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Caring for patients is a subtle art. Therefore, physician jobs are satisfying to anyone who appreciates both the science and art behind this noble profession. Being a physician can be fulfilling, but also quite challenging. Nevertheless, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the demand for this profession is on the rise.

Although this type of job has demanding educational requirements, physicians have the chance to work with a variety of people and treat different — often unique — illnesses and injuries. It is a challenging but rewarding career.


About Physician Jobs 


Nowadays, people live much longer than they used to. With the increase in lifespan, there’s a greater need for doctors in general, which, in turn, increases the need for medical assistants and caregivers. Curing people’s illnesses and injuries, helping them feel better, and working on preventing or minimizing any existing health issues is a selfless job, which is why it’s an excellent career choice. 

What Does a Physician Do?

In general, physicians diagnose and treat their patients’ injuries and illnesses. They often give patients advice on healthcare, diet, hygiene, and similar health-related topics. 

Usually, physicians examine their patients, record their medical history, and prescribe appropriate medications and treatments. Furthermore, physicians also order, perform, and interpret various diagnostic tests to make accurate diagnoses.

Physicians work very closely with other medical staff, like physician assistants, registered nurses, and health information technicians.

Duties of a Doctor

Every doctor has one primary concern, and that is the well-being of their patients. A doctor can take care of a patient’s health with medicine, surgery, a check-up, or just a talk.

Depending on their specialization, doctors can have various duties. However, every doctor has the following responsibilities as a part of their everyday routine:

  • Taking a patient’s medical history 
  • Updating patient’s charts and information on any ongoing treatments and findings 
  • Ordering tests for nurses and healthcare staff in general (one of the lesser-known responsibilities of a doctor
  •  Analyzing test results to find abnormalities
  • Designing and recommending treatment plans for the patient
  • Addressing any concerns or questions that the patient has regarding their condition or overall well-being
  • Discussing various health-related topics with the patient and helping them take care of their health 

Types of Physician Jobs

There are two types of physicians, and they require a similar degree. One is M.D. or Medical Doctor, and the other one is D.O. or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Both types of doctors use the same treatment methods, such as medication and surgery. Still, D.O.s also deal with the body’s musculoskeletal system, provide holistic patient care, and practice preventive medicine. D.O.s can be found in all specialties, but they are most often primary care physicians.

Anesthesiologist Jobs

Anesthesiologists take care of surgical patients and focus on pain relief. They provide patients with anesthetics, which reduce or altogether eliminate the feeling of pain during various surgical procedures, such as operations.

However, this job is not as simple as it may seem. Anesthesiologists are also responsible for determining the amount of anesthetic during surgeries. Furthermore, this physician position also includes the monitoring of a patient’s heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing.

Anesthesiologists work outside of the operating room as well. They work with other physicians and help them with various decisions on treatments and procedures before, during, and after surgery. Another duty anesthesiologists have outside of the operating room is in the intensive care unit (ICU). They help women in labor and patients suffering from chronic pain, which is just one of the many ICU physician jobs.

Surgeon Jobs

Surgeons specialize in treating injuries, illnesses, and deformities through surgery. They repair bones and tissues after injuries, perform preventive and elective operations, and correct various deformities with the help of different surgical instruments. 

A significant number of surgeons are in the general surgery field. However, many of them decide to specialize in plastic or reconstructive surgery, cardiovascular surgery, orthopedic surgery (the musculoskeletal system), or neurological surgery (treatment of the brain and nervous system).

Family Physician Jobs

Both family and general physicians deal with standard conditions. They assess and treat everything from bone injuries to coughs, sneezes, and respiratory infections — anything that people suffer from daily. They usually have long-term patients.

Psychiatry Jobs

Psychiatrists are mental health physicians who diagnose and treat mental health issues through psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, hospitalization, and medication. Psychiatrists help their patients change their behavioral patterns and explore their past experiences in individual, group, or family sessions.

Obstetrician Jobs

Obstetricians and gynecologists specialize in helping pregnant women. They provide help with pregnancy-related issues, childbirth, and the female reproductive system in general.

Obstetricians spend the majority of their time in prenatal care, monitoring a pregnancy. In the months leading up to the delivery, obstetricians have regular appointments with their patients. During these appointments, they explain what is happening with the baby at that moment, perform tests, and help their patients with any questions and issues they might have.

