What Do Family and General Practitioners Do?
A family and general practitioner is a physician who treats, diagnoses and helps prevent diseases and injuries for entire families and any aged patient. When necessary, this physician will refer patients to specialists.In the United States, this type of position is expected to see an increase of about 15%. That can translate into 4,920 job openings annually.
Family and General Practitioners Skills and Abilities
If you want to be a family and general practitioner, you should:
- Have a technical knowledge of medicine, psychology and biology.
- Be personable, able to communicate well and an active listener.
- Recognize problems and be able to solve them.
- Be able to write and read as part of your communication.
- Use inductive reasoning to figure out what is wrong with patients.
- Be able to work with patients of all ages and gender.
These skills and abilities will not only help you do the job, but they will make the job easier for you.
Family and General Practitioners Duties
As a physician in this type of position, you would be expected to:
- Treat and prevent illness, disease and injury by prescribing and administering treatment, medication, vaccination, therapy and other medical care.
- Collect, maintain and record patient information, which included family medical history, reports and test results.
- Perform, order and interpret the tests in order to diagnose patients.
- Educate patients on procedure and test results, so they understand what you are doing.
- Give patients and the community in general advice on diet, hygiene, disease prevention and activity.
- Implement, plan and manage health programs and standards in hospitals.
- Be a part of a woman’s pregnancy from performing ultrasounds to delivering the baby to treating the baby.
- Direct the schedule of nurses, medical students, assistants and other medical staff to ensure that everything in the practice runs smoothly.
- Help train and teach residents, medical students and interns.
- Stay up to date by reading medical literature, talking with colleagues and attending conferences.
- Work closely with nurses, therapists, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists and others in the healthcare industry to provide your patients with the best service.
These general duties would make up a lot of what you would do as a family and general practitioner.
Family and General Practitioners Tools and Technology
To aid you in your duties, you should be familiar with:
- Oxygen Masks
- Medical Masks
- Scope Sets
- Suture Forceps
- Surgical Scissors
- Billing Software
- Scheduling Software
- Medical Reference Software
These tools and technology along with others help you to do your duties efficiently and safely.
Education and Training for Family and General Practitioners
As with other physicians, you have to have a doctoral degree in order to become a family and general practitioner. You also have to go through an internship and residency in order to gain on the job experience. You should take courses like:
- Family Medicine Residency Program
- Osteopathic Medicine
These courses will give you the technical knowhow you need to be a general family practitioner.
Family and General Practitioners Salary
The average family and general practitioner in the United States makes $180,200. Of course, your salary will depend on where you live, your level of experience and the institution that you work for. With less experience, you may find yourself in the lower 10% making $72,200. With more experience, you may find yourself in the upper 10% making $187,200 or more.
Family and General Practitioners Jobs by Geography
The salary and job availability are greatly affected by geography. Certain areas, like Alaska, Arkansas and California, actually have a higher average salary than the United States, which may mean that you would be able to get a higher paying job sooner. California, Florida and Missouri have a higher population of family and general practitioners, but Louisiana, Georgia and Indiana are expected to see the highest increase in this type of occupation. Because of the way that geography can affect your career, you have to really think about what you want to do and where you are willing to live.