A family doctor or a physician is the one who provides the first accommodation to families when they have check – ups, health problems, and other health care needs. Part of their job is to conduct assessments and treatments to a wide range of injuries and illnesses, and also providing vaccinations and preventive care. In cases where they have a patient with serious condition which is out of the scope of their expertise, family physicians can refer the patient to other specialists or health care institutes to cater his or her condition. Apart from the things mentioned, part of the job of family doctors is to function as a healer, counselor, friend, and could also be a family member in some instances.
What does it take to be a Family Doctor?
Education and Training Requirements
Among any other occupations, the formal education and training for physicians are the most demanding and most difficult because it would take years before they can fully become a doctor with specialization. The first step in the process is to undergo 4 years of study in an undergraduate school followed by another 4 years of medical school. Next to that is spending another 3 to 8 years of internship and residency which would be dependent on the chosen field of specialty. On the other hand, there few medical schools who offer a combination of undergraduate and medical study programs that only lasts for 6 years than the usual 8 years.
The premedical students must complete the subjects required in undergraduate study which include biology, English, mathematics, physics, organic and inorganic chemistry. In addition to that, students also take minor subjects such as humanities and the social sciences.
The method to acquire a license to practice this profession is being required in all 50 states and the U.S. Territories. The common way to be a licensed and credentialed family doctor is through acquiring first the amount of training and degree from accredited school of medicine. Next is to complete an accredited program of family or general practice, pass the board exam, and finally, apply for a licensure state board examination.
Work Setting and Salary
Family doctors are often working at a comfortable private office. Because of that, they can extend hours in their duties. The bulk of work however, is very dependent on the nature and size of the scope of their practice. For instance, medical emergencies may require the doctors to extend and still go on duty on weekends and holidays.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are about 600,000 physicians and surgeons in U.S., and 12 percent of them are practicing family medicine. The annual median salary of a physician is roughly $180,000 way back in 2008. Salary is also dependent on the experience, credentials of the doctor, and the specialization where he or she is in.
Family doctors play a very important role in the health care system as they are the most sought out doctors by families around the world. If you want to become a family doctor, you have to meet the requirements needed and be sure that you really want this profession by heart.