That’s why I like being a country doctor in Schleswig-Holstein

No, he will not describe himself as an alternative to profit-oriented doctors. Knut Kibbel, 41, once a village child, now a country doctor, is more of a young general practitioner from the old school. In his general practice in Bosau (Ostholstein district) on the eastern shore of the Great Plöner See, he treats without much technology – no ultrasound device, no long-term ECG. But for the sake of horses. And with his own great curiosity about findings and the ambition to provide medical guidance to the 1,200 to 1,500 people who regularly confide in him: “I want to know everything and bring everything together. It still works well in the village. ”

Anyone who comes to Kibbel will find a practice around a picnic area, a converted old silo, chickens cooing, “a very happy atmosphere,” Kibbel calls it. “Patients stand outside and chat. They bring joy, not the frustration of everyday life. People give you a lot in return.” Knut Kibbel uses the first name of everyone, another characteristic of the village. He treats his patients on a first name basis, from craftsmen to multimillionaires. Kibbel’s mother lives next door and his sister on the other side. She has just had a baby, takes her stay in Kibel’s practice.It seems like a family of doctors who appreciate and enjoy the structures that have grown in the village.

There are many reasons why Knut Kibbel became a general practitioner – and with passion, as he writes on his website: “We live as a general practitioner in our practice.” One reason is obvious: his father used to run the practice, it has been around for well over 30 years. After a mediocre high school diploma, Knut Kibbel looked for a calling and decided, after performing community service in Hamburg, to follow in his father’s footsteps: “I can too. It suits me.”

Country doctor in Bosau: commuting between town and village

The Schleswig-Holstein studied in Bochum, five years ago he took over practice in East Holstein. He works 40 to 50 hours a week, says Kibbel, Tuesday morning is free, in the evening there is also training in the gym. Because Kibbel lives in Lübeck with his wife and two children (five and nine years old) – “My wife did not want to go to the country.”

In his treatment room, country doctor Knut Kibbel enjoys the view of nature and the farm next door.
Source: Dirk Schneider

So Kibbel commutes. He enjoys the half hour drive through Holstein Switzerland to practice. And when he closes the door behind him, he also ends the working day. Knut Kibbel is happy with his choice: “I can organize my work the way I want, I do not have to accept every patient: I can do that for the next 30 years without burning out myself,” says the family doctor.

Knut Kibbel: “Could also be done without private patients”

Flexibility, quality of life, village and urban atmosphere to an equal degree, satisfied patients, good income – from Kibel’s side, all this speaks in favor of running his own practice, especially in the village: “Economically more lucrative with manageable risk. Due to lower costs and a higher number of cases, less competitive pressure than in the city. I would not feel comfortable there. “Private patients, he emphasizes, however, are not crucial to his financial success and the existence of the practice:” I could do without them “.

The specialist in general medicine is familiar with the thesis of private health insurance, according to which especially doctors in rural areas benefit from private patients, but does not find it convincing: “The proportion of private patients is ten percent for me, and that is also the area Sales volume. My tax consultant always tells me that there are too few. ” Kibbel confirms: “For me as a general practitioner, the patients with statutory health insurance ensure my existence. We are certainly not dependent on drips from private health insurance companies. That is an outrageous claim. ” With specialists, on the other hand, it can be different, Kibbel points out.

Country doctor from Bosau: My rich patients have statutory health insurance

But one thing is important for the doctor from Bosau: “I treat private patients like them with statutory insurance.” His approach is not to judge individual patients by how much they give, how much he can get out of it. He prefers to calculate an hourly wage, “which I can live with”. However, Kibbel keeps it to himself: “A trade secret.” But he says bluntly: “I am one of those doctors with a good salary. But I will not get rich from it. “However, his rich patients are not those with private insurance, but mostly down-to-earth people who have made a conscious decision in favor of a statutory health insurance.

If he had the choice – Knut Kibbel would insure any private patient by law. Perhaps also because in addition to the financial benefits for patients, especially at a young age, he also knows about the disadvantages of private health insurance: “I have patients who have problems paying their bills. I can’t get that from a specialist anymore. Then the supply will be worse. ”

Leave a Comment