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Family Practice: the question no one wants to ask

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7 years 10 months ago #83318 by indecisive
Hi,
I've been accepted into a medical school and am very interested in family practice (with OB) if I decide to go. I couldn't decide if this was the best career route for me, so I deferred for a year and have applied to some NP programs this year as well. In making my decision and weighing all the pros and cons of each program and profession, ONE factor is the time/money investment vs. earning potential. I am wondering if any family practice docs out there would share their salary range? I have done some internet research, but the ranges are pretty broad (130-200k posted as "averages"), so I thought hearing the figures from women in practice would help me get a better idea. I would eventually like to have my own practice, so and I'm also not sure how that effects income.

Thanks!

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7 years 10 months ago #83319 by niash
I am still a med student but what I noticed is your pay will depend on your contract. You can be salaried or production-mode. Salaried means you don't get the big bucks but have more control over your patients and time. Production = having to meet a target number of patients with a big bonus as incentive as well as a bigger salary. I know someone who makes 260K this way in a small rural area.

I personally wanted to be a doctor, regardless of pay. Becoming an NP offers you similar lifestyle as a family doc, without the demands of medical school. So, that is not a bad option IMHO. It makes a lot of sense why someone would just decide to be an NP. Less pressure on the individual as well as family.

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7 years 10 months ago #83320 by Doc201X

niash wrote: I personally wanted to be a doctor, regardless of pay. Becoming an NP offers you similar lifestyle as a family doc, without the demands of medical school. So, that is not a bad option IMHO. It makes a lot of sense why someone would just decide to be an NP. Less pressure on the individual as well as family.


My understanding is that the NP will eventually disappear to become DNP only (a similar thing happened in Pharmacy). With that in mind and by the time you add the additional years of training, you may as well have become an MD instead. Yes, I get that the training model/length of time is vastly different, which is why I never quite understand deciding between the 2 degree programs.

As for pay, with all the uncertainty surrounding the future practice of medicine, I feel that you should only do it if you feel there's nothing else in the world that satisfy you professionally. Sure, there are plenty of other easier routes to a career in the medical field, but will they be satisfying to you in the long run?

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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7 years 10 months ago #83321 by indecisive
Thanks, niash. What other pay ranges have you found? 260k sounds like a lot for family practice. Is it true that rural family practice docs usually make more, and if so, why?

Just to clarify, I'm not making this decision based solely on money, its just one factor. Becoming an NP wouldn't be too much of a short cut of time and money spent in school, so its appropriate to figure out the "return on investment." After all, if it will take 3 years for an NP degree and 4 for med school (not including residency, course), but the salary in medicine 2x that of NP, it seems like a poor financial decision not to go to the program i've been accepted to, however I know its not just a financial decision in the end.

Any other family practice doctors out there willing to weigh in?

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7 years 10 months ago #83359 by indecisive
Well, it looks like I'm not getting the response I hoped for here. I will try another angle - today I spoke with CNM in a rural area similar to where I want to work. She said she makes easily $100,000 less per year than the family practice physicians who also do OB at her small optional. Does that sound like a typical earning gap between doctors and nurse practitioners?

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7 years 10 months ago #83394 by efex101
FP makes about 190K or so there is NO way average pay is over 200K for FP regardless of OB or not unless you work over 100 hrs/week

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