Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Family Practice Physicians in Des Moines, Iowa

There are many career and education opportunities for family practice physicians in the Des Moines, Iowa area. Family practice physicians generally diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population.

A person working as a family practice physician can expect to earn about over $80 hourly or over $166,400 annually on average in Iowa and about $75 hourly or $157,250 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for family practice physicians are better than earnings in the general category of General Medical in Iowa and better than general General Medical category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: occupational medicine physician, physician, and occupational physician.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Des Moines area, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree to start your career as a family practice physician. Family practice physicians usually hold a Doctoral degree, so you can expect to spend four or five years training to become a family practice physician if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years if you have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Family Practice Physician

Family Practice Physician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, family practice physicians diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population.

Family practice physicians monitor patients' conditions and progress and reevaluate treatments as needed. They also collect and maintain patient data, such as medical history and examination results. Equally important, family practice physicians have to advise patients and community members concerning diet and disease prevention. They are often called upon to prescribe or administer treatment, therapy and other specialized medical care to treat or avoid illness, disease, or injury. They are expected to order and interpret tests and analyze records, reports, and examination data to diagnose patients' condition. Finally, family practice physicians work with nurses and other health care providers.

Every day, family practice physicians are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for family practice physicians to direct and schedule efforts of nurses and other medical staff. They are often called upon to explain procedures and consider test results or prescribed treatments with patients. They also ready summaries for government or management of birth and disease statistics, workforce evaluations, or medical status of individuals. They are sometimes expected to formulate or administer health programs or standards in hospitals or communities for prevention or treatment of injury or illness. Somewhat less frequently, family practice physicians are also expected to advise patients and community members concerning diet and disease prevention.

They also have to be able to refer patients to medical specialists or other practitioners when needed and deliver babies. And finally, they sometimes have to work with nurses and other health care providers.

Like many other jobs, family practice physicians must have a strong concern for others and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Des Moines include:

  • Physician Assistant. Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
  • Podiatrist. Diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.
  • Registered Nurse. Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required. Includes advance practice nurses such as: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Advanced practice nursing is practiced by RNs who have specialized formal, post-basic education and who function in highly autonomous and specialized roles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Family Practice Physician Training

Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center - Des Moines, IA

Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center, 3200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312. Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center is a small university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,729 students. Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center has a professional degree program in Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy which graduated 197 students in 2008.


Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.