Health care is becoming an industry that is increasingly fragmented and specialized. Big paydays (and sometimes rock-star status among patients and colleagues) are hard for newly minted medical doctors to resist, so a growing number are choosing to pursue careers in orthopedic surgery, cardiology, oncology and radiology.
But, there is one area of medicine that has always attracted a group of caring and talented professionals who are dedicated to treating the entire patient: family medicine.
The nearly 125,000 family medicine physicians practicing across the United States don’t focus on a specific type of patient, organ or disease. Instead, they provide integrated care for millions of patients of all ages, genders and overall health.
If you are currently considering what type of medicine you would like to practice, consider becoming a family medicine physician.
Here’s a look at the top reasons why family medicine physicians are indispensable to our nation’s healthcare system–and why you should join their ranks:
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, family medicine physicians account for one out of every five office visits in the United States and treat nearly 200 million patients.
That’s almost 50 percent more than the next most-visited specialty area, meaning that physicians who specialize in family medicine are in high demand and enjoy incredible levels of job security.
Few physicians have the ability to positively impact both the health of individuals and the country as a whole like those who deliver primary care.
Primary care physicians are called upon to address a wide range of medical issues–from the acute to the chronic to the preventative–involving a wide range of patients. They are trained in pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, surgery and community medicine, and the more their patients see them, the lower the cost of their patients’ health care.
In addition, family medicine physicians provide the majority of care for Americans who live in traditionally under-served urban and rural areas of the country.
But, to truly understand the impact that primary care physicians have on the country’s overall health, you only need to know that the American Academy of Family Physicians says that increasing access to primary care by one family medicine physician per 10,000 people can result in:
Yes, if you truly want to make an impact as a physician, you should consider a career in family medicine.
Cardiologists focus on the cardiovascular system. Oncologists focus on cancer. Urologists specialize in diseases of the urinary tract.
Physicians who work in the area of family and primary care medicine may deal with any and all of these issues and areas of the body on any given day.
If the challenge of working with a wide range of specialty areas sounds appealing, a career in family and primary care medicine might be the right career path for you.
You will work with a patients from all walks of life who present with a wide range of diseases and healthcare concerns. You will also be able to develop deep, meaningful relationships with your patients that allow you to truly understand and manage their health care over long periods of time.
This type of variety makes you indispensable to both your the patients you treat and the hospital for which you work. That’s why many family and primary care physicians are able to set their own schedules, decide where they want to work and greatly enjoy the profession.
Elliot Health System has primary care opportunities available for dynamic providers like you. Learn more below.
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