General Physician Education Requirements

General physicians see patients for annual check-ups and provide overall medical care to patients. You may want to consider a residency in primary care after you finish medical school. Read on to find out the education requirements for general physicians. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Education is Necessary for General Physicians?

General physicians, also known as primary care physicians, are the first point of contact for patients. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), general physicians are defined as medical specialists who provide disease control and prevention to a consistent patient base (www.aafp.org). Primary care physicians must complete specialty training in the form of a medical residency for primary care practice. A residency follows the completion of a bachelor's degree and medical school.

Required EducationComplete a medical residency for primary care practice following graduation from medical school
Prerequisites for ResidencyBachelor's degree centered on the sciences, minimum GPA requirements, medical school, basic medical training; three year commitment for residency program
Residency DutiesRotations in primary care capacities, attend conferences and seminars, learn to diagnose common medical conditions, and rotate through various specialties

What Specific Steps Do I Need to Take?

The educational requirements for a general physician can begin in high school by taking courses that will prepare you for a bachelor's degree in pre-medicine. These courses could include advanced classes in chemistry, biology and mathematics. Once you graduate, you may begin your formal education.

Your bachelor's degree should be centered on the sciences, and you need to maintain a high grade point average to be a completive candidate for medical school. Medical school is a requirement for all doctors, consists of four years of basic medical training and will result in earning your designation as a medical doctor (M.D). After you finish medical school, you will choose your specialty and a corresponding residency program. For general physicians, you will apply to a primary care residency training program.

What Will A Residency Involve?

Primary care residencies are typically three years long. Your residency may involve both a didactic component and rotations in primary care capacities.

Your first year, immediately following medical school, may involve rotations which familiarize you to the practice of primary care. You may learn how to diagnosis common medical conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. Learning to recognize mental conditions, such as depression or anxiety, is also a part of your primary care training. You may also attend primary care conferences and research seminars.

Since you may work closely with specialists during the course of a patient's care, you may rotate through various specialties, such as cardiology or neurology, during your second and third years.

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