Family Physicians and General Practitioners

There is a severe shortage of family physicians and general practitioners in Western Massachusetts, and especially in the Greater Springfield area. Because of this, there are excellent opportunities for physicians to start and grow a practice in Western Massachusetts. 

Doctors who specialize in family and general medicine provide comprehensive care to children, adults and elders, especially preventative care. 

Family physicians and general practitioners:

  • Provide preventive care, coordinate care with specialists, and help patients manage chronic conditions so that they are less likely to need expensive or lengthy acute care at a hospital
  • Care for the whole patient, including mental and emotional needs
  • Focus on preventing illness as well as treating it, and provide patients with information and techniques to take control of their health 

Education and training requirements

Family physicians and general practitioners are required to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree, four years of medical school, and three years of residency training.

Family and general practitioners are also expected to have:

  • Excellent science and math skills
  • Specific knowledge about caring for infants, children and adolescents
  • Strong communication skills to build a long-term relationship with patients and to gather the information required to make accurate diagnoses
  • A comfort level with technology, including electronic medical records systems
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