A Family Physician/Doctor serves as a primary care provider for individuals in a variety of age groups. He or she treats a wide variety of common health problems, concentrating on primary health care for the entire family. A family physician is often the first person called when a child or parent becomes ill. He or she performs an initial exam, and refers patients to specialists when necessary. The work environment for a doctor is generally indoors, in a clinic or hospital setting. Their coworkers may include but are not limited to nurses, specialists, surgeons, receptionists/office staff and other general practice doctors. Oftentimes multiple family physicians operate their practices under one roof, in a medical complex type setting. Their clients span a range of individuals, from infants to small children and teenagers all the way up through senior citizens and the elderly. The education required is extensive, and usually includes a doctoral or PhD degree as well as licensing by the medical board in the given state. Most family physicians keep routine office hours at least five days a week and sometimes on weekends. In special circumstances, doctors may work evenings and late nights as well as overnight shifts. The typical day for a family physician consists of a series of appointments with patients, usually scheduled back to back. Depending on the doctor's preference, he or she may set aside a designated lunch hour in which patients are not seen. Some prefer to reserve several hours at the end of the workday for paperwork and bookkeeping tasks.
Family Physician / Doctor Tasks
- Refer patients to specialists when necessary.
- Treat a wide variety of common health problems, concentrating on primary health care for the entire family.