Family medicine physicians manage illnesses and long-term health in kids and adults. They’re more commonly known as primary care physicians. It may not be the first specialty you think of when considering becoming a doctor, but there are nine reasons to become a family medicine physician.
You’ll Get a Lot of Variety
Each day will bring something different in this field. You can deal with a range of issues including:
- Respiratory and sinus infections.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Cancer screenings.
- Common injuries like minor cuts and sprains.
Boring days are few and far between in this practice.
You Can Find Work Anywhere
Family medicine physicians are needed everywhere, so there’s no shortage of places you could work.
- Practice Match lists over 1500 family medicine jobs in 49 states.
- Family medicine practitioners are the most sought-after specialists by employers.
- Family physicians are the backbone of rural areas with less access to medical care.
The availability of work gives you more options to choose from when deciding on a place to live and practice.
You’re Not Likely to Be Sued
Family medicine practitioners are five-times less likely to be sued than their peers in other specialties like general surgery. Only about 40% of family practitioners report being sued in their careers.
You’ll Build Lasting Relationships
As a family medicine practitioner, you’ll have a very unique relationship with your patients.
- You’ll treat whole families.
- You’ll get to learn about your patient’s family, job, and hobbies.
- You’ll be their most trusted source of health information.
It will be up to you to make treatment plans and be an advocate for your patients.
You’ll Get to Keep Patients Healthy
A large part of being a family practitioner is preventative medicine. Instead of just seeing your patients when they’re sick, you get to perform wellness visits and keep them healthy. You’re the person who prevents them from needing more invasive medical care.
You’ll Have a Good Work-Life Balance
Family practitioners have more schedule options than their peers.
- You can find options for part-time work.
- You can have fewer nights on call.
- You’ll work fewer hours than some of your peers. Hectic schedules are one of the cons of cardiology, for example.
- You have the option to work in a traditional nine-to-five environment if you choose to.
Scheduling will depend on where you work, but in general, you’ll have more control of your work life than other healthcare professionals.
You’re the First Line of Defense
As the first person patients report to, you’re the one who detects issues such as:
- New illnesses spreading in your area.
- Flu outbreaks.
- Large cases of food or other poisonings that point to a problem in the area.
- You’ll also detect larger health problems in patients and find them the care they need.
Your role as the local doctor is a big one, especially in rural areas.
You’ll Get Satisfaction from Your Work
Every day when you go to work, you’ll know you’re improving people’s lives. In many cases, you’re what stands between your patients and extensive medical work, or death. The preventative care you provide keeps your patients and community healthy.
You Won’t Have to Worry About Money
Medicine is often a high-salary field to go into, and family medicine is no exception.
- The average family medicine physician in the U.S. makes $209,000 a year.
- The average in-state cost of medical school is about $148,000.
- You could potentially make more money in one year than you spent on your entire medical school education.
While money isn’t everything, it is nice to know you won’t have to worry about it.
Now that you’ve read the nine reasons to become a family medicine physician, you can decide if the path is right for you. There are many job openings, and one of them could be paging you.