Family Medicine Physicians

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Also known as:
Board Certified Family Physician, Family Medicine Physician, Family Physician, Family Practice Medical Doctor (FP MD), Family Practice Physician (FP Physician), Family Practitioner, Medical Doctor (MD), Medical Staff Physician, Physician, Primary Care Physician

ABOUT FAMILY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

Many physicians choose to specialize in a particular patient group or area of the body... but family and general practitioners work with patients of all ages and a broad range of conditions: from delivering babies and providing check-ups for school-age kids, to caring for older adults with chronic conditions. Family doctors also called general practitioners or GPs work in settings such as physicians' offices and hospitals where they see patients for acute care and general health maintenance. They diagnose injuries, prescribe treatments, order tests, and interpret test results. Communication skills are essential in this field, as family doctors need to explain potentially anxiety-producing procedures and discuss test results with patients. Some GPs have surgical skills and perform procedures such as biopsies and vasectomies. In more rural areas, family practitioners have even broader duties, ranging from removing an appendix to delivering babies via C-section. They sometimes care for their patients when they are in the hospital. GPs frequently consult with other doctors, and refer patients to specialists when needed. Family practice doctors complete four years of college, four years of medical school, then a three-year residency in family medicine. Those who continue into specialty fields may train for an additional one to three years.

SNAPSHOT
Diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Train residents, medical students, and other health care professionals.

Plan, implement, or administer health programs or standards in hospitals, businesses, or communities for prevention or treatment of injury or illness.

Advise patients and community members concerning diet, activity, hygiene, and disease prevention.

Prescribe or administer treatment, therapy, medication, vaccination, and other specialized medical care to treat or prevent illness, disease, or injury.

Explain procedures and discuss test results or prescribed treatments with patients.

Coordinate work with nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, and other health care providers.

Order, perform, and interpret tests and analyze records, reports, and examination information to diagnose patients' condition.

Monitor patients' conditions and progress and reevaluate treatments as necessary.

Refer patients to medical specialists or other practitioners when necessary.

Collect, record, and maintain patient information, such as medical history, reports, or examination results.

Direct and coordinate activities of nurses, students, assistants, specialists, therapists, and other medical staff.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
TOP SKILLS
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.