Many obstetricians also perform gynecologist jobs — a more general field that deals with women’s reproductive health in general. Gynecologists take care of both the reproductive issues and diseases and are known as OB/GYNs. Some of them work primarily in hospitals, but a significant number of OB/GYNs also work in various private practices and with other doctors. Not so commonly, self-employed obstetricians work with their own patients.

General Pediatrician Jobs

General pediatricians take care of infants, children, teenagers, and young adults. They specialize in diagnosing and treating health issues and problems that are typical for these age groups. The majority of pediatricians treat common illnesses and minor injuries. Additionally, general pediatricians also treat infectious diseases and administer vaccinations. Some of them even specialize in pediatric surgery or severe health issues that affect younger patients, like different autoimmune disorders or chronic ailments.

General Internist Jobs

General internists most often treat adults. They use several diagnostic techniques to help their patients through medication or hospitalization. General internists specialize in diagnosing problems that affect internal organ systems such as the stomach, kidneys, liver, and digestive tract. They provide non-surgical treatment.

Physicians can work in many different fields, depending on their medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. According to the BLS, the most common medical specializations are:

  • Allergists — diagnose and treat all kinds of allergies
  • Cardiologists — diagnose and treat heart conditions
  • Dermatologists — diagnose and treat skin conditions
  • Gastroenterologists — diagnose and treat digestive system issues
  • Ophthalmologists — eye specialists
  • Pathologists -— study body tissue to find abnormalities
  • Radiologists — review and interpret X-rays and other images and administer radiation treatments for illnesses like cancer

Work Environment

In 2018, there were approximately 756,800 medical doctor jobs. Most common workplaces for physicians include physicians’ offices, hospitals, and academic and government institutions. They are also working in group practices and various healthcare organizations, where they share a significant number of patients with other physicians. Teamwork allows them to have more time off for organizing care for their patients, but it also means less independence than solo practitioners might have.

Work Schedules

The majority of physicians work full time. The physician job description very often includes working long and irregular hours and working overnight. Physicians also may be required to travel between their offices and hospitals to take care of their patients. Additionally, a physician may be needed to help their patient over the phone or make an emergency visit to a hospital or a nursing home.

Injuries and Illnesses

None of the physician jobs on the list necessarily involve any injuries, but they also don’t come without health issues. Physicians spend most of their working hours on their feet, surrounded by different diseases and illnesses. The biggest threats are the diseases that physicians deal with daily. Some people may not be able to take this, which is why being a physician is far from the easiest doctor job out there. 


How to Become a Physician


Physicians have very demanding education and training. Besides a bachelor’s degree, they also need a degree from medical school, which takes four years to complete. Moreover, physicians need to spend three to seven years in internship and residency programs, depending on their chosen specialty.

Important Qualities

All of these doctor jobs require some special abilities. However, every good and successful physician should have the following qualities:

  • Communication skills — These are essential for competent physicians, as they have to communicate effectively, not only with their patients but with other healthcare staff they work with, too.
  • Compassion — Patients are often in great pain or distress due to their injuries and illnesses. This is why a competent physician must have compassion and understanding for their patients and the patients’ families.
  • Attention to detail — A detail-oriented physician makes for an excellent doctor. All MD jobs require this quality since a doctor must monitor and record precise information about their patient and prescribe appropriate medications and therapy.
  • Dexterity — Physicians are often required to work with very sharp tools, and mistakes may lead to severe consequences.
  • Leadership skills — They are of great essence for physicians who have their practice and have to manage a team of other healthcare professionals.
  • Organizational skills — These skills are particularly helpful for keeping medical records. 
  • Patience — When it comes to doctor jobs, patience is critical in keeping a good relationship with both patients and co-workers. Patients who need special attention and those who are afraid of getting medical help may require more patience from their doctor. 
  • Physical stamina — This is crucial for long hours, handling disabled patients, and performing other physical jobs.
  • Problem-solving skills — They are a requirement for general physician jobs because they are used to evaluate symptoms, prescribe appropriate treatment, and make quick decisions. 

Education

Most medical school applicants have at least a Bachelor’s degree, but many of them have advanced degrees. There is no specific major in applying to medical school, but applicants usually complete undergraduate studies in biology, chemistry, physics, math, and English. 

