Aims & Perspectives
The interchange of medical knowledge between Britain and Germany has long been hampered by language barriers. Since its foundation in 1959, the Society has aimed to achieve a ready exchange of ideas, knowledge, and personnel between the two countries. The importance of English as an international language has continued to grow and its very growth, combined with Britain’s geographical insularity, has reduced the motivation for native English speakers to improve their linguistic skills. German medical professionals and scientists read English research papers and literature widely whilst the reverse is unfortunately not true. One of the Society’s goals is to remedy this state of affairs. With this aim in mind, our annual conferences are held alternately in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Before the 1914-18 war, Germany was perhaps the leading centre of medicine in Europe and, as such, attracted numerous ambitious young men, many from the UK, who trained there for two or three years and returned home reasonably fluent in German. After the second world war, the English-speaking world, and in particular America, came to dominate the professional scene. One of the earliest goals of the Society was to establish a more equitable and profitable exchange of ideas.
The Society’s main aims are as follows:
- Firstly, to improve communications and encourage cooperation between doctors and medical scientists in the two countries.
- Secondly, to support exchanges of doctors and senior medical students, in hospitals and laboratories in both the UK and Germany.
- Thirdly, to promote visits and personal contacts between the hospitals and professional institutions of the two countries.
- Fourthly, to hold regular annual conferences. The Annual Conference that takes place over three days in September every year is an important event. The meetings are held alternately in Britain and Germany. During the scientific programme, topics of current medical interest are presented by German and British experts, both members and non-members of the Society. Social and cultural visits are also arranged for members and those accompanying them.