Mr Schmitgen graduated from the University of Dusseldorf (Germany) in 1990, he then worked as an army surgeon for 6 years, including 2 years in the UK and 1 year in a specialist orthopaedic unit t Army Hospital, Kiel.
He completed his Higher Specialist training in 1991 following training with Prof Haasters (Orthopaedic/ Sports injury Unit, Specialist Orthopaedic Hospital, Schleswig-Holstein) and Prof Holland (Orthopaedic Rheumatology and Joint Replacement Unit, Emmerich) and Fellowships in Germany, Sweden, England and Belgium.
After passing his Specialist exam (FRCS Orth) he returned to Antwerp to work at the University Hospital of Antwerp to train in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hand Surgery and extend his skills in Arthroscopic surgery, Sports Injuries and Traumatology before taking up a post as a junior and later Senior Consultant and completing his training in Orthopaedic Rheumatology in Germany (1994).
Mr Schmitgen was offered a post at Burnley General Hospital as Consultant in Trauma & Orthopaedics in 1995 to build up an Arthroscopy Unit. He very quickly gained a reputation as an outstanding arthroscopist, introducing arthroscopic techniques to the North West. He was invited to the North West Upper Limb Group and has been at the forefront of introducing, teaching and establishing new operative techniques in knee and upper limb surgery.
Keeping true to his interest in Rheumatoid Arthritis Surgery, he established joint cinics with Rheumatologists, offering a range of specialist operations. In 1999 after presenting at the EULAR conference in Glasgow, he was made a member of ERASS (European Rheumatoid Arthritis Surgery Society).
Mr Schmitgen has several publications in peer reviewed International journals, has presented and run surgical workshops at several international conferences, and has hosted international fellows for arthroscopic surgery.
Having been actively involved in the development of the Orthopaedic Department of East Lancashire Hospital Trust, including as Clinical Director, he retired from the NHS hospital in 2014 and is now exclusively working in the private sector.
His Medico-legal Practice in the UK started in 1995, providing mainly combined reports. Before this he provided Medico – legal reports in Belgium and Germany for the courts and insurance companies