The German Internal Medicine Congress: digital for the first time

The 127th DGIM Congress is making the COVID-19 pandemic into a thematic and organisational priority, given its historic implications for medicine, society and its lessons for the future.

Looking at the pandemic from different angles

With the main theme "Learning from the crisis", the 127th German Congress of Internal Medicine will be held in digital format for the first time 17-20 April 2021. For this edition, the congress team is making the COVID-19 pandemic into a thematic and organisational priority, given its historic implications for medicine, society and its lessons for the future.

Please visit our dedicated page for DGIM 2021, the German Internal Medicine Congress

The annual congress of the German Society for Internal Medicine (in German: Deutschen Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin or DGIM) is one of the largest specialist congresses in Germany, where more than 8,000 scientists and physicians from all areas of care access and disseminate the state-of-the-art knowledge on all aspects of internal diseases. The president of the 127th edition of the DGIM Congress is the DGIM’s current chairman, Professor Dr. Sebastian Schellong from Dresden, Germany.

"The pandemic will still not be a crisis of the past by spring 2021, but will continue to be an ongoing situation, and therefore we need to shed light on it from different angles, hence our congress motto ‘Learning from the crisis’" says congress president Professor Dr. Sebastian Schellong, Chief Physician of the Medical Clinic II (Medizinischen Klinik am Städtischen Klinikum) at the Dresden Municipal Hospital, Germany. "On the one hand, we will exchange information about the latest medical-scientific findings on COVID-19, which are rapidly and constantly updated - and from this we will also discuss the important question of what long-term effects the pandemic will have on our health systems. The Corona crisis can and should be seen as a lesson: Much can be learned from the experiences we have had and are having during the pandemic about the fundamental necessity and possibility of responsibly making good medicine, even when resources are scarce," explained Prof. Dr. Schellong.

The digitalisation push that has accompanied the crisis will also be a topic and will not only be reflected in the digital congress format for this year. The congress will raise questions such as the experiences of physicians with online consultations and their own online training. Also, the current crisis can be closely linked to a topic that has long preoccupied the DGIM: The impact of the climate crisis on health and medical practice. In addition to the health implications and consequences of climate change for patients, physicians are also concerned with how they themselves and the institutions comprising healthcare systems can make a contribution to coping with and overcoming the climate crisis.

Bringing together different medical disciplines

The other main topics planned for the digital congress will reflect the broad spectrum of internal medicine and, following the interdisciplinary approach, bring together different medical disciplines to learn from each other. According to Prof. Dr. Schellong, this is the only way to deepen the understanding of diagnostics and therapy. The congress team has defined the focal points of the congress as follows:

With these topics, the first digitally held DGIM congress will cover a wide range of the entire field of internal medicine. "I definitely see the digital format as an opportunity to break new ground, even though the immediate personal exchange will certainly be missing," explained Prof. Dr. Schellong.