The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.
Sample of reported job titles:
Board Certified Family Physician, Family Medicine Physician, Family Physician, Family Practice Medical Doctor (FP MD), Family Practice Physician (FP Physician), Family Practitioner, Medical Doctor (MD), Medical Staff Physician, Physician, Primary Care Physician
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Prescribe or administer treatment, therapy, medication, vaccination, and other specialized medical care to treat or prevent illness, disease, or injury.
- Order, perform, and interpret tests and analyze records, reports, and examination information to diagnose patients’ condition.
- Collect, record, and maintain patient information, such as medical history, reports, or examination results.
- Monitor patients’ conditions and progress and reevaluate treatments as necessary.
- Explain procedures and discuss test results or prescribed treatments with patients.
- Advise patients and community members concerning diet, activity, hygiene, and disease prevention.
- Direct and coordinate activities of nurses, students, assistants, specialists, therapists, and other medical staff.
- Refer patients to medical specialists or other practitioners when necessary.
- Coordinate work with nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, and other health care providers.
- Plan, implement, or administer health programs or standards in hospitals, businesses, or communities for prevention or treatment of injury or illness.
- Train residents, medical students, and other health care professionals.
- Operate on patients to remove, repair, or improve functioning of diseased or injured body parts and systems.
- Prepare government or organizational reports which include birth, death, and disease statistics, workforce evaluations, or medical status of individuals.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Detailed Work Activities
- Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
- Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
- Immunize patients.
- Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests.
- Prescribe medications.
- Prescribe treatments or therapies.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
- Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
- Advise communities or institutions regarding health or safety issues.
- Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
- Supervise patient care personnel.
- Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
- Design public or employee health programs.
- Direct healthcare delivery programs.
- Operate on patients to treat conditions.
- Prepare official health documents or records.
- Train medical providers.
- Contact With Others — 100% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 98% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 99% responded “Very important results.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 98% responded “Extremely important.”
- Consequence of Error — 97% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Physical Proximity — 98% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 71% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 66% responded “Very important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 62% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Letters and Memos — 75% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 26% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 56% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 57% responded “High responsibility.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 67% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 60% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 23% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 42% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Doctoral degree|
|Not available||Post-doctoral training|
|Not available||Master’s degree|
Interest code: IS
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- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$99.70 hourly, $207,380 annual|
|Employment (2019)||119,300 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)|
Faster than average (5% to 7%)
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||4,000|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2019-2029 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
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