Physician Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a physician. Feel free to use our physician job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a physician.
Who is a Physician?
A physician is a trained medical professional who helps people maintain or restore their physical and emotional health. A physician’s job entails communicating with people, diagnosing medical issues, and treating illness or damage effectively. A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a health care professional who specializes in the study, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental disabilities. Physicians can specialize in certain disease categories, patient types, and treatment approaches, or they can take on the task of providing ongoing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities, which is known as a general practice. Medical practice correctly necessitates a thorough understanding of academic subjects such as anatomy and physiology, underlying disorders, and treatment, the science of medicine, as well as a reasonable level of proficiency in its applied practice, the art or craft of medicine. Physicians and surgeons are medical professionals who diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses. Patients are examined, medical histories are taken, medications are prescribed, and diagnostic tests are ordered, performed, and interpreted by physicians. Patients are frequently counseled on food, cleanliness, and preventative healthcare. Surgeons heal injuries like broken bones, diseases like malignant tumors, and abnormalities like cleft palates by operating on patients.
Patients are treated by doctors, who are also on the lookout for novel remedies. Doctors come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making this a very versatile job. You could have what it takes to be a doctor if you have a bright scientific mind and a desire to make a difference in the world. When most people think of a doctor, they think of a Doctor of Medicine (MD), while other academic degrees, such as a Ph.D., can also bestow the title of doctor. Physicians interested in research can receive both an MD and a Ph.D., allowing them to treat patients while also participating in research investigations. According to the AAMC, there are 125 accredited institutions that offer joint MD/Ph.D. programs. Primary care doctors spend their days examining patients, assessing symptoms, performing tests, diagnosing illnesses, giving medications, and implementing treatment plans. There are suggestions for disease prevention and living a healthy lifestyle. When additional testing and expert care are required, referrals to specialists are made. Doctors focus their practice on helping patients with certain problems, such as heart disease or pregnancy, depending on their expertise.
The path to becoming a doctor should begin in high school or college, with difficult studies in human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and advanced arithmetic that provide a firm basis for medical study. Students don’t need to major in science if they take medical school science prerequisites, according to Rush University, which may also help them ace the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Getting into medical school is extremely hard, and each institution has its own set of admissions requirements, such as extracurricular activities and MCAT scores. Examine school websites for information on Doctor of Medicine programs to find medical schools that appear to be a suitable fit for you. Accepted applicants can expect to spend more than five years in medical school learning about medical diagnosis and therapy. Depending on their chosen expertise, students spend three to seven years in residency after graduating from medical school. To practice medicine, you’ll need a state license as well as board certification in specialty areas. M.D. (Medical Doctor) and D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) are two types of physicians with similar degrees (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Both employ medications and surgery to treat patients, but D.O.s place a greater focus on the body’s musculoskeletal system, preventative medicine, and holistic (whole-person) patient care. Primary care physicians are the most common type of D.O., however, they can work in any specialty.
Types of Physicians
- Family physicians
One of the most well-known sorts of doctors is a family physician, who diagnoses and treats ailments and injuries in the general community. They are the first point of contact for patients in the healthcare system, according to the US Department of Labor (DOL), and they may send patients to specialists if necessary. Family doctors diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments that arise in everyday life. Sinus and respiratory infections, as well as shattered bones, are among these disorders. Regular, long-term patients are common among family and general practitioners.
Internists are physicians who diagnose and treat diseases and injuries of the internal organ systems, such as heart disease and diabetes, without resorting to surgery. Internists specialize in the treatment of disorders of the internal organs and primarily care for adults. General internists diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses affecting internal organ systems such as the stomach, kidneys, liver, and digestive tract without the use of surgery. Internists treat patients with medicine or hospitalization using a number of diagnostic procedures. They primarily work with adults.
- Emergency physicians
Emergency medicine doctors are quick thinkers who can respond quickly to life-threatening or life-threatening situations. Emergency room doctors work fast to assess patients, make diagnoses, and stabilize them. These doctors, more than nearly any other sort of physician, deal with a wide range of patients and diseases.
Psychiatrists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral illnesses. To diagnose and treat patients, they perform medical laboratory and psychiatric examinations. They are psychiatrists who specialize in mental health. They use a combination of personal counseling (psychotherapy), psychoanalysis, hospitalization, and medication to diagnose and treat mental diseases. Regular conversations regarding a patient’s difficulties are part of psychotherapy. Changes in their behavioral patterns, examinations of their prior experiences, and group and family therapy sessions are some of the ways the psychiatrist assists clients in finding solutions. Psychoanalysis entails patients receiving long-term psychotherapy and counseling. Psychiatrists may prescribe drugs to treat chemical abnormalities that cause mental diseases.
