Many physicians choose to specialize in a particular patient group or area of the body… but family and general practitioners work with patients of all ages and a broad range of conditions: from delivering babies and providing check-ups for school-age kids, to caring for older adults with chronic conditions. Family doctors— also called general practitioners or GPs— work in settings such as physicians’ offices and hospitals where they see patients for acute care and general health maintenance. They diagnose injuries, prescribe treatments, order tests, and interpret test results. Communication skills are essential in this field, as family doctors need to explain potentially anxiety-producing procedures and discuss test results with patients. Some GPs have surgical skills and perform procedures such as biopsies and vasectomies. In more rural areas, family practitioners have even broader duties, ranging from removing an appendix to delivering babies via C-section. They sometimes care for their patients when they are in the hospital. GPs frequently consult with other doctors, and refer patients to specialists when needed. Family practice doctors complete four years of college, four years of medical school, then a three-year residency in family medicine. Those who continue into specialty fields may train for an additional one to three years.
What they do:
Physicians who diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.
On the job, you would:
Prescribe or administer treatment, therapy, medication, vaccination, and other specialized medical care to treat or prevent illness, disease, or injury.
Order, perform, and interpret tests and analyze records, reports, and examination information to diagnose patients' condition.
Collect, record, and maintain patient information, such as medical history, reports, or examination results.
medicine and dentistry
therapy and counseling
Math and Science
Arts and Humanities
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
doctoral degree or post-doctoral training usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.