Career Detail

Doctors - Family & General Practitioners
“Hey Doc, I'm Sick”
Often provide the first point of contact for people seeking health care, by acting as the traditional family doctor.
The Job
Family and General Practice Doctors assess and treat a wide range of conditions, from sinus and respiratory infections to broken bones. Family and general practitioners typically have a base of regular, long-term patients. These doctors refer patients with more serious conditions to specialists or other health care facilities for more intensive care. Many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular hours. Over one-third of full-time physicians and surgeons worked 60 hours or more a week in 2006. Only 8 percent of all physicians and surgeons worked part-time, compared with 15 percent for all occupations. Physicians and surgeons must travel frequently between office and hospital to care for their patients. While on call, a physician will deal with many patients' concerns over the phone and make emergency visits to hospitals or nursing homes.
Work Environment
Most work in small private offices or clinics, often assisted by a small staff of nurses and other administrative personnel. Increasingly, physicians are practicing in groups or health organizations.
College Majors
M.D.-Doctor of Medicine-and D.O.-Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Minimum Qualifications
4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years of internship and residency.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Be self-motivated, survive the pressures and long hours of medical education and practice. Emotional stability, and the ability to make decisions in emergencies.
Quick Facts
  • Job opportunities should be very good, particularly in rural and low-income areas.
  • Acceptance to medical school is highly competitive
  • education and training requirements are among the most demanding of any occupation, but earnings are among the highest.
  • More than one-third of full-time physicians worked 60 hours or more a week in 2006.
Compensation and Outlook
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 compensation of $339,738.
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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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