Over the years, primary care has lost its rank among the highly sought after specialties. In most cases, it is no longer considered a glamorous career choice for a physician. Many medical school graduates are seeking more prestigious and financially lucrative specialties. However, there are some real advantages to choosing primary care over other medical disciplines. There are good reasons to think differently about primary care. Here are the top five reasons to consider a career as a primary care physician:
5. Job Stability
Most analysts agree that the full implementation of healthcare reform will result in a high demand for primary care physicians for the foreseeable future. We already have a shortage of primary care doctors; things will only be made worse as millions more access the healthcare system. You can establish your own primary care practice or take any of the physician jobs open at group practices, hospitals and clinics. You will never lack for work as a primary care physician.
4. More Relaxed Environment
The primary care physician sees families and children more than any other kind of patient. This tends to lead to a more relaxed environment that is not as stressful on a personal or professional level. It is certainly not as stressful as being in the OR for 12 to 15 hours at a time. Yes, you will still put in some long hours, but you also have the opportunity to talk to some kids and put a smile on the faces of their parents.
3. Better Staff Relationships
Our third reason relates primarily to those who own their own practices or work in group practices of limited size. Primary care physicians seem to enjoy a more cooperative environment with their office staff, in which everyone is working together for the good of the patient. Having the same team for a long period of time builds solid relationships throughout the office versus some other specialties that experience constant changes in staff.
2. Daily Variety
The one thing primary care has over nearly every other specialty is daily variety. The cardiologist only deals with heart disease. The oncologist is a cancer specialist. However, the primary care physician deals with everything from the common cold to rare tropical diseases. If you like a variety of challenges, you are certainly going to find plenty of them in primary care.
1. Personal Satisfaction
Perhaps the number one complaint among doctors of all specialties is the lack of personal satisfaction in their work. Primary care physicians have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with their patients, to interact with entire families and watch them grow; they get to to see the impact of their work over time, which can be very gratifying.
It is true that primary care physician jobs are not for everyone. But be honest with yourself: When you first decided to be a doctor, what did you imagine? If you envisioned working in a small, family practice oriented office, helping people of all ages, then primary care may be the fulfillment of your lifelong dream.