Health professions - health professions

Health Professions

These are also referred to as medical professions and include a variety of more or less well-known, very different professions. Other terms, such as non-medical health professions, alternative health care professions, complementary health care professions or medical assistance professions, are often perceived as discriminatory by the various occupational groups, as they neither adequately reflect the wide range of activities and responsibilities nor the legal regulations.


The training and practice of health professions is regulated by legislation - access to the profession at federal level by granting a license to run the job title. As the federal states have scope for implementing the laws, training content and qualification standards may differ. The approximately 50 job titles are grouped together:

  • Obstetrics (eg midwife)
  • Nursing and nursing (eg pediatric nurse)
  • Assistant professions in medical practices and pharmacies (eg pharmaceutical-technical assistant)
  • Medical-technical area (eg medical-technical radiology assistant)
  • Rehabilitation (eg physiotherapist, dietician)
  • In the broader sense also health craft (eg hearing care professional)
  • Others such as hygiene professions (eg disinfector) and professions with a social character (eg healer)


Non-medical practitioners occupy a special position: they do not undergo any academic or other legally regulated training and, in contrast to all other health professions, there is no need for a state examination for practicing the profession. The only legal requirements are a completed secondary education, the completion of the 25th year of life and a - not regulated - review of the knowledge and skills of the applicant by the health authority. If this has turned out positive, he receives a state license for the professional practice of the medicine, is registered in the responsible health authority and is - like the academic health professions - independently active.


The profession of non-medical practitioner is regulated in Germany by the Heilpraktikergesetz and the First Implementation Ordinance. However, it is not explicitly defined, but determined only by the demarcation to the profession of the doctor ("practice of medicine without appointment", ie without approbation.) Also to ensure the quality and seriousness of their profession, many naturopaths are voluntarily organized in professional associations. These are bourgeois-legal associations, of which in turn the six largest as community initiative "The German Non-medical practitioner associations" (DDH) appear together to the outside. The non-medical practitioner associations have also published a fee schedule, in which reputable non-medical practitioners usually orient themselves.


Non-medical practitioners - like doctors and psychotherapists - may "practice medicine on humans" (defined in the Heilpraktikergesetz as "occupational or professional determination, cure or alleviation of illness, suffering or physical injury in humans"), but are subject to some restrictions: they may not be notifiable They also prohibit obstetrics, the examination and therapy of genital organs, the prescription of prescription drugs, the use of X-rays, the transplantation of tissues and organs, the conduct of blood transfusions and the treatment of infectious diseases and venereal diseases and dental, oral and jaw diseases Mortuary with the issuing of death certificates.

Otherwise, alternative practitioners may, for example, inject, treat broken bones and use a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. You are allowed to run a practice and run a clinic. Non-medical practitioners are allowed to do more - even without legally regulated training - than, for example, a health and nurse (formerly a nurse)! However, the same applies here: A health practitioner, like any other health care professional, must only act in accordance with his or her knowledge and abilities and can be held responsible for what he does. A non-medical practitioner, like a doctor, is subject to secrecy, albeit to a lesser extent.

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