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Stat: There is a Shortage of Family Practice Doctors

Updated on June 29, 2010

The most common face of the medical profession is the Family Practice doctor. It is the person you go to at Kaiser, Sutter or wherever, to seek medical attention.

Yet, out of 9000 family practice doctors surveyed, over 40% would choose a specialty in medicine, if they do a make over of their career. The simple reason is $$$$. The lowly family practice doctor earns a paltry $175K a year in many locals, at Kaiser, it might be as low as $120K, while a doctor in a specialty earns between $300-500K a year. Medical specialty schools are jammed with new medical grads, while family practice specialty schools are 16% unfullfilled. In an effort to create more family doctors, the government has allocated $168 million to train another 500 by 2015, which will still be 21,000 short at that time.

Residency schools for medical grads for primary care doctors are hard to find and get into. Sutter has one in Santa Rosa, Calif. From around the US, hundreds of medical grads apply for the program but only 12 are admitted. Each student is supported by a $80K grant from the government, which pays for the salary and more. Sutter contributes $2 million yearly to the residency program. Kaiser also has a residency program.

Those accepted ranged from 26 to 42 yrs. and come from top medical schools. They will be in the program another three years, earn $50K a year and work 65-70 hrs each week. Do some simple math and you will see a low paying hourly rate for a medical school grad. Each probably already owes in student loans around $200,000 and are in debt. It is common that some have law degrees, ironically.


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    • Angelique Loux profile image

      Angelique Loux 7 years ago from Ohio

      Great Hub! Thanks for the information. Keep up the great work. :)