Real Talk: Stigma on General PractitionersCreated by:
Hi, I am a recent medical graduate. I am still deciding as to whether I should pursue a specialty program or be a general practitioner.
When I was still on my clerkship and medical school, I was torn with what specialty to choose. Now that I have graduated, I am torn as to whether I should pursue a residency program or practice as a general physician. In our country, Philippines, most degree holders pursue a specialty for the following reasons: one, somehow it has been a no- brainer to be a specialist. Most degree holders ramble and decide as to which specialty they should be in. There is a thinking for some that having a specialization is not an option. To be perfectly honest, the doctors that I know and I am surrounded with, falls in this category.
Second, there is a stigma that general practitioners are not given much importance, compared to specialists, since they didn't achieve a higher course of learning. In Somehow, some people think that GPs are just General Practitioners.
But the question remains, aren't we all-- specialists or not, general physicians at one point in our lives?
For one reason, I do consider to be a general practitioner because I know there are a lot of sick people who needs a general physician. In our country, not everyone has an access to a tertiary hospital or a provincial hospital. But at least they have a doctor accessible in their community. Second, the ratio of GPs to specialists is not balanced. Specialists outnumbers the GPs. Which is an advantage for GPs. Third, our names is our brand. At a young age, I want to start out a career and establish a name. My goal is to be a name in the community while doctors my age who had just finished residency was just starting out. Time is gold too, we're not getting any younger.
I want to know what our fellow healthcare workers think about this issue. Share your thoughts, does this kind of stigma happen in your community too? For the general practitioners, what made you stay in the field or are you planning on taking up a specialty? Your thoughts will be much appreciated.