Apparently German doctors go on strike almost as often as American doctors buy BMWs. (Google "german doctors strike" and the stories go back for more than a decade.) They've just done it again, last week, to protest their low pay and up to 9 nights on call per month.
According to Lancet, new doctors in Germany make $4,800 a month. Not residents -- practicing physicans. The poor Miststücks are paid the lowest among physicians in 11 Western countries, according to an independent economic analysis. (These income estimates may be falsely low, some argue, since in Germany, der Mediziner can work outside the public system to also take income-boosting private patients. The doctors counter that they used to be able to do that, but not anymore, with their growing workloads.)
From the German Deutsche Welle:
On Wednesday afternoon, several dozen physicians stood outside the University Hospital of Cologne, cleaning the windows of stopped cars. The action was meant to show that they are treated more like menial labor than highly trained professionals.
Well played, Herr Doktor.
Their system is different from ours, so who am I to judge. But the next time I complain about my lot in life here in the U.S. (which will probably be in about 5 minutes) -- please smack me.