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Senior physician: Taking on responsible tasks in a management position 

In the specialist departments of hospitals, senior physicians take on an important role; they stand between the head physician and the assistant physicians and specialists. The senior physician has medical responsibility for parts of a clinic or department. A senior physician has been assigned by the employer to permanently deputise for the chief physician, and the pay is correspondingly better. Senior physicians act as an interface between the head physician and the specialists and assistant physicians, which promises good career opportunities for the future.


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Are you looking for a new challenge as a senior physician (m/f/d)?

Senior physicians have a responsible job in which they deputise for the chief physicians and are responsible for the management and coordination of an entire department. If you are looking for a job with your professional expertise and aspire to a managerial function in everyday work, then let's start your next career step together now.

Are you looking for an experienced and responsible senior physician (m/f/d)?

You need strong support in the hospital with extensive expertise that is up to a responsible role as a leader? We will find suitable senior physicians (m/f/d) for you.

Senior physician career: What opportunities do senior physicians have on the job market?

There has been a shortage of male and female doctors in Germany for years. Demand is correspondingly high. Vacancies as a senior physician remain unfilled in more and more specialties for longer than a year. In 2018, new staff with the specialty of gastroenterology were particularly in demand, followed by pneumology, vascular surgery and psychosomatic medicine. By working closely with chief physicians, you also gain a good impression for the work in the next higher position.

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What does a senior physician do? 

A senior physician is usually responsible for one or more wards in the hospital and takes on medical, and organisational tasks. In the job of a senior physician, you examine, advise and treat patients and lead your staff through their daily professional life in a managerial position.

The most important tasks include:

🗸 Managing the medical care of patients.

🗸 Taking over organisational activities and delegating tasks.

🗸 Leading the assistant doctors and the rest of the medical staff.

🗸 Evaluating X-ray images and measurements.

🗸 Regularly deputising for the head physician.

What hard skills & soft skills are necessary for the job of senior physician?

As a senior physician, you should have completed a degree in human medicine as well as further training from a resident to a specialist. Your everyday working life includes long working hours, on-call duties and night duties. To be able to work at university hospitals in the position of senior physician, a habilitation is necessary.


In addition, you need:

  • A completed specialist training and a habilitation to work at a university hospital.

  • A specialisation in one field and excellent specialist knowledge

  • Empathy for working with patients

  • Leadership qualities and the ability to work in a team with staff members

  • Economic thinking and a high sense of responsibility

  • Ability to work under pressure, commitment and a focused and determined approach to work

Salary: What does a senior physician earn?

Senior physicians can expect a salary of 100,000 to 130,000 euros gross per year. Due to their managerial position, they earn more than the specialist, but still somewhat less than the head physician. In most cases, senior physicians are paid according to a collective agreement, with the scale depending on professional experience.

In university hospitals, the starting salary of a senior physician is about 7,500 euros gross per month in the first year, rising to about 8,100 and 8,800 euros gross per month in the fourth and seventh years. In municipal hospitals, you can expect a salary that is about 400 euros lower as a senior physician due to the collective agreement.

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