Physician Assistance – Perspectives and Boundaries for International Mobility



Presentation Heistermann

Presentation Larisch

  • Prof. Dr. Nabeel Farhan, Ph.D., German University Association Physician Assistant/European University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Heistermann, German University Association Physician Assistant/Fliedner University of Applied Sciences
  • Dr. Katharina Larisch, Ph.D., MD, European University of Applied Sciences


Physician Assistance is a global job description under different names, but with comparable training content and areas of activity in the medical sector. Nevertheless, there are different educational and qualification paths internationally. These make mobility for students and graduates extremely difficult. Internationally agreed training guidelines do not exist, so that so far only individual interinstitutional agreements can be made. A few at the Fliedner University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf should be named as examples.

There is an Inter-Institutional Agreement of the Swiss European Mobility Program (SEMP) on the exchange of students in the Physician Assistance (PA) department. In addition, we check whether individual modules from the Swiss Master of Advanced Studies in Physician Associate Skills (60 ECTS) are comparable with modules from our Master Physician Assistant and whether modules would also fit the Bachelor's degree.

An Erasmus + inter-institutional agreement is currently being prepared with the Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen, NL. The agreement will cover the entire ISCED subject area 09 health and social affairs. At the bachelor level, mobility between the courses Medische Hulpverlening and Physician Assistance (B.Sc.) is prepared.

The participation of Physician Assistance (B.Sc.) students in the Blended AIM project is currently being examined. The following are involved: Uni Siegen, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, University of Maribor, Luca School of Arts Ghent, AP Hogeschool Antwerp, Odissee Hogeschool, Belgium, Hellenic mediterranian University (Greece), Universidade de Maia - ISMAI.

Recognition is necessary for international healthcare professionals if they want to practice in Germany in a regulated profession. However, recognition is not required for non-regulated professions such as „physician assistant“, but it is useful. It is an advantage when applying for a job, when changing job or when negotiating salaries. Furthermore, the recognition notice in German enables employers to immediately identify the skills and knowledge of international healthcare professionals.

This contribution will discuss the different procedures for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications and higher education qualifications in Germany.

Prof. Dr. Nabeel Farhan, Ph.D.

Professorship for Physician Assistance, European University of Applied Sciences Cologne, German University Association

Prof. Dr. Peter Heistermann

Chairman, German University Association Physician Assistant; Professor of physician assistance, Fliedner University of Applied Sciences
Medical School at Cologne University, Graduation in 1984; Board certification Surgery in 1992
Specialization in vascular and visceral surgery, board certification in 1999; Postdoctoral lecture qualification, Ruhr-University Bochum 2006; Consultant Surgeon, Marienhospital Herne
Chief Physician, St. Marien-Hospital Cologne; Assistant Medical Director, Heilig-Geist-Hospital Cologne; Professor at Fliedner University of Applied Sciences since 2016
Founding Chairman of the German University Association Physician Assistant 2018

Dr. Katharina Larisch, Ph.D., MD

European University of Applied Sciences
Medical School at Munich University and Master of Health Business Administration at Nuremberg university
Specialization in occupational medicine
Physician and researcher in different institutions in Germany and the USA
Cofounder and Medical Lead German online health portal
Medical Lead business consulting, focused on managed care, predictive modelling und health services research
Current position:  Professor at Europäische Fachhochschule, European University of applied sciences for Physician Assistant
Member German University Association Physician Assistant, workgroup "International Relations"

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