The profession of medical ethicist is exciting and varied, but it is also highly challenging. The ability to work across disciplines is a basic requirement. As a medical ethicist, you apply the expertise of a humanities or social science discipline to the ethical questions that arise in medicine and healthcare. Only few have a dual qualification. Thus, most medical ethicists must acquire basic medical knowledge, understand the peculiarities of clinical practice, and be able to understand the complex context of the health system. This means that constant exchange – ideally involving cooperation between clinicians, nurses, and other actors in the medical field – is essential.
Another challenge is the precarious employment situation for mid-career academics. Established positions are scarce, so we also have to regularly apply for funding. However, due to our strong interdisciplinary focus, our field has some distinctive features in the national and international funding landscape.
The Network for Young Medical Ethics offers up-and-coming scientists in medical ethics the opportunity to prepare themselves for these challenges. Periodic workshops allow us to sharpen our skills and share our experiences. In addition, we can develop ideas and initiate collaborations through exchanges within the forum. The guiding principle is that we can best meet the precarious conditions and professional challenges that affect us all together.