Medical Doctor - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Medical Doctor


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Job Description

 

Medical doctors, also known as allopathic physicians, take a biological approach to healing and are the most familiar type of doctor to people in this country.

Most complete at least four years of undergraduate, followed by for years of medical school, and an additional residency program.

Some require a fellowship on top of the aforementioned requirements, adding another 1 - 3 years.

If you hold a medical degree, there is a high demand for your job skills in many areas. Physicians may work in general or family practice as well as a variety of specialties.

These speciality areas include:

  • Anesthesiology

  • Family & General Medicine

  • General Pediatrics & Internal Medicine

  • Psychiatry

  • Obstetrics

  • Gynecology

  • Surgery

From private practice to hospitals to independent clinics, physicians are in huge demand across the country.

Becoming a doctor takes dedication and a high level of ambition, but it's an investment that is sure to pay off in the long run. 

Continue to learn about responsibilities, skills needed, how to become an Allopathic Physician (M.D.), the MCAT, licensing requirements, and residencies. 

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Responsibilities

 

Physicians work with patients to educate them about their illnesses, injuries, health conditions and preventative measures such as diet, fitness and smoking cessation. They also teach and work as administrators at medical centers and engage in medical research.

A medical doctor's responsibilities include:

  • Diagnosing diseases, illnesses, and/or conditions

  • Assessing the need for therapies and/or medicines and prescribing them

  • Providing information to patients and families regarding diagnosis and treatment goals

  • Monitoring patient progress and response to therapies and/or treatments 

  • Maintaining patient records and accurate information

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Skills

 

Medical doctors require a high level of science acumen. Aspiring physicians should focus on the human sciences during their undergraduate career, including biochemistry, biology, and anatomy, as they serve as the foundation to a full understanding of diagnosis and treatment. 

Beyond a comprehensive understanding of science, a physician must possess highly developed communications and patient care skills.

Doctors often work with patients from all walks of life, and being able to sensitively and effectively communicate with anyone is fundamental to a successful career, as found in a recent study by the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. 

Confidence, empathy, respectfulness, and thoroughness all fall under patient care skills. While patients want a physician who can accurately and knowledgeably diagnose and treat their illness, they also want one who exhibits the aforementioned personality traits.

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Working Conditions

 

Positions for physicians are available in a variety of health care settings. A physician may elect to set up a private practice, either alone or as part of a larger medical practice group.

Others choose to work in medical centers and hospitals, universities and other public agencies.

Medical schools are working to increase their enrollments as a looming doctor shortage is expected in all geographic regions and areas of the profession.

It is likely that physicians in the future will work fewer hours, which means lower earnings but they should be able to retire earlier. Low-income areas and rural regions will hold the greatest employment opportunities.

JAMA, the prestigious professional journal of the American Medical Association (AMA), is a major source for employment opportunities.

The website for the AMA is part of an active network that helps physicians find the right job for them, in the right location and environment.

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
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