University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 098/2022 - 22 June 2022
Medical degree without straight-A Abitur
The Bavarian quota of medical officers allows the heartfelt wish of particularly suitable applicants to study medicine to be fulfilled - even those without straight-A grades. They only have to prove their personal suitability via a specific examination. The University of Bayreuth (UBT) is responsible for these entrance examinations and is establishing a digital-hybrid examination procedure in order to still be able to conduct examinations even if coronavirus rates increase.
The Abitur (A-level) certificates have been awarded, and in many homes, hopes have crumbled to dust because the Abitur grades were not so good - especially for prospective doctors. The study of medicine is still one of the most sought-after degree courses in Germany, but because of the Numerus Clausus (NC) and the abolition of waiting semesters, only those with straight-A grades can expect to obtain a place at medical school. At the same time, however, society needs more doctors; and rural areas and public health services, in Bavaria in particular, are suffering from an acute shortage of doctors.
As of 2019, the Bavarian Rural and Public Health Physicians Act (BayLArztG) has been providing for the allocation of dedicated medical study places for particularly suitable applicants without straight-A grades. In return, these will undertake to work as a doctor in a region in Bavaria that is medically under-serviced or threatened by undersupply for ten years, after completing their studies.
In a two-stage procedure, high school graduates can register for the selection procedure for the 2023/24 winter semester via the homepage of the State Office for Health and Food Safety from 01.02.2023 onwards. This means that there is enough time, until February 2023, to come to grips with this offering, to inform yourself, and to reflect on whether working in the countryside would be an option for you, and whether the contractual obligations are feasible.
Applicants can collect important points for the overall evaluation by completing medical-related professional training, e.g. in nursing, with the result of a test for medical degree programmes (TMS), as well as by volunteering in the field. The best 50% are then invited to a second round, the selection interviews, by the Institute for Medical Management & Health Sciences at the University of Bayreuth. Preparation in the sense of "cramming" is not necessary, as the selection interviews are not about medical expertise but about personal skills. In several mini-interviews and a motivational interview, the special aptitude and non-cognitive competencies such as problem-solving skills, resilience, and ethical decision-making are all assessed. Around 60 jurors working in medical practice, the nursing professions, and academia are available for the interviews.
Due to the special pandemic conditions, a digital-hybrid examination procedure has been developed since the beginning of the selection process for this year's medical studies and was successfully implemented early this summer for 254 participants. Unlike last year, the much safer pandemic situation made it possible to conduct the selection interviews of the participants in person on the premises of the University of Bayreuth. "Nevertheless, we wanted and had to be prepared for any contingency at short notice and in a structured manner. The exams should not be jeopardised at any time!" emphasises Prof. Dr. mult. Eckhard Nagel, Executive Director of the Institute for Medical Management & Health Sciences at UBT. "We already knew from last year's positive experiences that our online format works well and reliably. However, I was particularly enthusiastic about the flexibility and speed with which it was possible to vary between face-to-face and online meetings," says Professor Nagel. He thanks all the staff, helpers, and jurors involved, as well as the employees in technology and logistics at the University of Bayreuth, "without whose help this project would not have been possible". The excellent cooperation between LGL and the University of Bayreuth has once again proven its worth.