Humanities and social sciences are also in the students’ courses. Some of the students even volunteer at local hospitals and clinics to gain experience in a healthcare environment and see a doctor work in person. 

Besides being very hard to complete, medical schools are also incredibly competitive. All of the applicants have to submit transcripts, scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and letters of recommendation. 

They also need to attend an interview with members of the admissions committee. Schools consider the candidate’s personality, leadership qualities, and their participation in extracurricular activities. You cannot apply for any of the physician jobs before acquiring the necessary education. 

A small number of medical schools offer a combination of undergraduate and medical school programs lasting between six and eight years.

Medical school students usually spend the first two years of their education in laboratories and classrooms, where they study courses like anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, psychology, medical ethics, and the laws governing medicine. They also learn practical skills like taking medical histories, examining patients, and diagnosing illnesses.

During the last two years of studying for clinical and non-clinical physician jobs, students work with patients under the supervision of their mentors, that is, experienced physicians in various hospitals and clinics. They usually do rotations in internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. Additionally, medical school students also gain experience in diagnosing and treating illnesses in a variety of areas.

Most of the students enter a residency program after graduating from medical school. The residency and training for a physician job last from three to seven years, depending on the chosen specialty and most commonly take place in a hospital.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Requirements may vary from state to state, but all states require physicians to be licensed. Candidates have to graduate from an accredited medical school and fulfill residency training in their specialty of choice. Additionally, they have to pass a standardized national licensure exam to have the chance to be considered for some of the best doctor jobs out there. M.D.s take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), and D.O.s take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA).

Physicians do not have to be certified, but certification dramatically increases their chances of getting an excellent job in their field of interest. M.D.s and D.O.s who want to get their certification may spend up to seven years in residency training, depending on their chosen specialty. 

Candidates also have to pass a specialty certification exam from a certifying board to become certified and increase their doctor job outlook. The committees include the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS).

Advancement

In general, physicians advance by expanding their practices. Physicians usually improve their skills either in general medicine or in specific fields. Some advance by teaching or doing research, while others study business administration to become hospital administrators.


Pay

Physicians are one of the highest-paid occupations. The highest-paying doctor jobs bring the median annual wage to more than $208,000. According to the BLS statistics from May 2018, surgeons have a yearly salary of approximately $255,110, and obstetricians and gynecologists are in third place with an annual wage of roughly $238,320. Psychiatrists earn roughly $220,380 per year, while family and general practitioners earn $211,780 annually. Additionally, general internists earn, on average, $196,490 per year.


Physician Job Outlook


It’s estimated that between 2018 and 2028, the employment of physicians will have risen by 7%. The longer lifespan and growing elderly population create a unique demand for physicians. It’s expected that this demand will grow steadily, despite the innovations and the latest technologies, diagnostic tests, and therapies. New technologies may decrease the need for physicians, but the need for their services will inevitably increase.

Job Prospects

Almost every medical school graduate is matched with their residence, that is, their first doc jobs right after graduating. Job prospects are especially suitable for physicians who want to work in rural and low-income areas since these areas have difficulties with attracting physicians. Job prospects are also useful for physicians who specialize in fields that deal with health issues that mainly affect the aging Baby Boomers, such as cardiology and radiology.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the highest-paying job for a doctor?

Even though physicians’ jobs are generally among the highest-paying ones, anesthesiologists are paid the most, with an annual wage of $267,020, according to the 2018 statistics from the BLS. Conversely, general pediatricians have the lowest yearly salary of around $183,240.

What is the average salary for a physician?

As the BLS statistics from May 2018 reveal, the average annual salary for both M.D.s and O.D.s is approximately $208,000, but it’s presumed that it goes above this number.

How do I get a job as a doctor?

Getting a job as a doctor is not very easy. A person would have first to obtain a bachelor’s degree or an undergraduate degree and then go through three to eight years of medical school. On top of that, there are also residency and training.

What jobs are similar to a doctor?

People interested in obtaining degrees that will allow them to practice various physician jobs may also be interested in becoming chiropractors, dentists, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners. Related professions also include optometrists, physician assistants, podiatrists, registered nurses, as well as veterinarians.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]