Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geriatrie

Some facts on demography and geriatrics in Germany…

Total population: 82.900.000
Percentage above 65 Yr: 22%
Percentage above 80 Yr: 6%

Number of physicians: 377.000 (2016)
Number of geriatricians: 2.149 (12/2012)
Number of hospital: 1.942 (2017)
Total number of hospital beds: 497.182 (2017)
Number of geriatric beds: not known

Geriatrics is recognised as a...

  • subspeciality since >20 years

Geriatric medicine is found in...

  • acute care hospitals as acute geriatric wards
  • out-patient care settings
  • post-acute rehabilitation hospitals/clinics
  • nursing homes or long term care facilities

Members of the society

Total number of Members: 1.700 members

Other therapists:

German society of geriatrics (DGG) working groups

At the moment our society intends to expand the period for training in geriatric medicine before becoming a specialist in geriatric medicine to 24 months instead of 18 months which is the current lenght of training. In addition we are currently striving to improve the training in geriatric medicine for medical sudents

  • Traumatology in the elderly
  • Outpatient geriatrics
  • Anaemia in the elderly
  • Pharmaceutical treatment
  • Assessment
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Dysphagia
  • Nutrition and metabolism
  • Vascular dsease / Angiology
  • Geriatric oncology (in conjuction with the german society of haematology and oncology (DGHO))
  • Vaccination
  • Incontinence
  • Cardiology
  • Mobile geriatric rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Emergency and intensive care in the elderly
  • Palliative care
  • Psychosomatics
  • Pain and old age
  • Deafness (Presbycusis)

Other activities…


We have yearly medical congresses which are held in cooperation with our German speaking collegues from Austria and Switzerland. Every second year our congress is organized with the Gerontological Society of Germany.

In addition there are many local educational events in the German federal states, some of which have a interdisciplinary concept.


The DGG publishes the journal „Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie (ZGG)“ (articles in German or English, all abstracts bilingual).


The history of Geriatric Medicine in Germany goes back to the year 1938, when Max Bürger, internist and researcher in ageing, founded the Deutsche Gesellschaft fürAltersforschung (German Soc. of Research in Ageing). It was an organisation of physicians interested in the medicine of old age. World War II interrupted the further development. After the war the society was reinstituted in Leipzig, in the former DDR (GDR). After the separation of Germany into East and West Germany, a West-German Branch was instituted in 1966, named Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontologie (German Gerontology Society). It was a multidisciplinary society consisting of a Section of Biology, Medicine, Psychology/ Sociology and Nursing and became a member of the IAGG. After the reunification both societies came together again under the name of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontologie und Geriatrie (DGGG) in 1991. In 1995 geriatricians separated from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gerontologie and founded the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geriatrie (DGG), a purely medical society, in order to have a better representation within the other medical specialties, professional boards and political institutions. The DGG underwent rapid development and has now approximately 1750 members. The members are active in 16 special interest groups. In 1992 the DGG succeeded in establishing Geriatric Medicine as a subspecialty of Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Neurology and Psychiatry, requiring a 2 year fellowship and a final examination after finishing the training in one of the four specialties. 

Whereas the development of Geriatric Medicine proceeded and flourished in many aspects, there is still a regrettable lack of a solid academic foundation in Geriatric Medicine. Since 2001 Geriatric Medicine is compulsory part of the undergraduate curriculum. Lectures and practical training is usually offered by geriatricians in hospitals outside the universities.

List of geriatric chairs and research centres in Germany

  • RWTH Aachen University
  • Charité Berlin University Hospital
  • Ruhr University Bochum
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • University of Hamburg
  • Heidelberg University
  • Nurembreg Hospital
  • Ulm University
  • Witten/Herdecke University
  • Geriatrics Clinic at Jena University Hospital
  • Geriatrics Centre at Mannheim University Medical Centre

Contact details

The president of the Society:
Prof. Dr. Rainer Wirth

General Assembly member in the EuGMS:
Prof. Dr. Rainer Wirth

Email: info(at) 



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