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Yes, You Can Practice Full-scope Family Medicine

Article by MassAFP's MaryAnn Dakkak, M.D., M.S.P.H.

A residency colleague once told me, "MaryAnn, you're just not going to be able to do it all. You'll have to give things up."

I'll tell you how she was right, but not until I explain all the ways she was wrong.

When I finished training in 2016, I was dual boarded in family medicine and HIV medicine. I had just completed a fellowship in surgical and high-risk obstetrics. I loved all of it, and I had no intention of giving anything up. I already had my two children and a supportive husband. The world was a giant open door.

But the data paint a different picture. Only 7% of family physicians practice obstetrics, despite the fact that more than 20% of us intend to do OB when we graduate. Only 46% of recent family medicine graduates practice inpatient medicine, compared to 78% of graduates prior to 2010. I remember an attending OB telling me during my fellowship that there was no reason for OB/Gyn generalists, that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists should split that specialty.

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