- Obstetricians and gynecologists
Obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYNs) are doctors who specialize in female reproductive health. These doctors diagnose and cure illnesses as well as give care during pregnancy and childbirth. They give treatment for women’s reproductive organs, pregnancy, and childbirth. They treat and guide pregnant mothers as well as deliver newborns. They can also identify and treat women’s health issues like breast cancer, cervical cancer, hormone imbalances, and menopause symptoms.
Neurologists are doctors who specialize in illnesses of the neurological system, including diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Neurologists treat patients with strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, seizure disorders, and spinal cord problems, and most of their work is consultative.
Radiologists are doctors who utilize x-rays, radioactive chemicals, sound waves in ultrasounds, or the body’s natural magnetism in MRIs to diagnose ailments in patients. Simply defined, radiologists are experts who examine and interpret x-rays and other images, as well as administer radiation therapy to patients with cancer and other disorders.
Anesthesiologists are doctors who provide anesthetics and sedation to patients undergoing medical or surgical operations. They are also responsible for providing life support and airway management. Anesthesiologists specialize in surgical patient care and pain treatment. During an operation or similar medical treatment, they deliver medications (anesthetics) that minimize or eliminate discomfort. They are in charge of changing the anesthetic dosage as needed during surgery, as well as monitoring the patient’s heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and respiration. They also work outside of the operating room, giving pain management to patients in the intensive care unit, pregnant women, and chronic pain sufferers. Anesthesiologists collaborate with other doctors and surgeons to plan treatments and procedures before, during, and after surgery.
Pediatricians are doctors that specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries in children, adolescents, and infants. Pediatricians specialize in preventative medicine and the diagnosis of common childhood illnesses like asthma, allergies, and croup. They could operate as a primary care provider or specialize in a sub-specialty. They can also refer you to other professionals if necessary. Infants, children, teenagers, and young adults are all treated by general pediatricians. They specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders that affect children and teenagers. The majority of pediatricians manage common ailments, minor injuries, infectious diseases, and vaccines. Some pediatricians specialize in pediatric surgery or significant medical problems that afflict children and adolescents, such as autoimmune disorders and chronic illnesses.
Cardiologists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and arrhythmias. Despite the fact that they are medical specialists, they might also specialize in interventional procedures.
Physician Job Description
Below are the physician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a physician job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a physician include the following:
- Examine patients, take medical histories, address concerns and answer questions.
- Diagnose and treat injuries, illnesses, and disorders.
- Counsel patients on food, hygiene, preventative healthcare, and other lifestyle modifications.
- Include current findings and therapies in patients’ charts and information.
- Make therapy recommendations and create treatment strategies.
- Inform patients about medical procedures.
- Consult with other doctors, send patients to experts as needed, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals like nurses, assistants, and other doctors.
- Obey all medical laws (for example, HIPAA).
- Collaborate with the primary healthcare team to offer patients with primary medical care services that meet the Internal Medicine standard of care.
- Order laboratory and radiological testing, and refer patients to experts when necessary.
- Analyze reports, test results, medical records, and examinations in order to diagnose patients’ conditions and make treatment recommendations.
- Prescribe pharmaceuticals, other drugs, and treatment regimens to treat medical disorders that have been discovered and documented.
- Discuss any potential adverse effects with patients and double-check that all allergy information is current before giving medication or treatment.
- Provide patients with lifestyle and dietary recommendations that may improve their health or aid in the treatment of a health problem they are facing.
- Follow departmental rules, procedures, and objectives, as well as ongoing quality improvement goals and standards for safety, the environment, and infection control.
- Maintain patient confidentiality and follow all federal and state laws governing the privacy of health information.
- Keep accurate, up-to-date, and readable medical records.
- A medical degree, as well as completion of a residency and internship, are required.
- To practice medicine, you must have a state license and certification.
- Expertise and experience in identifying and treating a wide range of ailments.
- Strong interpersonal and communication abilities.
- Leadership, organizational, and problem-solving abilities are all desirable.
- Dexterity and keen attention to detail.
- Patience and kindness are two virtues required.
