A medical residency is a period of on-site training post-med school graduation. I am not sure if there is a direct translation for this. All resources I could find give the normal definition. I don't think Wohnsitz or Residenz would work.

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    When I lookup Wikipedia's Residency (medical), the German counterpart is Ärztliche Weiterbildung. In dict.cc, as a translation of "medical residency" I find "Facharztausbildung". Is that what you have in mind?
    – konst
    May 12, 2021 at 23:37
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    In general it's a useful trick, when a word is too specialized for a dictionary, to look it up on Wikipedia instead and check the 'languages' links.
    – RDBury
    May 13, 2021 at 3:52
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    @konst: Please do not use comments to post answers. Please write a proper answer. May 13, 2021 at 4:19
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    Not being a doctor, I have always thought it corresponts to the Turnus, but that's appearently false. Probably the best answer is "it's not really translateable due to differences in qualification systems". May 13, 2021 at 8:24
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    @konst: Your comment nailed it. The old form was "Arzt im Praktikum" or "Assistenzarzt", the new one since 2004 is as you said "Arzt in Weiterbildung" or "ärztliche Weiterbildung". I wrote the answer only to realize that the merits are your's :-)
    – user41853
    May 16, 2021 at 21:52

3 Answers 3


I would suggest "Facharztausbildung". It requires 6 years of on-site training. Afterwards a doctor can become a specialist in the particular medical area (e.g. surgeon, ENT) that was the focus of the residency.


When you're stuck with dictionaries, which are just single word translation tools, you should try translation services that translate whole sentences like Google translate or DeepL.

I didn't really get what you was asking about, because I didn't know the English term »medical residency« (I'm a German native speaker). So I copied your question and pasted it into these two translation services, and here are the translations they created:

  • https://translate.google.de

    Eine medizinische Residenz ist eine Zeit der Ausbildung vor Ort nach dem Schulabschluss. Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob es eine direkte Übersetzung dafür gibt. Alle Ressourcen, die ich finden konnte, geben die normale Definition. Ich glaube nicht, dass Wohnsitz oder Residenz funktionieren würden .

  • https://www.deepl.com

    Eine medizinische Facharztausbildung ist ein Zeitraum der Ausbildung vor Ort nach dem Abschluss des Medizinstudiums. Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob es dafür eine direkte Übersetzung gibt. Alle Quellen, die ich finden konnte, geben die normale Definition an. Ich glaube nicht, dass Wohnsitz oder Residenz funktionieren würde.

When I feed in only the first sentence, I get:

  • https://translate.google.de

    Ein medizinischer Aufenthalt ist eine Zeit der Ausbildung vor Ort nach dem Schulabschluss.

  • https://www.deepl.com

    Eine medizinische Facharztausbildung ist ein Zeitraum der Ausbildung vor Ort nach dem Abschluss des Medizinstudiums.

Another resource to translate some terms (mainly nouns and noun-like groups of words) is Wikipedia: Find the article that explains the term you are looking for, which in your case is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residency_(medicine) and find the word »Deutsch« in the left sidebar in the section »Languages«. Click on it, and you will land on the German version of the same article, which in our example is https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ärztliche_Weiterbildung. The title of this article is Ärztliche Weiterbildung.

So, all in all we have these translations of your term:

  1. medizinische Residenz
  2. medizinische Facharztausbildung (twice)
  3. medizinischer Aufenthalt
  4. ärztliche Weiterbildung

The focus of 1 and 3 (both of them provided by google translate) is on the local aspect, i.e. it describes where you are, which matches with the English term.

2 and 4 put the aspect on the education, i.e. what you are doing.

It strongly depends on the context which of these possibilities fits best for your needs, so it's hard to say, which of them is the best.

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    I don't find the use of machine translation appropriate. Answers should be informed by human intelligence. Two of the four translations are word-for-word translations that do not convey the intended meaning. The last paragraph is wrong in suggesting otherwise.
    – David Vogt
    May 13, 2021 at 6:34
  • I'm not sure there even is an exact counterpart to the residency in the German curriculum. I didn't do a deep dive, but the praktisches Jahr and/or the time the candidate is (used to be?) an Arzt im Praktikum might be candidates as well. May 13, 2021 at 10:30
  • @HenningKockerbeck Praktisches Jahr is a requirement for graduation in Germany, while residency is always post-graduate. Arzt im Praktikum was post-graduate, but existed only 1988--2004 in Germany and is arguably obsolete now. May 13, 2021 at 13:13
  • "Medizinische Facharztausbildung" seems to be the best translation. Here is an explanation. 1. What is medical residency? You know residency is the period of training you’ll go through after completing medical school, but it’s a little difficult to understand exactly what that means. [...] 2. How long is medical residency? The duration of postgraduate training depends on your specialty. Generally speaking, residency lasts for three to seven years.
    – Paul Frost
    May 13, 2021 at 23:41
  • Sorry, but I think that's, in general, bad advice. For the mapping of technical terms one should really not trust machine translation tools. It's probably far better to ask someone who's familiar with the terms and their usage in their respective context.
    – Lykanion
    May 14, 2021 at 7:08

I'd suggest the usage of "Praktikum" or "Hospitation" (or rather the verb: "hospitieren"). Depending on the context, the job name could also help you, which would be "Assistenzarzt" for this time.

  • Since a residency typically lasts 3--7 years, the terms Praktikum and Hospitation wouldn't fit for the whole time. Albeit the first year of residency in the U.S. is in fact called internship and first-year residents interns, in German (D) Praktikum and Hospitation would rather refer to the Famulatur. The term Assistenzarzt describes what most residents are, however it denominates not completely the same, because residency is a form of educational program for specialization, while an Assistenzarzt can already be a post-residency specialist. May 13, 2021 at 13:23

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