The looming shortage of primary care physicians is giving clinicians considering family practice more choices than ever before. Primary care providers remain the hub of the healthcare wheel, serving as a referral source for specialty providers while making a big impact in the community. Choosing a career as a primary physician isn’t right for everyone, but this article will share three reasons why choosing to be a family practitioner may be the right choice for you.
Reason 1: You Can Choose Your Practice
The American Association of Medical Colleges projects the primary care physician shortage will range between 21,100 and 55,200 by 2032. For a medical student considering their choice of specialties, this means their skills in the family practice field will be in demand more than ever. While primary care traditionally has offered a lower salary range than surgical or other specialty areas, the looming shortage means physicians will have more lucrative opportunities available virtually anywhere they would like to practice. Family practice doctors are already in high demand across the country in physician settings. As we near 2030, the competition for these doctors will increase, which will certainly raise salaries, sign-on bonuses and other perks the average primary care provider will receive.
Reason 2: You Want to Give Back
General primary care brings doctors in contact with entire families, often in community settings where the work is highly valued and appreciated. Primary care is a holistic practice, and for the generalist, the challenges of facing a wide range of diagnoses can be highly appealing over specializing in one area of treatment. One primary care doctor stated he selected the profession because, “It wasn’t the pneumonia in room 300—it was Mrs. Smith who had pneumonia, and also had some personal issues with her family. It had variety, it was challenging, and it had a humanistic approach.” Family practice doctors in many cases are truly the closest to the original concept of healthcare, which was always a service-oriented profession. The primary care doctor is in service to their community and the families that live there.
Reason 3: You Love the Variety
Family medicine is a generalist specialty, which requires the clinician practice pediatrics and obstetrics, urgent care, dermatology, palliative care and more. The options for your practice include in-patient hospital settings, rural community health clinics or urban teaching hospitals. The practice lets primary care doctors expand their knowledge across many fields without requiring a fellowship. For doctors that find themselves bored after two-week rotations, primary care could be the right choice.
Primary Care Stigma?
An in-Training article geared toward medical students recently sought to define some of the stigma associated with family practice. They listed the arguments medical students often hear when they consider primary care, like “You’ll never pay off your loans that way,” or “You want to deal with blood pressure all day?”
However, the author said the primary care practice is highly rewarding and counseled medical students to go with their gut if they felt a calling to serve their community in family practice.
If you’re exploring primary care, connect with the executive recruiters at UHC Solutions to discuss opportunities in community health. We’re standing by to help you make the right choices for your career.