- On average, primary care physicians make around $186,000 per year
- Doctors spend up to 16 years in school and training
What do doctors do?
Paging Dr. *insert your name here*.
That has a certain ring to it, doesn't it? If you're looking to get into medicine, you've got a lot of school ahead of you. A physician, or M.D. (Medical Doctor), has the option of training in a number of different areas including family practice, pediatrics and surgery.
Most general practitioners and internists work in small family practices, while specialists like cardiologists and anesthesiologists work for hospitals. Hospital physicians work long, irregular hours (nearly half work over 50 hours a week).
How much do doctors make?
The average salary for all primary care physicians is about $186,000 per year. Doctors who specialize in a particular medical field typically need additional training, and thus earn higher salaries. Specialists, on average, earn over $339,000 per year.
What are the education requirements to be a doctor?
Not a fan of school? Go ahead and cross doctor off your list, because a career as a doctor is going to take up to 16 years of schooling. Yes, 16 years. That breaks down into four years of undergraduate work (usually in pre-medicine, biology, chemistry or something similar), four years of medical school and up to eight years of internship, residency and fellowship. Medical schools are highly competitive and require top grades and testing scores to be accepted.
After school, all doctors must pass the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) and receive board certification after residency. Board certification is issued by the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS).
Career paths for doctors
Most advancement for doctors happens during their education and training. After completing medical school, doctors enter into residencies which last 3 to 8 years depending on specialty. Doctors in hospital settings can oversee teams of other doctors, train residents and even reach the level of hospital directors.
The future of doctors
The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects steady growth in doctor positions over the 2008-2018 decade. Because many physicians are anticipated to retire over the next few years, job opportunities will remain steady, especially in low-income and rural areas. Any doctors who service infirmities for elderly patients, like cardiologists or oncologists, will also see increased job opportunities.