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International Visitors Section

The German Association of Emergency Physicians BAND e.V. (i.e., Bundesvereinigung der Arbeitsgemeinschaften der Notärzte Deutschlands) is the parent organization of the German emergency physicians. About 10.000 physicians are represented by this body.

Emergency physicians in Germany have a rather different status than their Anglo-American counterparts. Firstly, emergency medicine is not a recognized specialty in Germany. Emergency physicians in this country are mostly anesthetists, internists or surgeons who perform rescue medicine in addition to their primary employment. Secondly, German emergency physicians work in the prehospital field only. In the hospitals emergency patients are take care of by residents or specialists of the respective specialties. Thirdly, there are no Anglo-American-style emergency departments in Germany. Emergency patients are typically transported to an admission ward of the respective specialty or to an ICU.

Although they work in the prehospital field only, emergency physicians are nevertheless a major part of the emergency medical system in Germany. All of Germany is covered by a two-tier emergency medical service. Ambulance attendants with a rescue vehicle respond to each emergency. In potentially life-threatening cases an emergency physician on duty is sent to the scene, too, by way of either an emergency response vehicle or by a rescue helicopter.

German emergency physicians respond to about 1,5 million emergency calls a year. That means that with approximately 80 million people in Germany they see about 1.9 % of the population annually. Medical emergencies account for nearly 60 % of the emergency physicians’ actions and traffic accidents count for about 13 % of the calls, criminal incidents are seen rarely. The medium response time is 9 minutes for emergency physicians nationwide. There is generally a high standard of medical care at the scene. Following the German idea of prehospital care the approach at the scene is more "stay and play" than "load and go".

In addition to this emergency medical service, Germany is also covered by a secondary system of specialized vehicles and helicopters for inter-hospital-transfers, staffed by emergency physicians or intensivists.

This is a short guide to emergency medicine in Germany. The German Association of Emergency Physicians BAND e.V. serves to improve prehospital medical care in Germany and promotes the objects of the emergency physicians in this system.

If you have any request please do not hesitate to send an E-mail to the webmaster of these sites Thomas Fleischmann M.D. (who is also a Member of the European Society for Emergency Medicine EuSEM and the American College of Emergency Physicians ACEP).