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Career Options in Family Medicine

Some medical students ended up in family medicine because they couldn’t get into a more competitive residency, while others chose it because it allows for different practice opportunities.

Regardless of why you are in family medicine, it’s worth noting that there are a lot of career options in family medicine, least of which is doing primary care.

Here is a list of what you can do a with a family medicine board certification, without completing a fellowship:

  • work as a hospitalist
  • work in the ER
  • work in a Med Spa
  • open a dermatology practice
  • do laser tattoo removal
  • be a wound specialist
  • be a Parkinson’s expert
  • open a pediatric practice
  • work in a sports medicine clinic
  • work at a spine center
  • deliver babies
  • run a women’s clinic
  • run an integrative medicine clinic
  • be a naturopath
  • work in a fracture clinic
  • work as an urgent care doctor
  • practice concierge medicine
  • do remote medicine
  • do disaster medicine
  • do underserved medicine
  • have a psychiatry practice
  • run a dialysis center
  • own an imaging center
  • own a surgical center
  • become a Chief Medical Officer
  • become the CEO of a hospital group
  • consult for a pharmaceutical company
  • physician advisor for health/non-health companies
  • do telemedicine
  • medical expert for entertainment business
  • work in an STD clinic
  • be a technical writer for a medical device company
  • invent medical shit
  • do occupational medicine
  • work in employee health
  • work in student health
  • review medical devices
  • work in research
  • run a travel clinic
  • handle patient messages for a busy clinic
  • work on a QA committee
  • perform medical chart reviews
  • become a medical director for an NP/PA
  • do first assist on surgical cases
  • round in a nursing home
  • work on a transplant team
  • teach at a medical school
  • be an attending for a residency program
  • practice international medicine
  • be on a medical evacuation team
  • be a physician for FBI/SWAT/Police
  • be a military doctor
  • be a cruise ship doctor
  • review cases for the DMV
  • be a medical expert for lawyers
  • be a writer for a medical journal
  • be a product manager for a health company
  • do medical investigation work for companies
  • do undercover work investigating large medical groups
  • be a prison doctor
  • open a private practice and hire associates
  • run a weight loss clinic
  • EMR developer/tester
  • policy development for the government
  • product endorser
  • public speaker
  • medical marijuana prescriber/expert
  • diabetic program educator
  • diabetes specialist
  • sports team physician
  • anatomy/physiology instructor at college/trade school/online
  • acupuncturist
  • reproductive specialist
  • anti-aging specialist
  • disability assessment physician
  • pain management doctor
  • flight medicine physician

If you’re a family medicine physician and getting murdered in primary care then consider pursuing something more specialized from the list above. This isn’t even a complete list but a good place to get started for unique career options in family medicine.

There is no need for family medicine physicians to suffer and burnout. If you need more guidance or need ideas on how to get started then give me a call and let’s brainstorm together.

4 replies on “Career Options in Family Medicine”

Agree, as a family Medicine doctor you’re able to capture many more patients than our colleagues. While not the most prestigious, you always have other options available.

I used to think of the gradient in specialties as prestige – now, I’m not so sure. Regardless, that said prestige comes at a price – more years spent in training and needing to work harder for better scores and working harder on rotations. In return you get a bigger financial slice of the pie because of the extra risk you take. The risk is being highly specialized. You are able to only take care of a very narrow margin of patients. This often means having to rely on other medical professionals who can refer patients to you, being tied to a hospital system, tied to a geographic location where the hospital system is located, and also tied to specific technology (surgical hardware, medical lasers, surgical suites, and specialized tests).

If medicine wasn’t so fickle and risky to practice then I would vote for prestige. But if I have it so hard as a family medicine doctor then I can only assume that my specialties buddies are getting slaughtered. What do you think?

I actually went backwards, finished FM residency and did a fellowship and now doing clinical visits for a start up. Work wise very easy, pay is excellent, obviously not the safety net of Kaiser but am easily the least expendable person in the practice given I see both adults and PEDS. Specialty care is literally mills of consultations, like every 10 minutes. I have a cousin who does retina who sees 80-90 patients daily. DAILY!

Though Kaiser definitely is the more secure employment option, it also has the potential of sucking the life out of you. The income can be great but you’ll have to spend a ton more to deal with the stress of the job.
Speaking of retinas, those things which I consistently fail to visualize in the exam room, I thought this was an interesting retina telemedicine project worth sharing on here.

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