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Career and Education Opportunities for Family Practice Physicians in Columbia, Maryland

If you want to be a family practice physician, the Columbia, Maryland area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Family practice physicians generally diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population.

Family practice physicians earn about $70 per hour or $146,960 yearly on average in Maryland and about $75 per hour or $157,250 annually on average nationally. Incomes for family practice physicians are better than in the overall category of General Medical in Maryland, and better than the overall General Medical category nationally. Jobs in this field include: physician, emergency medicine physician, and physicians and surgeons.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including five within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a family practice physician. The most common level of education for family practice physicians is a Doctoral degree. You can expect to spend four or five years studying to be a family practice physician if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years starting with 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 Columbia 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.
  • 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.
  • Veterinarian. Diagnose and treat diseases and dysfunctions of animals. May engage in a particular function, such as research and development, consultation, administration, technical writing, sale or production of commercial products, or rendering of technical services to commercial firms or other organizations. Includes veterinarians who inspect livestock.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Family Practice Physician Training

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has a professional degree program in Medicine which graduated 181 students in 2008.

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a professional degree program in Medicine which graduated seventy-seven students in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore, 520 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1627. University of Maryland-Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,156 students. University of Maryland-Baltimore has a professional degree program in Medicine which graduated 146 students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a professional degree program in Medicine which graduated 154 students in 2008.

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has a professional degree program in Medicine which graduated 101 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.