Family medicine is a specialty characterized by a high level of professional satisfaction, personal balance between career and home, and a comfortable lifestyle. While practice arrangements, to a large extent, determine work hours, schedule and family time, flexible practice models offer family physicians a wide range of lifestyle options.

Recent AAFP practice profile surveys revealed family physicians:

  • Spend 39.7 hours per week in direct patient care
  • Work an average of 47 weeks per year in patient-related or professional activities
  • See an average of 84 patients per week in office-based visits (36 in other settings)
  • Have an average of five weeks for vacation or CME-related activities per year

Incomes for family physicians compare favorably to those of other primary care specialties. While income typically varies by region, years in practice and type of practice, the 2007 average net income of family physicians ($161,000) allows them to effectively pay off student loans in a reasonable amount of time and comfortably support their families.