Medical Careers: Expectations Of Choosing The Path Of General Practitioner

November 6, 2021

Entering the medical profession is a huge undertaking in today’s world. And this has become especially true now that the world has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since the spring of 2020, medical professionals have been in high demand. Every staff member within a healthcare organization has become a critically functioning component in the war against COVID-19, and this trend has been forecast to continue for the foreseeable future.

Even before the onset of COVID-19, medical professionals were in high demand. Not only are nurses and physician’s assistants especially critical to a functioning healthcare unit, but they are also the helping hands of medical practitioners across the country and the world.

One career path that opens many doors for a medical professional is that of a general practitioner. Here, we will explore what you can expect if you are changing career paths, or if you choose to follow this path in your medical career. 

What Is A General Practitioner?

A general practitioner is a medical doctor who is often referred to as an internist or more commonly known as a family doctor.

General practitioners are often self-employed and operate out of their own clinics, or they work as a part of a larger team in a larger healthcare facility. Regardless of where you work as a general practitioner, you’re likely to develop long-term medical relationships with patients, and you might even see a particular patient over the course of his or her lifetime.

Primarily, a general practitioner serves as a doctor who diagnoses illnesses and provides appropriate treatment or refers a patient to a specialist for further care.

In addition, a general practitioner’s main function is to diagnose illnesses and diseases before they reach a critical stage, thus, focusing on a patient’s overall health. 

General Practitioner Salary

You can live a very comfortable life as a general practitioner. As most medical doctors in the healthcare world make well above average salaries, a general practitioner is no different.

According to studies concerning salaries within the medical field, the average salaries for general practice doctorsrange from $185,000 per year to approximately $240,000 per year. But these are just base salary models.

Many general practice doctors can make much more than what the national average reflects as a base salary. In fact, some general practice doctors make over $300,000 per year, and those in the highest salary categories can make even more.

Your salary as a general practice doctor will be affected by your geographic location, your overall training, and the type of practice you work within, i.e., a private clinic or a large healthcare conglomerate.

A Typical Day In The Life Of A General Practitioner 

You might be wondering what your average day will entail as a general practice doctor. Well, like every healthcare facility, this will depend largely on the condition of the patients that enter your facility.

As most general practitioners own and operate their own clinics, you get the luxury of setting your own hours. In fact, most general practice doctors work a typical 9-5 shift, Monday to Friday. 

You will also be able to make house calls if you so desire, which is beneficial for patients who are unable to leave their homes due to debilitating medical conditions. But, working in a large healthcare facility will be slightly different as a general practitioner.

If you choose to work for a large healthcare facility, you will be confined to hourly requirements stipulated by the company that you work for. And though you might still have a light schedule, you will still be held accountable for seeing patients under company guidelines.

A medical career can be rewarding, but it also comes with a great degree of responsibility. As a medical professional, you will be considered a first-responder in the event of an emergency. And even when you are off-duty, if an emergency arises you will be looked to when the time comes to save lives.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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