I fear nothing in my career future and the job is incredibly rewarding. If you do- then that's probably the right place for you. To piggyback on this, the only reason there is so much buzz about PAs, NPs, provider status for pharmacists, is because there is a huge shortage of GP/FM physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. Really interested in FM, but all this talk about mid-levels, paperwork, and salary keeps me questioning if it's worth it. You know, I thought about this question about which specialty you'd want on a desert island. Every week I get offers from all over the country for work (I'm happy where I am, though). Small town. I HATE the paperwork. I made 195,000 outpatient in a major urban center. That's probably the one thing that keeps me doing what I do. I believe family medicine is the heart and soul of the medical field. There is SO much about this specialty that sucks. That wasn't me. Getting the right exposure to a specialty in medical school is critical to making decisions regarding the next step in in our training. Patients can see it, and many have become dear friends. Despite a busy practice, I find I have the time I need to spend with my wife and our growing family. The broad scope of the specialty makes it possible for a physician to find a niche that fits his or her unique needs and practice style. I've thought about moving at times to New Zealand. The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when the blog is updated. I'm all about want to move around a lot and have the attention span of WAIT WHAT IS THAT but had I had a different personality I would seriously consider GP. Come to think of it leg pain is easily one of the most common chief complaints I've gotten as a family doc, and the possible causes cover at least 4-5 body systems. We've seen that diagnosis before and we've dealt with that problem. Even the smallest of inquiries returned multiple good job offers for me. Family medicine is “not some weird science program,” he added. This is the kind of community involvement that I can't imagine any other specialities would have. Otherwise 7% of your people would die of appys and 2% would die of choles. We're not going to do a bowel resection, but we can sew up a wound, do a biopsy, set a bone, treat trauma. With just a brain and your hands, Family Doctors are the most capable of any other specialty. It encompasses pieces of all the specialties and is the doorway by which many patients get more specialized care. As family doctors, we provide something intangible and unquantifiable, which subspecialists cannot match, nor can algorithms or protocols replace. Urgent care, rural ED, hospitalist, sports, wilderness, OB, LTC med director, policy work, and oh yeah - primary care - are all opportunities that you can mix and match as you see fit to enjoy your career. They are one of the only specialties with increasing income in the US. What you get with Family Med is an opportunity to do a lot of different jobs. Kurt Bravata, M.D., is a family physician who practices primary care, geriatric medicine and addiction recovery in rural southwest Missouri. All rights Reserved. You have (or will have) training that sets you apart, your job description and abilities are different. I am FM about to start my OB fellowship so I can apply for some certain jobs. You need to choose a field based on what you enjoy, then you can use your energy to shape the field toward a safe future. I am paid 315,000 for hospitalist locums with a 12 month contract, 14-15 days a month. And they have basic medical skills too. GP/paeds/gen med/EM/forensics are all p great. Match season is complex—especially this year. No call, no weekend. I have been working in health care since I was a teenager. Docs on site are great too. Also. (2) Don't worry about salary. Look at average wages, FM docs make around $200k a year for outpt, and if you work in a rural area or do hospitalist work that's an underestimation, and everyone seems to do loan repayment as an employment benefit. This person quoted a stat with no reference that I believe is incorrect. In fact, they all said they wish they could do the same,” said one doctor. I did all this while collaborating with four midlevel providers who assist me in providing coverage in the nursing home, urgent care and addiction center. 2 years ago I get your point, but I honestly want to email my Japanese friend and ask him this question out of curiosity. No one told me this could be my future. That means most every form, every refill, every note from every specialist, pharmacy, DME provider, every FMLA paperwork is our responsibility. by Kurt Bravata, M.D. If you are like me and know you made the right choice, consider precepting students in your own practice. May we always remain at the heart of primary care, bringing highly integrated comprehensive health care and preventive medicine to the modern age. We are eager to learn and many of us strive to expand our scope of practice, but we are comfortable with what we don't know and are always ready and willing to consult with subspecialists or refer if needed. What if I had missed that experience? edit: I know it's gauche to complain about downvotes, but really? It’s the second-largest specialty, behind internal medicine. It's about relationships and caring for entire families across multiple generations. Some people may think that not being on top of minutiae … I have been working in health care since I was a teenager, but I didn't initially plan to be a primary care physician. Maintain inpatient/hospitalist privileges- >$200,000. Is my interest in inpatient medicine a problem? This is accurate. Family Med continues to be the highest recruited field despite the fallacy that family docs are "the poor students" or "foreign grads." We've seen that diagnosis before and we've dealt with that problem. With FMX On Demand, you can access recorded FMX sessions led by family medicine experts, and earn up to 155 enduring CME credits. We are the where the buck stops with our patient's medical care. 50 hour weeks. Two pieces of advice to you: (1) Do not look at PAs/NPs/midwives/CRNAs etc as competition because really they are not. We have obstetric skills, newborn skills, pediatric skills, teen, adult and geriatric skills. I love what I do, and that makes all the difference in the world. Prior to that rotation, my idea of life as a family physician was one of long hours traipsing between house calls, setting broken bones and responding to distress calls from worried moms in the dead of winter. Look at job postings, the demand for FM docs is insane. The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. We're not going to do a bowel resection, but we can sew up a wound, do a biopsy, set a bone, treat trauma. You make a great point, the girl who had the highest step score I personally know (267) went into Family Medicine; she probably could've gotten her pick of the litter in almost any other field, but Family Med is what will make her happy with a nice salary to boot. In retrospect, I have found family medicine to be the embodiment of everything I ever thought life as a physician should be, but not necessarily what I thought it would be. Please read the rules carefully before posting or commenting. In fact, it was an interest in surgery that led me to medical school. I was also intimidated by the thought that primary care was so general that it required an immense knowledge base. We are family physicians. So why do it? Hear about the perks of the profession straight from the MDs who know firsthand. So how did I get here? This week, in addition to receiving a couple of thank you notes, I was hugged by two patients. No other speciality can say that. Happily, I have found family medicine to be surprisingly adaptable and immensely rewarding, both financially and as a career path. Some students are drawn to primary care and get connected to family medicine early, or they might find their calling at an event like the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. Honestly, it's the ONE thing that helps me put up with all the other shit I deal with. During a different week, I might be traveling to meet with state representatives or to give a talk to a local organization or physician group about treating alcoholism and opioid dependence in primary care.
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