Individuals seeking a career in general medicine undergo training in treating both acute and chronic illnesses. They often serve as a first point of contact for patients, and must be able to quickly analyze and assess patient needs and aspects of a physical, emotional, social and cultural nature and to make reliable care recommendations. Since training covers a broad range of health topics and there is high demand for this type of candidate, employment options abound as displayed by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics.
General practitioners treat physical, mental, social, and cultural aspects of patient well being. Some patients present singular issues, while others have multiple issues that require assessment. There are employment opportunities in a wide range of settings such as urgent care centers, community health centers, school or nursing home clinics, hospice programs, state supported living centers, and intermediate care facilities. There are also positions available with insurance companies, oil refineries around the world, and in organizations working with certain populations, such as the veteran population, or victims of child abuse. Home care positions are also available.
As general practitioners entertain perspective job openings, they need to keep in mind that while there are many common components of the positions, such as referring patients to specialists or protective agencies and ordering and deciphering diagnostic tests to create comprehensive care plans, there are also many differences between available jobs. One big difference is whether candidates pursue and accept a job as an employee of a practice or organization, or as a partner. This is a key difference as employees usually have benefits such as set pay and sick and holiday benefits. They also mainly focus on clinical work and have greater flexibility in switching jobs. Partners in a practices often have the chance to make higher salaries through profit sharing, but must also look at the practice from a business perspective and evaluate care quality, financial soundness, and future directions for the group. Partners usually also have a level of commitment that stipulates them remaining with the same practice for a continued time.
Whether choosing to work as an employee or as a partner, there will still be some similar job components. Organization and administration are always involved. There are tasks such as staff meetings, signing prescriptions and certificates, and reading and responding to letters that all fall under job responsibilities for most general practitioners. Lab analysis, and preparing reports are other common components. Some jobs also involve assisting in the education and on site training of interns and medical students.
Shift options for any general practitioner jobs include full time, part time, and a wide variety of hours, including rotating shifts, 4 day work weeks, and over time. There is also a variety of patient volumes to consider. Apart from hours and shift schedules, candidates must evaluate whether they seek to pursue a job that involves travel, supervisory tasks, and opportunities for advancement. Some practices are partners with other locations domestically or internationally.
Many general practitioners decide to do part time research and development on the side to enhance knowledge base, or to do volunteer work or work part time for a sports team. If seeking to be involved in research and development, it may be best to seek a position that is affiliated with a university. When seeking a job that requires specific additional experience or training, some practices and organizations are willing to accept candidates with only the general medical degree, as long as they agree to pursue and complete additional training. General practitioners can also pursue networking with others in the field by using sites such as those listed on UpCity.
Career events are often free to attend and allow for networking and learning about available health careers. There are also online networks that post job openings domestically and around the world. When seeking postings in another country, it is always best to check requirements for foreign transcript equivalency. It is a great field with many opportunities to pursue satisfying work.