First Elise Taube Medal of Honor for Dr. Karin Harre

Neuruppin, 14 February 2023

Dr. Karin Harre, family doctor with a practice in Walsleben (Ostprignitz-Ruppin) and chairperson of Brandenburg’s general practitioners’ association, is the first winner of the Medal of Honor named after Elise Taube. The physician received the newly created award from MHB president Prof. Hans-Uwe Simon at a recent ceremony on the premises of the Brandenburg Medical Association in Potsdam, in the presence of Brandenburg’s Health Minister Ursula Nonnemacher.

In his laudation Prof. Simon underlined the essential role of general medicine in the context of medical care in the region which the founders of the MHB set out to ensure and improve. Starting with the second semester, MHB students are involved in the provision of general health care, with the consequence that many students develop an early and active interest in family medicine. Graduates of the first two cohorts of medical students have already established a network for general medicine – according to Prof. Simon a clear signal of the ongoing importance of this medical specialization.

Comprehensive availability of GP care to be ensured and improved

Dr. Karin Harre directs the newly founded competence center for advanced training in general medicine (KW-BB) based at the MHB Institute for General Medicine, where the focus is on securing and improving long-term provision of general medical care in Brandenburg. Prof. Simon praised Dr. Karin Harre for her efforts towards this aim right from the start of the MHB, and for her dedication to the Brandenburg medical association and the university alike.

She is the first winner of the Elise Taube Medal of Honor which is endowed with € 1,000. The laudatory speech named her as the foremost representative of general medicine at the MHB and active member of numerous university bodies, with an outstanding talent to convey the challenges of her field, but also the specific qualities of the doctor-patient relation and the human factor in general medicine. Dr. Harre was described as a great motivator of students, passionately dedicated to the profession, to student instruction and the State of Brandenburg, and an inspiration to other colleagues to get interested in the MHB. The introduction of the Brandenburg scholarship for country doctors was based on one of her initiatives.

Medal of honor named after Elise Taube

The award was named after Elise Taube, a largely unknown physician born in Finsterwalde in 1861 and the first woman to get a medical doctor’s degree in Berlin in 1905. One of the pioneers of female physicians in Germany and then Prussia, she was exemplary for overcoming the obstacles that early in the 20th century still denied women access to the profession irrespective of their competences and performance.

Dr. Karin Harre is delighted with the award. Having taken a closer look at the life and work of Elise Taube and her successful resistance against obstacles under unfavorable conditions, she believes this tenacity is an example for imitation and ties in very well with the MHB spirit. She says an award bearing the name of a female pioneer is particularly welcome since the vast majority of honors are named after males.

The MHB awards the Elise Taube Medal of Honor on recommendation of the MHB executive committee. Eligible for nomination are persons who show active commitment to the university in various ways or particular dedication to healthcare issues in the MHB context.

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Media contact:
Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane
Head of Communications, University Spokesman
Phone: +49 3391 39-14160

Dr. Karin Harre with the first Elise Taube Medal of Honor (Photo: Christian Wehry/KVBB)