Bitter-Suermann studied medicine and sciences at Würzburg University, Göttingen University and Kiel University. In Würzburg he became a member of the German Student Corps Nassovia and in Göttingen he joined the Corps Hannovera (1960). In 1965 he accomplished his studies and summa cum laude graduated Dr. med. in Göttingen.
Bitter-Suermann had his clinical education in Germany and Sweden, i. e. in Kiel, Kiruna and Haparanda. At Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, he worked as Honorary Senior Registrar and Transplant Fellow with Roy Yorke Calne. His research interests focused on induction of transplantation tolerance and organ preservation.
He returned to Sweden and in 1974 joined the Department of Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital. In 1975 the Gothenburg University granted him the Ph.D. summa cum laude and in 1976 entitled him lecturer in transplant surgery.
Funded by the Swedish Cancer Society, Bitter-Suermann in 1976/77 was Visiting Scientist to the Cancer Research Unit, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He performed research in spleen grafts versus chemically induced tumours in rats.
From 1977 through 1982 he was staff of the Department of Pathology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Supported by the National Institutes of Health he studied the mechanisms of spleen graft induced transplantation tolerance in guinea pigs, and islet transplantation in rats. At the same time he worked as Visiting Scientist in the Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland. In 1977 he was approved Associate Professor and in 1981 Professor of Georgetown University.
He left Georgetown University Medical Center in 1982 and became Professor of Surgery of Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre and I.W.K. Hospital for Children he engaged himself in kidney, liver and pancreas transplantation. He initiated the Liver Transplant Program for Atlantic Canada, then Canada's third program, and founded the Liver Transplant Institute, a fund-raising charity for research.
After twenty-four years in Halifax he returned to Germany and in 2007 was elected Director of Dialysis Surgery, Department of Surgery, Mannheim Medical School.
As a member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Bitter-Suermann represented Chester-St. Margaret's in the 57th General Assembly of Nova Scotia from 1998 to 1999, first as a Progressive and then as a New Democratic member.
- Dissertation: Untersuchungen der Carotispulskurve bei congenitalen Aortenstenosen (Evaluation of carotid pulse curves in congenital aortic stenosis)
- Thesis: Splenic transplantation in rats
- NIH grants #AI 16106 and AM 27469