Our local trauma center in Georgia listed the 7 new residents starting their 3 year Family Practice residency and ALL but 1 are from Carribean or foreign schools…I was alittle surprised! My goal is Family Practice in a rural community and I am applying to US and Carribean schools…Is Family Practice not an option for current med students? any thoughts??
- nurse2md Said:
Our local trauma center in Georgia listed the 7 new residents starting their 3 year Family Practice residency and ALL but 1 are from Carribean or foreign schools...I was alittle surprised! My goal is Family Practice in a rural community and I am applying to US and Carribean schools...Is Family Practice not an option for current med students? any thoughts??
Family medicine just isn't a terrifically attractive option for U.S. medical students and so there are many more slots in FM residencies than there are U.S. students interested in filling them. You can read lots more about it here (click).
The "hot" specialties are the "lifestyle" ones that don't tend to include call, weekends, lengthy office hours, or significant insurance hassles. I'm afraid family medicine doesn't meet any of those expectations and so people who have big concerns about earning power, debt, time with family etc. tend to shy away from the primary care specialties.
You'll hear money mentioned as a big concern. Those hot specialties will certainly give you the potential to earn at least a few hundreds of thousands of dollars a year - something that can be a concern, for example, if you've stacked up both undergraduate and med school debt. (There were people in my med school class who graduated $200k in debt from med school alone.) Still, I'll start my job as a family doctor next week guaranteed to make over $100k this year. If mine were the major portion of my family's earnings, and IF we had three younger kids that we wanted to put through college, and IF we had a bigger mortgage... all those things... then my salary might look relatively puny, but our family circumstances aren't putting any of those demands on my income and so it'll work just fine for me.
Residency programs definitely want U.S. grads if at all possible. Some FM programs will state that they won't consider foreign grads, but most of them realize that they just can't restrict their list to U.S. grads only because they won't fill their slots.
We definitely need more good family doctors. Go for it! Note that even for a family doctor, it'll be easier to choose a good residency if you stay stateside - in my opinion, Caribbean should be a choice only if you've exhausted your U.S. options. (You can do a search for "Caribbean" on the forums and find lots more on this subject.)
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