What is a Medical Documentary?

medical documentarian
Anyone who works in the profession of medical documentarian supports the doctor in his work, the work includes organization, statistics, documentation and data processing in medicine. A prerequisite for learning this profession is the Abitur or higher education entrance qualification, as well as a police clearance certificate. Whether a person is suitable for this job is checked on the basis of the application and in a personal interview. In exceptional cases, an entrance examination may also be carried out. A good prerequisite is good school grades in the subjects biology, German, chemistry, mathematics and English. Good computer skills are also essential. To gain theoretical knowledge, several specialist internships must be completed in Germany and abroad. The first school for medical documentation was in 1969 at the University Hospital in Ulm .


In a practical and a theoretical lesson, general subjects such as German, social studies, religion or philosophy and typing are learned. There are also courses in which one learns what the structure of the human body is like and how it works. You will learn how data from research is collected and how findings and diagnoses are encrypted. You learn the different types of documentation procedures, data processing systems, operating systems and how networks are built. Also, how things work in a hospital and important English technical terms, etc. Medical documentarians are trained at vocational school, but also have to do specialist internships in clinics, hospitals or the pharmaceutical industry.

What must be learned!

The learning spectrum is relatively large. It ranges from theoretical and practical basic knowledge to exercises in the school's own computer center. Medical and pharmacological knowledge must be acquired, from documentation and order theory to mathematics and statistics everything must be crammed. Teaching topics are developed by the students in teams and in the form of projects. Several internships must be completed for state recognition. The recognition internship usually lasts 6 months. Internships are usually done in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. They can be found in places such as patient admissions, in the hospital archive or in a specialist library. They are trained by professionals. Great attention and concentration are absolutely necessary for the job. A medical documentarian deals with extremely important data that must not be lost under any circumstances.

training costs

The student does not receive any remuneration for attending a school. But costs come to him, which would be there, the course fees, an admission and examination fee as well as the cost of learning materials for the theoretical lessons. He also has to pay the travel expenses and accommodation at the place of instruction. The training lasts 3 years , of which approx. 12 months are spent on extracurricular internships, of which another 6 months are for the professional internship in order to achieve state recognition. The remainder of the training takes place full-time at a vocational school. The compulsory lessons include subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, chemistry and laboratory diagnostics as well as medical documentation, word processing, computer programming language and technical English.

The exam is coming!

You will only be admitted to the examination if all the required performance records have been provided and the company internships have been carried out. If someone does not pass the final exam, it is logical that they will not be admitted to the recognized internship either. There is a written part and an oral part of the exam. In the written exam, questions are asked about medicine, documentation, statistics and computer science. The duration is about 4 hours. The oral exam usually deals with the same topics, but here they are carried out using practical cases. This part usually takes no more than 40 minutes. The state examination board consists of members appointed by the competent authorities.

The job afterwards

After the exam one finds employment in a doctor's office, in a hospital or in the pharmaceutical industry. Most of the graduates opt for a specific specialty, such as patient registration and management. In order to stay up to date, it is necessary to expand one's specialist knowledge and expertise at any time, even after the exam. After the training, it is also possible to do further training as a business administrator or even to complete a degree if you have the university entrance qualification.

Viet Trinh

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