Why I Didn’t Do Family Medicine

Family Medicine might have been a better choice for me. I liked outpatient medicine much better than inpatient medicine. I like procedures, even pap smears. The hours are generally regular. Several people suggested family medicine as a good choice for me. Here’s why I decided against it:

1) Family medicine is very regional. In some parts of the country, many of the docs are family practitioners. In other parts of the country, there are few and they are not well respected. I trained in an area of the country where family medicine was not as common. Our family med sub-I was a disorganized joke. Almost all the people in my med school class who were interested in primary care did internal medicine or primary care residencies. Only a couple of people matched in Family Medicine.

2) I never wanted to deliver another baby for the rest of my life.

3) If I was overwhelmed by the idea of having to “know it all” in primary care, it’s even worse in family medicine, where you’re taking care of an even larger spectrum of patients. (Yes, you could restrict your practice, but you don’t always have that option.)

4) I worried that family med residency would be like a repeat of third year of med school, where you’re always in unfamiliar territory, always fumbling, and always the one who knows the least.

5) Much like primary care, the compensation is not great.

6) Much like primary care, there’s pressure to see a large number of patiens in a short number of time, and elderly patients are getting sicker and more complicated.

7) Less chance for subspecialization compared with internal medicine.

Writing this post, I feel slightly regretful that I didn’t train in a place where I got more exposure to family med. I liked my family med rotation, and it actually might have been a good fit for me. I might have liked doing women’s medicine, as long as I didn’t have to deliver any babies.

Originally syndicated from Dr. Fizzy’s blog with permission.

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Dr. Fizzy

Freida McFadden is a midwestern physician who has finally finally finally come to the end of her grueling medical training, and at last she has enough time to publish the wealth of cartoons she's created over the years. If you enjoy them, please comment. If you don't enjoy them, then you can just keep your fool mouth shut. Read the rest at Doccartoon.blogspot.com, and make sure to check out her books, A Cartoon Guide To Becoming A Doctor, and The Devil You Know, on Amazon!