What does a general practitioner do?

General Practitioner Definition

A general practitioner is a family doctor or doctor. It is responsible for diagnosing and caring for patients in routine cases, and usually refers people to specialists when specific treatments are required.

What Does GP Stand For In Medical Terms

In the medical profession, GP Stand For General Practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to patients.

Average General Practitioner Salaries in the United States

Family physicians must have a medical degree and a license, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earned an average of US $ 177,330 per year until May 2011.

General Practitioner Education Requirements

Degree Level Doctoral (M.D. or D.O.)
Degree Field Medicine
Training 3-4 year residency
Licensure and Certification License required to practice medicine; certification in family medicine may be required
Key Skills Extensive medical knowledge; compassion; attention to detail; critical thinking and good verbal and written communication skills; use of medical software
Salary $184,390 (2015 median for family and general practitioners)

How to be a General Practitioner

What steps do I need to take to become a family doctor?

  • Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Step 2: Take the Medical College Admission Test
  • Step 3: Earn a Medical Degree
  • Step 4: Finish Residency Training
  • Step 5: Obtain a Medical License
  • Step 6: Advance Your Career By Becoming Certified in Family Medicine

Work environment

Most of the time, family doctors work in private offices, unlike many other specialists who can work in private practice or in hospital settings. This means that the family doctor is usually his own boss. Some doctors work in clinics with other doctors or are part of a network of medical offices. Their offices typically consist of small offices or areas within a larger building. Doctors usually have a base staff consisting of receptionists and nurses who assist them.

First contact

Typically, family doctors are the first contact for patients when they feel sick or suffer a simple wound. Doctors usually maintain a stable group of patients who look for them when they suffer minor illnesses or injuries. At the initial visit, the family doctor makes the diagnosis of the patient’s condition using simple procedures. Then he decides how to treat the patient and if he should refer him to a specialist for more detailed care.


When the general practitioner is directly involved in the treatment plan, it is usually in simple cases. Guiding patients to personal care and prescribing medications are two ways in which family doctors actively treat their patients. He may, for example, recommend that a patient suffering from back pain use a thermal mattress for a certain part of the day. You can also prescribe a pain medication that gives you relief.

Continuous care

For patients dealing with chronic or ongoing health problems, the general practitioner is the one who helps them manage their care. Some patients need regular check-ups so that the doctor can monitor their condition and determine if it has improved or worsened. Others need to reassess their medications. Family doctors typically help supply patients with medications. When necessary, the doctor requests blood tests or other laboratory tests to support the initial diagnosis and assess the patient’s condition.