Among the different options for locum tenens physicians are the many family medicine jobs at private practices, group practices, and hospitals. Indeed, family medicine is considered the cornerstone of medicine by many people who practice it. Even doctors not planning to stay in family medicine for their entire careers would benefit from taking a few locum assignments at some point.
According to the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians, 25% of the visits paid to their members every year are family medicine visits. That equates to 214 million office visits, which happens to be 74 million more than the second-place specialty. There is no reason to believe that the numbers are any different nationwide.
The numbers clearly dictate just how important family medicine is in the U.S. Equally important are the locum tenens doctors who fill out the ranks of permanent placement family practitioners from coast-to-coast. So, how about you? Are you currently in family medicine or hoping to get into the field? Below are three great reasons to choose family medicine as either a locum or someone looking to land a more permanent position.
1. Family Medicine Is Personal Medicine
Where every other medical specialty is tailored to a specific demographic with specific needs, family medicine is the only form of medicine that is broad and generic enough to encompass the largest single patient base. As such, it is highly personal medicine by its very nature.
Family medicine practitioners treat a full range of patients across every demographic boundary. They treat patients of both sexes, all ethnicities, multiple socioeconomic backgrounds, different educational levels, and so on. It doesn’t matter what demographic you come up with, family medicine treats it. This can be extremely rewarding to the doctor looking to offer the broadest scope of care possible.
2. Family Medicine Is Comprehensive Medicine
Family medicine practitioners, whether they are locums or practice owners, undergo an extensive amount of training to prepare them for practice. The training doesn’t stop at the conclusion of residency. Because of the vast number of things family medicine doctors have to address, they must constantly continue learning and growing. This makes family medicine one of the most comprehensive forms of practice. Doctors have to be ready for just about anything.
As a side note, family medicine doctors continue their formal training after residency. They go on to choose one of six areas of care including pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, general surgery, etc.
3. Family Medicine Is Preventative Medicine
The nature of our health insurance system dictates that the average patient will not see a specialist unless and until there is a legitimate need. They can see their family practice doctors anytime they want. As such, we have created a system in which family medicine doctors do their best to help patients prevent having to see a specialist.
Family medicine doctors try to help their patients understand the importance of eating better. They work with them on exercise programs and strategies for bringing down high blood pressure. They work with them to control diabetes, diverticulitis, and on and on. There is as much prevention going on in the average family medicine office as there is treatment for current maladies.
There is a lot to be said about family medicine as the cornerstone of our medical system. Whether you agree that it is, the one thing that cannot be denied is that the demand for family medicine doctors continues to grow. Locum tenens doctors are also in high demand. It is a good field to get into right now.