Team Competence

The Martini-Klinik is distinguished by its faculty system: 10 chief physicians care for the patients at the clinic. Each physician has taken on a lifelong task at the Martini-Klinik and is a specialist in a particular field of prostate cancer treatment. As far as the surgical field is concerned, we are talking about high-volume surgeons: each physician operates on up to eight patients per week – this has led to outstanding results.

Interview with Prof. Hartwig Huland about the Faculty

"Professor Huland, you introduced the faculty system into theMartini-Klinik. What is it?" 

Prof. Huland: "This term relates to how the medical direction of a clinic is structured and has been adopted from American English. The typical German system has a chief physician, followed by  senior physicians and assistant physicians. Senior physicians are in a clinic for a limited time and learn to operate, in order to then apply for the position of chief physician elsewhere after their raining. The faculty system on the other hand keeps talented operating surgeons with a clinic on a long-term basis. We have ten so-called chief physicians who have found a position for life with the Martini-Klinik."

"And to what extent do your patients benefit from the faculty?"

Prof. Huland: "When dealing with a complicated and complex disease, as a localised prostate  carcinoma is, a faculty system has a great many major advantages for the patient concerned. One  advantage is that the operating surgeon who stays with this clinic for many years and performs this job until the end of his or her working life is a socalled high-volume surgeon. This means that he performs operations in his specialist field extremely frequently and is very familiar with the outcome of his work. The individual patient therefore has a very experienced operating surgeon. The second advantage is that each of the faculty members is specialised in a subarea within this small area of prostate cancer: One colleague is specialised in the imaging during preventive medical examinations and developing it further, whilst the other is responsible for new developments in the advanced prostate carcinoma and so on. This means there is a great deal of competence in the  team. Thirdly, the patient has just one person as his competent point of contact during his stay. Although we perform many operations here, this is not at all noticeable for the individual patient: He is only ever confronted with one person before, during and after the operation, instead of being looked after by several different physicians."

"Does this mean you have solely the faculty to thank for being able to bring top medical  professionals together under one roof??"

Prof. Huland: "I’d put it a little differently: Of the senior physicians I have had the pleasure of training, I have been able to keep the best ones at the Martini-Klinik and retain a high competence here."

"There are now ten faculty members. Is that the limit or do you want to grow further?"

Prof. Huland: "As far as surgical and radiotherapeutic treatment are concerned, I think that, what with the large number of operations we perform, and one in eight German private patients being operated on in our clinic, we can neither grow further nor do we wish to. We intend to grow in terms of the content we deal with: After all, we have a considerable development ahead of us in terms of imaging in the area of medical prevention: Diagnostics have been infinitely enriched and this enrichment is continuing steadily. With this in mind, we are naturally toying with the idea of keeping more chief physicians specialised in this area with our clinic and extending the faculty in this regard."