God's Gifted Handymen

What are Physicians?

There are even more designations among physicians, according to speciality. For example, general and family physicians concentrate on general medical conditions. Internists treat and diagnose problems with internal organs. A pediatrician cares for children from infancy to teenage years. Obstetricians and gynecologists provide care related to the female reproductive system, and also treat pregnant women and deliver babies. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who treat and diagnose mental illnesses. A dermatologist treats the skin and scalp. Surgeons operate on patients to help treat a variety of medical issues, and the list of types of physicians goes on. One thing is for certain: All types are needed in abundance as baby boomers age, and as the generations behind them become more interested in preventative care. Employment for physicians and surgeons is expected to jump by 24 percent from 2010 to 2020, which translates to a cosmic 168,300 job openings.

Salary and Benifits?

  • Salary:

A physician’s average salary varies. In 2011, a general internist made an average salary of $183,170, the Labor Department reports. Those with subspecialties, such as gastroenterologists, cardiologists, and urologists, had average salaries that eclipsed $187,999 in 2011. Areas of the country that pay physicians particularly well include Lowell, Mass., Texarkana, Texas, and Springfield, Mont. The lowest-paid in the profession make around $67,780.

  • Benefits:

Medical plan

  • Dental plan
  • Vision discount plan
  • Life insurance
  • Salary continuation
  • Long-term disability
  • Medical flexible spending account
  • Dependent care flexible spending account
    • Retirement plan
  • 403(b) plan
  • 457(b) deferred compensation plan
  • Supplemental retirement plan
  • Financial seminars
  • Education And Training?

    Required Education and Training:

    Becoming a physician requires years of study. All doctors have to complete at least four years at an undergraduate program, followed by four years of medical school. Different specialties require different time periods to complete an internship and residency program. Dr. Charles Cutler, M.D., a practicing internist and the chair-elect of the Board of Regents for the American College of Physicians spent one year working as an intern, followed by two years of residency. He recalls the long hours. “Back in those days when I worked in the hospital, I remember driving into work on Sunday morning when the rest of the world was asleep, and knowing that I was going to be at work all day Sunday, and all night, and then part of the day Monday,” he says. “It would be more than 30 hours before I’d leave the hospital.” Following residency, a doctor must receive the appropriate licensure to practice.

    Positives and Negatives of being a Physcian?

    • Positives:

    Probably the greatest advantage of hospital employment is that it eliminates concerns about the financial viability of a practice. Paying salaries and maintaining an adequate income are no longer daily concerns. Because most salaried, hospital-employed physicians are paid for services rendered independent of the patient’s ability to pay, caring for the underinsured and the uninsured is not an issue.

    Another benefit is the end to administrative headaches frequently experienced in private practice. Hospital-employed physicians, however, should maintain some control of policy and personnel that directly affect patient care.

    The unsolved dilemma for hospitals is how to determine appropriate salary formulas for healthcare providers. A straight salary without a productivity incentive may lead to physician complacency and leave the hospital without the services it expected. At the other extreme a salary that is totally based on productivity places the physician at considerable risk, as outlined below.

    • Negatives:

    Negatives of employment fall into the following categories: contract terms, compensation, staff, facility and resources, new physician hires, and benefits.

    Working Conditions?

    • Job Satisfaction:

    Upward Mobility........ Above Average

    Stress Level................ Very High

    Flexibility.................... Average

    • Dress Code:


    Comfortable Close-toed Shoes

    • Travel:

    There are some traveling physicians but most of them stay in one region.