The amount of data to be documented and processed today has significantly increased because of the dynamic development in healthcare business. Therefore, the demand for qualified, specialised staff is constantly growing. In consequence, professional education in medical documentation is being offered in order to keep abreast of changes.

An education in medical documentation is possible in different ways, for all of which students should in any case bring along an interest in medicine and computing, as well as they should take pleasure in statistics and handling figures. The choice of a suited course of education should not only be guided by the admission requirements, but also by the favoured job profile.

Depending on the respective course of education, the education in medical documentation takes place at full-time vocational schools, in the German Dual System between vocational school and company, and – as a course of studies – at Universities for Applied Sciences. Besides, a multitude of opportunities for advanced training are offered, which qualify the employees for an assignment to particular, specialised fields within medical documentation.

The following courses of education (with admission requirements*) are possible:

01| “Professional in Media- and Information Services” (Ger.: “Fachangestellter für Medien- und Informationsdienste”, FaMI) Pfeil

Admission Requirement.: „Hauptschulabschluss“(“Ordinary Level General School Leaving Certificate”, comparable to the former “GCE”)
02| “Assistant for Health Information Management”(Ger.:”Medizinischer Dokumentationsassistent”, “MDA”) Pfeil

Admission Requirement: ”Mittlere Reife”(“Intermediate School Level Leaving Certificate”, comparable to the former “O-levels”/“CSE”, or nowadays to 6 passed GCSEs, attained at a “Realschule”) or else „Hauptschulabschluss“ (“Ordinary Level General School Leaving Certificate”, comparable to the former “GCE”, attained at a “Hauptschule”) with at least 2 years of additional vocational training within theGerman Dual System
03| “HIM Specialist in Medical Documentation” (Ger.: “Medizinischer Dokumentar”, “MD”) Pfeil

Admission Requirement.: A-Levels, i.e. either the broader German “Abitur”/”(Allgemeine)Hochschulreife”, attained mostly at a “Gymnasium” and qualifying for all kinds of universities, or the more specialized, non-general “Fachhochschulreife” (”Advanced Technical College Entrance Qualification”), qualifying for Universities of Applied Sciences only, attained at other schools offering advanced education, after having had a “Mittlere Reife” or a “Qualifizierenden Hauptschulabschluss” as a prerequisite.
04| “Graduated HIM Specialist” (Ger.:”Diplom-Dokumentar”, now changed to “Bachelor”) Pfeil

Adm. Requ.: A-Levels, i.e. either “Abitur” or “Fachhochschulreife” (see above)

* Admission requirements may vary. Details are available at the respective schools offering the education courses in medical documentation.

Courses of Education and contents


The oldest and traditional course of education is the one to become a “HIM Specialist in Medical Documentation” (Ger.: “Medizinischer Dokumentar”), which first started as a regular course of education at the “School for Medical Documentation” at the University Hospital of Ulm in Southern Germany. It has to be pointed out, however, that the term of “MD” or “Medizinischer Dokumentar” often is used as a synonym for all occupations within the field of medical documentation! The course of education, i.e. the apprenticeship lasts 3 years, being very much application-oriented, given the high proportion of placements at different institutions at home and abroad.

Admission requirement are either “Fachhochschulreife” (see above) or a good secondary school leaving certificate (see “Mittlere Reife” above). A few single Universities of Applied Science have adopted the curriculums of this course of education and are now offering a 6- or 7-semesters’ course of studies in medical documentation finishing with a Bachelor’s degree, which replaced the former degree of “Diplom-Dokumentar”.

“Assistants for Health Information Management” (Ger.:”Medizinische Dokumentationsassistenten”) attend a 2-years school education (Saxony: 3 years) at a full-time vocational school. Admission requirement is having a “Mittlere Reife”(see above) or a comparable educational standard.

Since the year 2000, there has also been an education for becoming a “Professional in Media- and Information Services” (Ger.: “Fachangestellter für Medien- und Informationsdienste”, FaMI), specialised on the field of medical documentation. The training is organized according to the German Dual System-model: The apprentices are employed by a hospital or another institution in the health care sector, while the theoretical education takes place at a vocational school.

As common corner pillars, all these different courses of education feature the four main subject groups of Medicine, Documentation, Statistics and Information Technology. The different schools and courses of education set different focuses and specialisations, depending especially on the admission requirements and the subjects offered.

Occupational Aptitude and Job Prospects


Employees in the field of medical documentation usually work with the patients’ data, and only seldomly with patients directly. Therefore they need skills like mathematical-scientific understanding, logic thinking, as well as an interest in handling figures, data and information. They have to work very accurately and reliably and be discreet.

There has been an enormous demand for well-trained specialists right since the beginning. Job offers have been exceeding the amount of graduates on the field of medical documentation for years. However, there are considerable regional differences. But with good marks and a readiness for mobility, school leavers will find a field of work that suits them.

Jobs in medical documentation have brilliant future prospects!
Our Office will be pleased to provide you with further information.

Verantwortlich für den Inhalt:
Navigationspfeil Bruno Schweizer