Family Medicine and Work-Life Balance

By Steve Barrett
Sunday, September 1, 2019

Family physicians typically do not command the salaries of, say, orthopedists or plastic surgeons, and they are scarcely immune to burnout.

However, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) points out a range of little-recognized benefits that providers in this specialty enjoy:

  • A reasonable balance between home life and work
  • High demand for their services, allowing them to work in virtually any geographic area
  • Wide-ranging practice models that provide flexibility to adopt the lifestyle that suits them best
  • Typical annual income of $209,000, enabling them to pay off medical school debt fairly quickly and support their families comfortably
  • A multitude of career paths, including teaching and research options

On the subject of income, surveys suggest that family physicians are satisfied with their compensation. Further, their pay compares favorably with that of other professionals whose work necessitates advanced training, according to AAFP, and they can earn starting bonuses of as much as $30,000.

Family medicine physicians tend to enjoy overall career contentment as well. Three-fourths of AAFP members surveyed in 2017 said they were very satisfied or satisfied in their profession. Almost four-fifths expressed a strong sense of well-being, and research indicates their broad scope of practice may contribute to that.