5 Hardships and 5 Rewards of Family Practice

Family medicine is a humanistic specialty that centers around the patient as a person. Physicians offer continuous care for individuals, even entire families, with whom they build strong and lasting relationships. These wonderful traits, which set the field apart from all other specialties, are the source of both the hardships and rewards of family practice.


1. Workload

The growing number of patients with a complex tableau of health problems significantly impacts the workload of family physicians. Their work must also branch out to handle these new challenges. This is also visible in the increased length of consultation time, which in turn slows down the patient flow.

Many physicians find time pressure and workload as the main hardships that need to be addressed within their practice. There is no easy way to resolve these issues, but more practitioners could help with patient distribution. Many vacant positions are waiting to be filled across the U.S., including these family practice jobs in Chicago.

2. Administrative Work

As a family physician, you deal with a lot of administrative work like paperwork, filling out forms, and making phone calls. It is ideal to set aside some time between patients to complete all the admin work. However, many family physicians hire assistants to deal with all these tedious tasks, thus easing their own workload.

3. Transformation to Computerized Records

According to some practitioners, the transition to computerized records will be the biggest challenge in the years to come. However, the shift is necessary to ensure the quality of care. The health care system must keep up with technological advancements and implement these to evolve.

4. Promotional Activities

A family practice runs similarly to a small business. This entails a lot of promotional activities and networking. Marketing strategies are not generally in the physician’s wheelhouse, so there are a couple of ways to handle this.

You could hire a specialist to deal with all promotional activities, from building a brand to attracting more clients. While this would require a financial commitment, it could also pay out in the long run. The other alternative is for you to take on these tasks. The downside to this is that you would further weigh your already heavy workload and add extra time pressure. Before deciding on a path, carefully consider the pros and cons of each option.

5. Managing Costs

Cost management is a central part of family practice. During a period when reimbursements are in a decrease, both physicians and patients face new challenges. Furthermore, as discussed above, practitioners may often need to retain the services of other specialists to help manage their complex tasks and decrease the workload. This, however, entails additional costs.


1. Diversity

Family physicians are met with a great diversity of patient care. They have the unique opportunity to provide comprehensive and preventative care for a wide range of ailments. Plus, they are immersed in patients’ case management. This allows them to share the joys and triumphs of successful outcomes.

2. Building Lasting Relationships With Patients

Family medicine nurtures the physician-patient relationship like no other specialty. These practitioners closely follow and are immersed in the evolution of each case. Many patients stay with the same family physician for years on end, nurturing their rapport during their numerous visits.

3. Flexibility

This occupation allows practitioners to have unprecedented control over their job. The freedom that comes with the terrain is one of the main reasons why physicians choose this specialty. The following elements fall under their reach:

  • Workload
  • Work hours
  • Patient flow
  • Workstyle
  • Work setting

4. Security

Job security is another big selling point for family medicine. It might be a bit of a challenge to settle into a family practice position. However, once you have secured it, you can make yourself comfortable to some degree. Still, we advise against too much comfort. As long as you are an employee, there is always the possibility of losing your job. The best way to ensure your stay is to prove your worth every single day.

5. Reinventing Primary Care

Family physicians have the wonderful opportunity to reinvent primary care. By implementing humanistic principles, they can make healthcare services more personalized and personal. One of the main aspects to consider is the information reform brought on by the internet. This could be encouraged and used as a platform for building the patient’s knowledge of their condition.

Final Thoughts

Family medicine, like all other fields, comes with its own set of rewards and challenges. The blend of these is what makes the practice a truly wonderful experience. The secret is to turn these (and other) challenges into opportunities.