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Ethnic diversity

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Women for Women

The health care-related needs of refugee women differ greatly from those of refugee men. Examples of such differences include the fact that refugee women are often exposed to gender-specific trauma. Also, the lack of childcare makes it harder for them to access health care. Please see below for more detailed information on this topic, and on Charité-initiated projects.

Interprofessional Network for Intercultural Competence

“Establishing an Interprofessional Network for Intercultural Competence” at Charité – a pilot project.

Easy access to services means that Charité is often a first port of call, particularly to those unfamiliar with the national health care system. Charité's national/international specialists have to adapt to meet the needs of first generation to third generation immigrants and international patients. They have to do so by using existing staff resources (staff from all over the globe).

September 2014 saw the start of a one-year pilot project. The project, which was aimed at establishing an international network for intercultural competence at Charité, was led by Prof. Dr. Jalid Sehouli (Charité), Dr. Emine Nese Yüksel (Berliner Gesellschaft türkischer Mediziner e.V. [Berlin Society of Turkish Medical Professionals]), Prof. Dr. Theda Borde (Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin) and Zeki Caglar (Prosystemische Beratung). Selected members of staff from the participating departments of Charité Center 17 completed 7 separate course modules to become Advisory Specialists in Intercultural Affairs (Beauftragte für interkulturelle Fragen, BfiF). Following the completion of training, these advisory specialists went on to serve in a bridging capacity, providing assistance on intercultural issues, and facilitating contacts between staff and patients, and between specialists, staff, and relatives.  
Contact: Zeki Caglar (Prosystemische Beratung): zeki.caglar(at)

At the network meeting on 18 January 2016, Ms Marquardt presented results and findings from the training program, which was conducted as part of the pilot project “Establishing an Interprofessional Network for Intercultural Competence”

IPIKA - InterProfessionelles und InterKulturelles Arbeiten (Interprofessional and Intercultural Aspects of Work)

The project entitled “IPIKA - InterProfessionelles und InterKulturelles Arbeiten in Medizin, Pflege und Sozialdienst [Interprofessional and Intercultural Aspects of Working in the Medical, Nursing and Social Professions]” aims to develop, trial and evaluate interprofessional and intercultural teaching modules for the medical, nursing and social professions at Charité, for future implementation as part of the program of additional and further training offered by Charité's Health Academy and Alice Salomon Hochschule (ASH). For further information on IPIKA

Information on the “Operation Team – Interprofessional Training in the Health Care Professions” program offered by Robert-Bosch-Stiftung

Intercultural migration studies and health services research

Migration-related research, which forms part of health services research, deals with the cultural aspects of prevalence, etiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology, treatment, follow-up, and prevention of psychological disorders in first generation to third generation immigrants from a variety of cultural backgrounds. It explores the differences and similarities of psychological disorders as observed in people from different cultures. The German microcensus of 2012 recorded the total number of first generation to third generation immigrants residing in Germany in 2011 as approximately 16 million people, or 20% of the total population (Federal Statistical Office, Destatis, 2011).

TransVer - Resource network for intercultural opening

TransVer is a project for people with a migration history and employees of psychosocial care and promotes the intercultural opening of psychosocial care on 3 levels:

  • Information about as well as placement in psychosocial facilities for people with a history of migration or flight.
  • Access to information and the creation of transparency in the form of a freely accessible database on resources and offers from psychosocial institutions for groups of people with a history of migration.
  • Further training, supervision and case advice on intercultural topics for employees of psychosocial institutions.

Further information on the TransVer project can be found here.


  • Dr. rer. medic. Simone Penka
    Project management TransVer
    Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (CCM)

Vietnamese Outpatient Clinic on Campus Benjamin Franklin

Clinic for Vietnamese Immigrants (Spezialsprechstunde für vietnamesische Migranten)
Since 2010, Charité's Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy on Campus Benjamin Franklin has been running an outpatient clinic  which offers psychiatric services in Vietnamese. This clinic is aimed at native Vietnamese speakers, particularly those who have not achieved a sufficient level of proficiency in German, and those who are hesitant or nervous about using German psychiatric services.

Finished projects

“Integration through Qualification” – a joint project of Charité and Vivantes

With the SpraBo project (language skills and professional orientation), the Charité, together with Vivantes, enabled refugees to orientate themselves in the field of health professions and to qualify for training. The four SpraBo courses from 2016 - 2018 specifically built on the individual language skills of the 80 participants. In the practical nursing lessons, the participants were prepared for internships in the nursing area, which took place at selected wards of the Charité. Participation in SpraBo made it possible to gain experience in the German healthcare system and to get to know the care sector. With successful participation, graduates could be won over for the training as nursing assistant as well as for the 3-year training for health and nursing.

Flyer for participants: SpraBo - For refugees interested in a nursing profession

Expression V Study

A Berlin-based survey of patients with ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, peritoneal cancer, or breast cancer, which explores the wishes and expectations of non-immigrant women and first generation to third generation immigrant women regarding therapy management and the physician-patient relationship.

A person's immigration status plays an important role in medicine and health care, particularly in relation to the quality and level of communication that is possible between physicians and patients, and nurses and patients. These interactions, which underpin all medical measures and interventions, determine the quality of a relationship that is built entirely on trust, and have a significant impact on patient compliance. Although this topic is of crucial importance, there continues to be a lack of data on the expectations and experiences of first generation to third generation immigrants. 

Breast cancer and ovarian cancer count among the most common and most difficult-to-treat cancers. This is why, as part of this pilot project, the Women's Hospital on Campus Virchow-Klinikum and the Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center joined forces with Vivantes Hospitals and NOGGO e.V. (North East German Society for Gynecological Oncology), to conduct the first-ever survey of the needs and expectations of first generation to third generation immigrants undergoing treatment in Germany. 

Relevant links

Project outline Expression V Studie (Expression V Study)

If you would you like to take part in this study, please go to the online survey: