Family Medicine Facts
Family medicine is the most versatile of all physician specialties, providing comprehensive medical care to patients of both sexes and all ages, and family physicians are just as diverse as their patients.
Family physicians deliver care in a variety of settings, including:
- Office practices
- Nursing homes
- Community health centers
- Urgent care centers
- Emergency rooms
- University-based health centers
Family physicians have the flexibility to tailor their clinical services to the unique needs of their patients and their situations. In addition to office-based procedural training, family physicians receive training in hospital-based medicine, including critical care and obstetrical procedures. Family physicians have the flexibility to incorporate procedures into their patient care as their skills and interests evolve and demand for various services develops in their community.
The following tables illustrate the diversity and variety of AAFP members and their practices.
Table 1: Membership in the AAFP by Membership Category
The AAFP has approximately 110,600 members, including active members, residents, and students.
Table 2: Selected Demographic Characteristics of AAFP Members
The AAFP has a diverse membership of men and women of various ages practicing in urban and rural settings.
Table 3: Selected Practice Characteristics of Active AAFP Members
AAFP members practice medicine in a variety of settings, from private clinics to emergency departments, from solo practices to hospital systems.
Table 4: Mean and Median 2009 Individual Income of Family Physicians
AAFP members had a mean individual income of $173,700 in 2009.
Table 5: Average Number of Weeks for Professional Activities
AAFP members worked an average of 47 weeks in the last year.
Table 6: Average Number of Patient Encounters Per Week
Each week, the average AAFP member saw patients during 89 office visits, seven hospital visits, two nursing home visits, and one house call.
Table 7: Average Patient Contact Hours Per Week
AAFP members spent an average of 34 hours each week engaged in direct, face-to-face patient contact.
Table 8: Patient Health Care Insurance Coverage
AAFP members see patients with a variety of insurance coverage from traditional health plans, to Medicaid and Medicare, to the uninsured.
Table 9: Medicare Participation by Family Physicians
Approximately 90 percent of AAFP members participate in Medicare.
Table 10: Acceptance of Medicare Patients
More than 82 percent of AAFP members are accepting new Medicare patients.
Table 11: Acceptance of Medicaid Patients
More than 64 percent of AAFP members are accepting new Medicaid patients.
Table 12: Performance of Diagnostic Procedures
AAFP members perform a variety of procedures in their practices including dermatologic procedures and physical therapy.
Table 13: CLIA Classification of Family Physicians' Office Laboratories
AAFP member physicians’ office laboratories vary in the complexity of tests performed.
Table 14: Performance of Laboratory Tests
More than 22 percent of AAFP member physicians’ office laboratories perform more than 40 tests.
Table 15: Hospital Admission Privileges
More than 65 percent of AAFP member physicians have hospital admission privileges.
Table 16: Opinion About Hospital Privileges
Approximately 80 percent of AAFP members believe family physicians’ hospital privileges are generally about right.
Table 17: Provision of Selected Services and Procedures in Hospital Practices
AAFP members provide a variety of services and procedures in hospital practices, including pediatric care, newborn care, intensive care, and emergency care.
Table 18: Number of Babies Delivered
Ten percent of AAFP members report delivering babies, and those members delivered 40 babies on average in 2009.
Table 19: Residency Programs by Structure
More than half of family medicine residency programs are community-based and affiliated with a medical school.
Table 20: Selected Statistics for Residency Programs
Family medicine residency programs have a diverse population of residents from United States and international medical graduates.
Table 21: Number of Accredited Programs, Approved First-Year Positions, etc.
In 2012, there were a total of 10,104 family medicine residents, filling 99.8 percent of the 454 accredited residency programs.
Table 22: Total Educational Debt Burden for Residency Graduates
Twenty percent of family medicine residency graduates have between $200,000 and $249,999 in educational debt.