What is a Family Practice Doctor? What Do They Do?

Family Practice Doctor
Family Practice Doctor

Family practice doctors provide first care for all ages. They treat chronic conditions, evaluate symptoms as well as offer preventative care, and let clients know when they need to see a physician. If you are interested in this career, take your time to read this post to learn more.

What does a Family Practice Doctor do?

Family practice doctors or family physicians are professionals in community health facilities providing various care services at home such as

  • Routine checkups, including well-baby and child visits
  • Health risk assessments
  • Immunizations
  • Screening tests
  • Healthy lifestyle counseling
  • Treatment of common chronic conditions

They also can specialize in other areas like sports medicine, emergency and urgent care, and public health. Family doctors will provide general and coordinate with other specialists to give an exact diagnosis.

Education for Family Practice Doctors

To pursue the Family Practice Doctor career, you need to have an undergraduate degree at medical schools or osteopathic medicine. During training, you must complete some tasks to become licensed. These programs for a family practice doctor includes

  • 4 years in medical school
  • Complete exams of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States
  • Residency in obstetrics, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine, and inpatient hospital care (approximate 3-4 years)
  • Get certification through the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) or the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians (AOBFP). 
  • Pass the licensing process in the state you work
Education for Family Practice Doctors
Education for Family Practice Doctors

Work Settings of Family Practice Doctors

When choosing family practice doctors jobs, you will have lots of choices for settings such as in private office settings or family practice doctors groups. Sometimes, you can work for community medicine clinics and in hospitals.

Moreover, family doctors also provide care to people living in limited community resources with high levels of illiteracy and poverty. 

Family Practice Doctor Duties

Due to the nature of this job, you need to create comfort for your patients by sharing a story or explaining the patient’s concerns. Normally, a family practice doctor needs to perform some duties such as

  • Check vital signs like blood pressure, body temperature, heartbeat, and breathing rate.
  • Request routine blood tests to eliminate conditions like high cholesterol or diabetes
  • Ahead and neck exam
  • Abdominal exam
  • Immunizations
  • Skin exam
  • Check some women’s health issues including pap smears, osteoporosis screening, mammogram referrals, and sexual health.
  • Screen men’s health like prostate exams, aortic aneurysm, colorectal exams.
  • Check infant and child health to evaluate growth

You also need to ask your clients some questions about your lifestyle habits, medications, mental wellness, and other health-related concerns to estimate all their health conditions.

Salary Ranges and Job Outlook

The increasing aging population requires comprehensive and preventative healthcare services. So the Family Practice Doctor career has a good career outlook. It is projected to grow 7% for the next decade. 

Family Practice Doctor Duties
Family Practice Doctor Duties

According to the BLS, a family physician makes from $85,590 to $250,000 per year depending on their experience, hours worked, practice location, level of local demand, willingness to do overtime work, and skill.

Step-by-step guide to become a Family Practice Doctor

If you are interested in Family Practice Doctors, here is the simple path to launch in this career.

  • Join volunteer activities to gain healthcare experience
  • Enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree program
  • Apply to the medical school
  • Take the MCAT
  • Become licensed 
  • Begin a residency
  • Consider a fellowship


Family Practice Doctor has strong ties to LPNs, Registered Nurses, Medical Assistants, Personal Care Assistants, and other medical careers. With this career path, you will be free to practice your passion to fit your career and lifestyle goals. Are you ready to become a Family Practice Doctor? Hope this post will give a deeper look at this prolific job!