Industry news -

Healthcare: Surgeon shortage in rural areas

The partial lack of work-life balance and increasing urbanization also lead to a shortage of young surgeons. Our doctors bear an enormous responsibility every day. The associated stress, increasing administration and lack of personnel in the departments result in a high workload. This can make a career in hospital unattractive. What to do about it?

Source: iStock

The German Society for Surgery (DGCH), warned of a shortage of surgeons in Germany. Rural regions in particular are already affected by this shortage and are hardly able to recruit new surgeons. The DGCH issued this warning a year ago. Has it been possible to counteract this negative trend in the meantime?

Corona: the situation today

Not much has changed: at least in a positive sense. Because due to the ongoing corona pandemic, 1.6 million surgical procedures were postponed in Germany alone. Worldwide there are a total of 28 million. These must of course be caught up on in the near future. If the number of operations is increased by 10%, it will presumably take 89 weeks until the backlog is made up. With a 30% increase, it would take 30 weeks. Either way, the surgeons' workload will continue to increase and thus the stress will be even greater. Hiring more surgeons is certainly one way to keep the stress on the medical staff at an acceptable level. The question is: How do the clinics manage to recruit additional staff?

Solutions: better connectivity and BESTMINDS

One approach is to improve the interconnection of local and regional clinics. Instead of surgical departments scattered across several regions being understaffed, most would operate together in a central hospital. For patients, this would mean a longer journey. This may sound sensible from an economic point of view, but it is certainly not ethically justifiable for emergencies. We can also ask ourselves whether we personally want to accept a journey time of 45 minutes or more? As long as we do not have a real debate about the future of our health care system, i.e. as a society, find a consensus on what our health should cost, perhaps not much will really change in terms of the personnel situation in our hospitals.

This leaves another possibility for clinics that cannot close their staffing gap on their own. The personnel search with specialized personnel consultants, who address potential candidates directly according to the individual criteria of the clinics, and thus significantly increase the chances for the hospitals to find the missing personnel. Michael Splitt and Bernhard Joekel are the BESTMINDS experts when it comes to recruiting surgeons from various disciplines. With a combined industry experience of over 45 years in the Healthcare sector, they are passionate about your recruitment challenges. Contact us without obligation for a free initial consultation.


Michael Splitt

Senior Partner

T  +49 30 206 59 430

M +49 160 713 63 13

F +49 33678 732 01


Bernhard Joekel

Graduate in Economics, Senior Partner

T +49 761 888 51 23 20

F +49 761 888 51 23 99


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