Medical students often construe general medicine as a tedious, unchallenging and a quaint field. Many medical students steer clear of this specialty in favor of more intriguing facets of medicine. In fact in the United States alone, primary care is one of the most demanding career options. Primary care providers make up the top 6% of earners in the United States, making it an economically viable and rewarding profession.
According to recent data published by the Association of America Medical Colleges, in the United States, a deficit running the gamut of 14,800 and 49,300 primary care physicians is projected by 2030. This gaping chasm makes pursuing a career in primary care a lucrative and prudent decision.
Primary care gives you myriad career options to choose from, including employment in a multi-specialty group or in a small private clinical setting, practicing under a locum tenens agreement, or working under a direct primary care model. You have the option to focus on geriatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, lifestyle medicine or internal medicine. In a nutshell, the field of primary care offers the pertinent skills and training to allow you to create a practice tailored to your interests and needs at every stage of your career.
If you aspire to a career in primary care, here are a few primary care specialties that fulfill the general medical needs of specific patient populations. Learning in detail about each specialty will help you make an informed decision as to which field fits in with your skillsets and interests.
Geriatric medicine deals with the comprehensive facets of health and illness related to the elderly. Being a geriatrician, you will be responsible for providing complete medical care to aged people suffering from a host of medical conditions. They work closely with general physicians and professionals in multidisciplinary teams to offer a patient-centric and holistic approach.
Geriatricians create effective treatment plans for problems faced by senior citizens and put their best efforts to promote their health. In addition, you will find myriad medical settings to work in, such as rehabilitation centers, outpatient departments, daycare units, old age homes, acute care wards, long-term wards, medical assessment units and more.
Pediatricians are doctors who are responsible for dealing with infants, children and adolescents. These primary care consultants specialize in diagnosing and treating numerous childhood illnesses, infections, injuries and other medical conditions. As a pediatrician, you will perform in-detailed physical exams, administer vaccinations and deal with behavior and mental health issues that spring up among children.
In order to become a pediatrician, you need to pursue an MD degree from a Caribbean medical school and complete a three-year residency program in pediatrics. Pediatrics is a rewarding and promising career that offers a wide range of opportunities, running the gamut from academic research to community child health and general pediatrics. They can practice in a private setting, or work in a large government healthcare environment.
Internal medicine is a primary care specialty that deals with a wide range of acute and long-term medical conditions and symptoms. Primary care physicians working in general internal medicine specialize in diagnostic reasoning and possess specialized skills to manage complex medical problems involving interconnected symptoms and conditions.
Doctors in internal medicine, also called internists, can diagnose and treat a broad spectrum of medical disorders. They provide advice and care for patients brought into the ER and acute medical units of hospitals. Internists work I collaboration with acute medical care workforce, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, rheumatologists and endocrinologists. Internal medicine doctors can also act in academic and administrative roles, such as medical leadership and directors of medical schools.
Obstetrics & Gynecology
It is another demanding and exciting primary care field that combines medicine and surgery and offers a variety of rewarding career options. However, many medical students avoid this primary care specialty because of its nature of work that keeps physicians on their toes round the clock. Nevertheless, it is one of the most rewarding primary care specialties that plays a significant role in managing diseases specific to women and childbirth.
Obstetricians are doctors who deal with pregnant women, labor, and issues related to pregnancy. While gynecologists treat, diagnose and manage a host of diseases related to female reproductive organs. Obstetrics and gynecology is an evolving discipline with many research opportunities both at clinical and molecular level. These physicians can further specialize in reproductive endocrinology and maternal-fetal medicine. If you choose obstetrics and gynecology, you will find numerous opportunities for career development, both surgical and medical.
Family medicine is a primary care specialty that is dedicated to providing comprehensive health care for people of all age groups. Family physicians are highly-qualified professionals with specialized skills focused on treating a range of ailments – from heart diseases to stroke, hypertension to diabetes and asthma. Family physicians deliver a range of acute, chronic and preventive medical care services while providing a comprehensive, patient- approach.
They treat and diagnose various illnesses and provide preventive care, such as routine checkups, health-risk assessments, and immunization and screening tests. They also provide personalized counseling to improve quality of life and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Akin to other medical specialties, family physicians are required to complete a three-year residency program after pursuing an MD degree from a Caribbean medical school.
Over to You
If you are interested in pursuing a career in any of these primary care specialties, it’s the right time to research about the education, training and clinical experience you will need to become a qualified primary care physician. To fulfill your dream, you can apply to Windsor University School of Medicine as premedical sciences and MD programs will be starting from September.