of didactics, educational sciences, psychology and sociology, comprehensive scientific insight into medicine also would appear to be an indispensable prerequisite. This is particularly true for the challenges of successful medical educational research.


As a scientific society, the GMA therefore recommends that the following tendering criteria be considered by the appointing faculties to best ensure the challenges outlined above in the fields of medical under- and postgraduate education and CPD:

Habilitation in a medical subject or equivalent scientific achievements
Ideally completed specialisation or equivalent medical-related qualification
Ideally completion of an additional medical educational or pedagogical-psychological qualification such as a Master of Medical Education (MME)
Experience in teaching and organisation of teaching, in particular with regard to curriculum development, examinations and planning and implementation of courses for teaching staff in higher education and medical educational topics
Evidence of research expertise through externally funded projects and publications in the subject area of medical under- and postgraduate education and CPD or general educational research

Competing interests

The author declare that he has no competing interessts.