Family medicine physicians are one of the three specialties of primary care. They are often the first point of contact for many patients who feel sick or have medical questions. Some patients stick with their family doctor for 30 years!
Family doctors have been called “the jack of all trades” because they are trained in delivering babies and taking care of babies, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. Family medicine is the comprehensive care for the full spectrum of different patients.
Just how much do family physicians make? Let’s narrow our focus to the most common kinds of family doctors, which are the kinds who see an average of 20-30 patients per day for a hospital or their own clinic. Let’s also narrow our focus to whether you are starting off in family medicine or have been seasoned over the years. These are the salaries you can get as a family physician :
- Right out of residency – $161,000
- Maximum salary reported – $239,000
If you plan to practice obstetrics, then you can add an extra 10 – 20 thousand dollars.
Salary.com reports the national average to be $172,627. As you can see from their bell curve, the majority of jobs have been reported to gross $152,858 to $198,882.
So those numbers are for the traditional family physician. There are a few other kinds of practices that family doctors can do and that will earn a significantly more amount of money. Have you heard of concierge medicine or direct-pay practices? Family physicians can earn $300,000 to $500,000 or more. I’ll talk about that in another post.
A family medicine residency is 3 years long. If afterwards, you want to continue specializing, you can do a multitude of fellowships. The most common fellowships for family medicine include obstetrics, women’s health, geriatrics, and sports medicine
Currently, there are 451 family medicine residency programs that offer a total of 2,730 spots. With the growing shortage of primary care physicians, we are seeing more spots in family medicine open annually. Just since last year there were 100 new spots!
I’m a family medicine doctor myself about to graduate from residency. I found the national average for family physicians to be fairly accurate from a personal standpoint. I’ll be making $160,000 to start. Family medicine has been a rewarding experience for me and I’m looking forward to my career in it. If you like talking to people and dealing with a little bit of everything, family medicine is for you.