Family/General Practitioner  What They Do

Just the Facts


Diagnoses, treats, and helps prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Prescribes or administers treatment, therapy, medication, vaccination, and other medical care to treat and prevent illness, disease, and injury.
  • Orders, performs, and interprets tests and analyzes records, reports, and examination information to diagnose patients' condition.
  • Collects, records, and maintains patient information such as medical history, reports, and examination results.
  • Monitors a patient's condition and progress, and re-evaluates treatments as necessary.
  • Explains procedures and discusses test results or prescribed treatments with patients.
  • Advises patients and community members concerning diet, activity, hygiene, and disease prevention.
  • Refers patients to medical specialists or other practitioners when necessary.
  • Coordinates work with nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, and other health care providers.
  • Directs and coordinates activities of nurses, students, assistants, specialists, therapists, and other medical staff.
  • Plans, implements, or administers health programs or standards in hospitals, businesses, or communities for prevention or treatment of injury or illness.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Emergency Medicine Physician -- Provides immediate diagnosis and recognition, care and stabilization of a large range of both adult and pediatric patients subjected to acute injuries and illnesses.