Family medicine is a sub-specialty of primary care that provides comprehensive health care to individuals and their families. Most family medicine specialists are also primary care physicians. In this field, doctors focus on the prevention and treatment of common illnesses and injuries that affect families.
There are many factors to consider when choosing this career, but do know that most find it extremely fulfilling and worthwhile (once they’ve gotten into the union, of course). Learn more about the educational requirements, compensation, and career options.
A physician treats patients from newborns to the elderly and is often the first doctor they see. They are trained to diagnose and treat various conditions, and they can also refer patients to specialists when necessary. Other medical specialties include gynecology and internal medicine. These two fields focus on treating both adults and children, while surgery focuses on basic surgical techniques.
In South Africa, the specialty is well established, with postgraduate programs beginning in 1968 at the University of Pretoria. In addition, community-based training has been introduced in all of the country’s eight medical schools. In Nigeria, training for family medicine jobs began in the early 1980s in government and church hospitals. Several regions now have part-time diploma programs of 18 months that include lectures and practicals.
The shortage of physicians has prompted several studies that seek to identify factors that may impact the selection of primary care physicians. Some of these studies have examined whether personality factors may influence interest in a specialty. Students in rural longitudinal integrated clerkships are more likely to want to specialize in family medicine than students who do not.
In rural communities, physicians are often the only health care providers in the community. Some physicians also perform surgery and care for seriously ill patients in hospital intensive care units. In these circumstances, they may even staff a hospital or coordinate comprehensive care through a multispecialty group. The scope of practice of a physician may vary, but there are several main types.
Aspiring physicians can pursue a career in family medicine by completing a residency. The residency process takes three to five years, depending on the specialty, and involves hands-on training in a hospital under the direction of a senior doctor. During the residency, future physicians gain valuable experience in the field, explore different fields, and interact with medical students and other health care providers.
A physician may also choose to become a teaching physician. This role involves working as an attending in a clinical rotation, serving as a community preceptor, and teaching medical students. In addition, a physician may choose to pursue fellowship training in an area of interest. For instance, some physicians choose to work exclusively in hospital emergency rooms.
While the scope of family medicine career options is large, one important trait unifying them is their commitment to serving their local community. For some, that may mean transitioning into a non-clinical role, like Dr. Doggett did. Others, like Dr. Raspa, are content with serving their community as a physician.
Besides general family practice, physicians may also opt to work in hospitals, clinics, and other settings that serve underserved populations. Some physicians may work for the government or for nonprofit organizations, such as the Indian Health Service. Others may serve as consultants on grant projects, guide task forces, and participate in health disparities research.
Incentives for family medicine faculty have been a subject of discussion for years. However, few studies have evaluated the impact of ICSs on faculty motivation and satisfaction. This study aims to shed light on ICSs and their impact on faculty retention, satisfaction, and motivation. It also examines the impact of ICSs on the compensation of faculty in family medicine.
The survey, conducted by the Medical Group Management Association, surveyed 2021 medical groups and found that median compensation for family medicine increased 4%. This increase is higher than the 5.9% increase expected for primary care physicians. The survey also found that RVUs were lower than in 2018. The survey also found that W-RVUs were highest in the South and the East.
Family medicine compensation is one of the lowest among physician specialties, but it is still on the rise. According to this survey, the average salary for a physician in New York-Manhattan was $234,000 in 2014 and a bit higher than the U.S. median. While this is still among the lowest of all physician specialties, it has risen from the $231 median of last year’s survey.
The survey also looked at the satisfaction of physicians with their compensation. The survey revealed that physicians who earn higher salaries were more satisfied with their pay. However, the survey also found that the satisfaction of younger versus older physicians was lower. Younger physicians in infectious diseases, rheumatology, and internal medicine reported lower satisfaction than their older counterparts.