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Family medicine is one of the most popular specializations, and for good reason. Demand for family doctors isn’t going anywhere, so you can be assured of both immediate and long-term opportunity. It’s resistant to automation, and offers unparalleled job security.

Many medical students go into family medicine out of a desire to have a career that they can feel good about. Family doctors help a wide range of people with many different types of ailments, and are respected, valued members of their community. Unlike many specialists who focus on treating ailments and injuries, family doctors also have the opportunity to engage in preventative medicine and make a real, lasting difference for patients by helping them avoid critical health situations. It’s a great specialization for people who are social and enjoy meeting many different people throughout the day.

It’s also one of the more convenient specializations. Family doctors tend to have predictable working hours and a great deal of flexibility. For those who would like more of a challenge, it’s often possible to work part-time as a family doctor and take on additional projects such as teaching or hospital rounds on the side. For those who would like to spend more time with family, are caregivers at home, or who simply enjoy a lot of recreational time, the family medicine specialization is a great way to make a good income, do meaningful work, and also enjoy enviable customization and flexibility around working hours. Work-life balance isn’t possible in all specializations, but family medicine tends to differ in this regard.

America’s medical education is recognized in many places around the world, making it easy for family doctors in particular to relocate anywhere in the country or live and work abroad. Some family doctors also enjoy going on medical trips to areas in need around the world and making a difference, even going so far as to donate their expertise.

There are a number of steps to become a family doctor, and it will take some time to achieve, but this is one of the less intensive and time-consuming medical specializations. You will need to attend medical school. Prerequisites will vary, but in general, a high score on the MCAT exam and a strong background in sciences will help. In medical school, you will declare your family medicine specialization and complete practical studies in the field. Once you have completed med school and your three to four years of residency training, you will take a medical licensing exam to become a licensed doctor. Finally, you can obtain certification as a family medicine practitioner. The family medicine CME certifies your skill and up-to-date knowledge in the field.

Specializing in family medicine is one of the more accessible career tracks open to doctors. It’s also a flexible, secure career track with a great work-life balance and excellent for those interested in travel or living abroad. Most importantly for many, it provides a meaningful day-to-day experience that allows you to help others and feel good about your career.