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Family Practice Residency


Family Practice Residency

Where Are the Best Family Practice Jobs?
By []David Witte

It is pretty much a given that the majority of physicians will stay within 100 miles of their residency programs. You want proof? Ask around. Not everyone will be staying in that radius but enough will that it makes a difference. Now consider that over 50% of the training programs in the United States are in the Northeast corridor and the region accounts for just 18% of population in the country. This fact alone creates fantastic opportunities for the 50% of residents willing to go where the good jobs are.

Since the population to physician ratio is one of the most important considerations as to whether a job is great, good or poor let's take a look at regional differences in training programs and what those differences mean to you.

The Northeast has 20% of family practice programs and just under 20% of the nation's population and the average family physician makes $152, 000. At first glance everything looks to be in equilibrium. The problem you run into with the Northeast is the bias toward internal medicine and pediatrics. The evidence for the bias can be seen in that New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut each have nearly three times as many internal medicine and pediatric programs as they do family practice.

The Midwest and the West together have roughly 60% of family practice residency programs for 45% of the nation's population. Family physicians in the Midwest earn on average $162, 000 and out West $169, 000. These areas are much more family-practice oriented than the Northeast and this number isn't alarming because most locations in the Midwest do not face intense competition from Internal Medicine. California, Texas, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio have the most programs and the states in the plains have the lowest numbers, but also significantly lower populations. It's the states like Missouri, Kentucky, and Indiana that have few programs and decent sized population bases that offer significant opportunities.

When you consider that only 20% of programs are in the South, which now accounts for 36% of the population, it's conceivable that there is a larger untapped market in the South than anywhere else. According to the US Census bureau Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida are four of the top-ten fastest growing states having grown by over 700, 000 per year since 2005. Yet not one of these states has more than 15 residency programs. From a population-base perspective the potential is huge in the South and as such the average family physician earns about $170, 000 per year.

What is described here is generalized and there are differences and unique situations within each region that are not covered. If you would like to have a more in-depth discussion of these ideas and how they relate to your specific situation please call my office at (800) 880-2028 and speak with one of my colleagues or browse

Dave Witte is with The Curare Group, Inc., a physician recruiting firm located in Bloomington, Indiana. More information on the company can be found at He can be reached at (800) 909-4883 or <a href=""></a>.