Five Reasons To Consider Choosing Primary Care As Your Specialty
With a severe physician shortage already affecting healthcare in the United States, the American Association of Medical Colleges now projects a 94,000 doctor deficit within the next decade. What has enhanced this problem is the fact that many medical students are now choosing to enter subspecialties, as opposed to primary care.
But there are many benefits that come with going into primary care that many future doctors don’t realize. Here are a couple great reasons to become a primary care doc!
No matter what medical trends come and go, people will inevitably always need basic healthcare, and therefore will always need a primary care physician. And with the current physician shortage, primary care doctors are even more in demand today. No matter where you live, no matter what demographic you serve, primary care is undoubtedly the most fundamental part of human healthcare.
Many doctors who go into primary care do so because they love the human interaction and relationships they build with their patients over time. Seeing patients continuously over years and years allows primary care physicians to really get to know their patients, not just in terms of medicine and health, but on a personal level as well. This doctor-patient relationship not usually seen in subspecialties makes helping patients that much more fulfilling.
Job Opportunities and Diversity:
Unlike most subspecialties which require sole focus on specific procedures aimed at a single part of the body, primary care allows for the opportunity to learn about and explore many different areas of medicine. “I can do as many procedures as I prefer or refer patients to specialists,” says Dr. Kathryn Boling of Mercy Medical Center of Baltimore, Md. “Because I enjoy performing procedures, I do all kinds of them from simple suturing and removing skin lesions to joint injections.”
Variety of Work Environments:
As a primary care physician, you have the opportunity to experience multiple different job settings, whether it be self-employed in your own private practice, working in a multi-specialty group, practicing under locum tenens, and more. Having different employment options allows for good flexibility in allowing individuals to pick the work environment that best suits his or her lifestyle.
Prevent Illnesses As Well As Treat Them:
People see doctors even when they’re not sick. When you’re the professional someone goes to for their yearly check-up, you play an active role in helping patient make good choices to lead a healthy life. From family planning, to healthy eating, to educating patients on why they should stop smoking, the advice and guidance of primary care physicians is paramount in helping patients not get sick in the first place. Boling explains, “While practicing this kind of medicine may not come with the same kind of glory that an interventional cardiologist gets when he opens a clogged artery, it saves lives and improves the quality of life.”