- The ability to stay current on improvements, innovations, and developments in the field, as well as a willingness to do so.
- Communication skills: Doctors must be skilled communicators. They must be able to communicate clearly with their patients and other members of the healthcare team.
- Compassion: Physicians deal with sick or injured patients who may be in excruciating pain or distress. Patients and their families must be treated with compassion and understanding by doctors and surgeons.
- Details Oriented: Physicians must be meticulous in ensuring that patients receive the proper treatment and drugs. They must also keep track of and record a variety of data linked to patient care.
- Dexterity: Physicians must have excellent hand-eye coordination. They work with extremely precise and, at times, sharp tools, and errors can have devastating ramifications.
- Leadership skills: Physicians who work in their own practice must have strong leadership qualities. To run their practice, they must be able to manage a team of other experts.
- Organizational skills: Some doctors run their own businesses. In both medical and corporate environments, strong organizational abilities, particularly efficient documentation, are essential.
- Patience: Physicians may work with patients who require special attention for long periods of time. Patients that are afraid of medical treatment, such as children and adults, may require greater patience.
- Physical stamina: Physicians should be able to lift and turn crippled patients without difficulty. During surgery, surgeons may spend a significant amount of time bending over patients.
- Problem-solving skills: Physicians must be able to evaluate their patients’ symptoms and deliver the right therapies. They frequently have to do this rapidly in order to save a patient’s life.
How to Become a Physician
Doctors require significant schooling (on average, eight years) as well as on-the-job training. They must be able to diagnose and treat ailments, communicate with patients and caregivers, and work collaboratively with a wide range of medical experts. If you want to be a doctor, here are the most usual steps to take.
- Get a bachelor’s degree first.
Pre-medicine, exercise science, biology, and other science disciplines are popular among students.
- Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The MCAT is a standardized exam that medical schools use to assess your knowledge, personality, and other characteristics in order to determine your suitability for medical school admission.
- Apply for medical school
You’ll get hands-on training to put what you’ve learned in class into practice by working with a variety of real patients. Clinical specialists such as pediatricians, psychiatrists, geriatric medicine, surgery, and internal medicine may be involved.
- Pursue a medical degree.
Your institution must be accredited by The American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic Accreditation or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in order for your degree to be recognized genuinely.
- Participate in a residency program.
Doctors must do a one-year internship after graduating from medical school, during which time they work alongside licensed physicians to finish the requisite general medical training. Following the internship, graduates must undergo a two- to five-year residency in their chosen field of medicine.
- Get your medical license.
Medical License from the state: Once a doctor has a medical license, they are legally permitted to practice medicine. You must do an internship and pass the state licensure exam after graduating from a recognized medical school. Each state has its own licensing requirements, but they all demand continuing education credits and rigorous background checks for renewal.
Certifications from the Board of Directors: These are national certifications that demonstrate a doctor’s expertise in a specific field of medicine. By completing intensive training and passing a national exam, these doctors become specialists in their specialty.
Where to Work as a Physician
Doctors can be located in a variety of locations. Some people begin by working in an existing practice, while others create their own. Large hospitals are continuously looking for fresh employees. Because the environment in each location is different, it is thought that a lot depends on personal preference (i.e. a government hospital vs. a private hospital). A doctor generally works long hours and must be ready in the event of an emergency. These hours are spent seeing patients in an office setting, performing and interpreting tests, prescribing medicine or treatments, doing rounds in the hospital, taking notes on patients’ physical conditions, advising patients on how to stay healthy, and discussing further treatment options with them. They stay current by taking classes and reading books and medical journals on a regular basis. A surgeon’s doctor will often work two or three days in the office and then two or three days in the hospital operating room performing surgeries. Doctors will also devote time to administrative tasks such as maintaining patient data, returning phone calls, and resolving office concerns.
Physician Salary Scale
Primary care physicians in the United States earned an average of $237,000 in 2018, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report, while specialists earned $341,000 on average. In 2020, self-employed physicians made an average annual pay of $352,000, compared to an average yearly salary of $300,000 for professional physicians. In Nigeria, a physician earns roughly 796,000 NGN per month on average. The lowest average pay is 292,000 NGN, while the highest average salary is 1,340,000 NGN (the highest average, the actual maximum salary is higher). This is the monthly average pay, which includes housing, transportation, and other benefits. Salaries for various Doctor / Physician occupations vary greatly.