Career Detail


Physicians and Surgeon
Physicians and surgeons diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease.
The Job
There are two types of physicians: M.D.-Doctor of Medicine-and D.O.-Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. M.D.s also are known as allopathic physicians. While both M.D.s and D.O.s may use all accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, D.O.s place special emphasis on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care.
Work Environment
Many physicians-primarily general and family practitioners, general internists, pediatricians, OB/GYNs, and psychiatrists-work in small private offices or clinics.
College Majors
People who wish to become physicians must have a desire to serve patients, be self-motivated, and be able to survive the pressures and long hours of medical education and practice.
Minimum Qualifications
The common path to practicing as a physician requires 8 years of education beyond high school and 3 to 8 additional years of internship and residency. All States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories license physicians.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Quick Facts
  • Many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular hours; more than one-third of full-time physicians worked 60 hours or more a week in 2006.
  • Acceptance to medical school is highly competitive.
  • Formal education and training requirements are among the most demanding of any occupation, but earnings are among the highest.
  • Job opportunities should be very good, particularly in rural and low-income areas.
Compensation and Outlook
Earnings of physicians and surgeons are among the highest of any occupation.Earnings of physicians and surgeons are among the highest of any occupation. According to the Medical Group Management Association's Physician Compensation and Production Survey, median total compensation for physicians varied by their type of practice. In 2008, physicians practicing primary care had total median annual compensation of $186,044, and physicians practicing in medical specialties earned total median annual
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  Represents $30K  Each represents salary of $15K

Job Growth Outlook
Hyper growth industry Hyper growth industry
Average growth Average growth
Declining job market Declining job market
No growth No growth
Dead end profession dead end profession

H.S. diploma H.S. diploma
BA Degree BA Degree
Masters Degree Masters Degree
Doctorate,MD,PHD,JD Doctorate,MD,PHD,JD

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