How To Become a Family and General Practitioner

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More.

What degree do you need

Recommended degree level


We did a survey to ask other Family and General Practitioners what degree they had when they became a Family and General Practitioner. Here are the results.

Post-Doctoral Training

Post-Master’s Certificate

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Family and General Practitioners or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Family and General Practitioners what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Osteopathic Medicine or Osteopathy
Family Medicine Residency Program

Family and General Practitioners have demanding education and training requirements. Almost all Family and General Practitioners complete at least 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and, depending on their specialty, 3 to 8 years in internship and residency programs. Most applicants to medical school have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many have advanced degrees. Although no specific major is required, all students must complete undergraduate work in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and English.

Become a Family and General Practitioner


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How hard is it

Very Hard

You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be a Family and General Practitioner. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, a surgeon must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Careers in this difficulty category may need some on-the-job-training, but most of these careers assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, and work-related experience and training. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, neurologists, and veterinarians.

Related work experience required
2 to 4 years

2 to 4 years

4 to 6 years

Over 10 years

Job training
4 to 10 years

4 to 10 years


1 to 3 months

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification

All states require Family and General Practitioners to be licensed; requirements vary by state. To qualify for a license, candidates must graduate from an accredited medical school, complete residency training in their specialty, and pass written and practical exams. All Family and General Practitioners must pass a standardized national licensure examination. M.D.s take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). D.O.s take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). For specific state information about licensing, contact your state’s medical board.

Skills required

We asked other Family and General Practitioners if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Critical Thinking what does this mean
2.Active Listening what does this mean
3.Judgement and Decision Making what does this mean
4.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
5.Writing what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Family and General Practitioners are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Medicine and Dentistry what does this mean
2.Psychology what does this mean
3.Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
4.Biology what does this mean
5.Therapy and Counseling what does this mean

Learn more about Family and General Practitioners

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Related to Family and General Practitioners Requirements

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