Are you interested in a rewarding career as a physician, where you can help play a key role in your community and enjoy opportunities for career growth? In that case, specializing in allopathic medicine might be the ideal path for you.
Allopathic physicians practice modern medicine to treat various conditions using therapies, drugs, or surgery. Read on to find out more about allopathic medicine, what an allopathic physician is, and what education and training you will need.
What is allopathic medicine?
Allopathic medicine is the general term for what most people understand as modern, Western medicine. The allopathic medicine definition describes it as a method of treating disease with remedies (such as surgery or drugs) that produce different effects from those caused by the disease.
It takes a science-based approach to treating patients and uses conventional modern medical treatments such as surgery, medication, and therapies.
Allopathic physicians have the title of MD or medical doctor and have various responsibilities related to maintaining health, such as prevention and acute care. They can specialize in several different specialty areas and build a career in research or teaching.
Allopathic medicine is also called biomedicine, mainstream medicine, conventional medicine, and orthodox medicine.
What does an allopathic physician do?
So, what is an allopathic physician? The role of an allopathic physician is to examine patients, request diagnostic tests, make diagnoses and provide treatment. They use surgery, radiation, clinical trials, and FDA-approved medications to treat their patients.
Allopathic physicians also provide preventative allopathic care through antibiotics, vaccinations, and screenings. They counsel patients about injuries, health conditions, and illnesses and educate patients on preventative healthcare such as diet, fitness, and stopping smoking.
In a hospital, physicians provide allopathic care for emergency patients and those with life-threatening or serious illnesses. They may also perform surgeries. Allopathic physicians can work in laboratories as researchers looking for causes of illnesses and diseases and new and effective treatments.
An allopathic physician will typically work with other medical professionals in different fields to provide a package of quality healthcare for patients. Their main duties will depend on their specific specialties; however, the typical duties of an allopathic doctor include:
- Recording patient histories
- Performing physical examinations
- Requesting, performing, and interpreting diagnostic tests
- Giving vaccinations
- Prescribing medications
- Carrying out surgeries
- Ordering physical therapies
- Referring patients to other professionals for specialized care
- Counseling patients and their families
- Educating and mentoring other medical professionals
- Conducting research
What are the benefits of allopathic medicine?
Allopathic medicine seeks to bring the body and mind back into a healed state by focusing on the cause of the problem and removing it. Physicians follow a system to cure acute and life-threatening injuries and illnesses that utilize the most advanced technology.
There are many advantages of allopathic medicine, for example:
- Doctors have access to the latest technology to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries
- Allopathic doctors are highly skilled physicians who can treat illnesses and injuries and perform tests to help improve the quality of life of their patients
- Patients have access to the best medicines available to aid healing
- All allopathic doctors and nurses are licensed, ensuring patients have legal protection and only receive the best treatment
- Huge investment goes into research and development. New treatments and medicines are developed daily
- There are medical facilities in every town. There's always somewhere a patient can go to seek medical help
How to become an allopathic physician?
To become an allopathic physician, you will need to earn a bachelor's degree, graduate from medical school and then complete a residency program to gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting. Some specialty fields will require you to undertake a fellowship. Here are the five steps to becoming an allopathic physician:
Earn a bachelor's degree
Becoming an allopathic physician involves earning a bachelor's degree in psychology, biology, or a related field. Required courses include anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, and physics. You will need to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) between your junior and senior years. Medical schools will review your MCAT scores as part of your application.
Complete an allopathic medical school program
Allopathic medical school lasts four years. During your final two years, you will undertake rotations where experienced physicians supervise you in clinics or hospitals. You will need to complete the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) during your medical school program.
Get your state license
After graduating with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and successfully passing the USMLE, you can apply for your medical license. You will need to renew your medical license, but the frequency will depend on your state's specific requirements.
Undertake a residency program
Once you are a licensed MD, you will have to participate in a residency program. There are 133 specialty and subspecialty residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Residencies provide practical and hands-on experience in a clinical setting and can last from three to eight years, depending on your chosen area of specialization.
Specialties in allopathic medicine include:
- Allergy and Immunology
- Internal Medicine
- Medical Genetics and Genomics
- Neurological Surgery
- Nuclear Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Plastic Surgery
- Emergency Medicine
- Family Medicine
- Preventive Medicine
- Psychiatry and Neurology
Gain board certification
Board certifications can boost your employment opportunities and earning potential. It typically involves assessments certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which certifies 24 specialties.
How much does an allopathic physician make?
Allopathic physicians have an excellent job outlook, and this is reflected in their salaries. An allopathic physician in the United States earns between $150,000 and $300,000 on average. Their earnings depend on their qualifications, experience, and area of specialty. However, in some states, allopathic physician salaries can reach up to £346,000.
It's common for anesthesiologists to earn more than general practitioners. Meanwhile, doctors working in large private practices will often make more than those based in public hospitals.
Geographical location can also influence the salary of an allopathic doctor. Here are the seven highest salaries of allopathic physicians by state:
Average allopathic physician salary
Should you work in allopathic medicine?
Working in allopathic medicine offers an enriching career. You can expect to make a huge impact on the lives of your patients and their families. Thanks to the many specialties within allopathic medicine, you can choose an area you feel most passionate about and where your skills will be best used.
If you believe that becoming an allopathic physician is your calling, check to see whether you have the following skills and qualities:
Excellent attention to detail
All physicians must be thorough and detail orientated to identify, diagnose and distinguish between several health conditions that display similar symptoms. It will also allow you to assess the effectiveness of treatments and monitor your patient's progress.
Whatever specialty of allopathic medicine you choose, you will need to have excellent physical stamina to keep up with the demanding working hours, lifting, and other physically demanding elements of the job.
As an allopathic physician, you will need to have exceptional critical thinking skills to enable you to solve complex problems by reviewing patient history, case notes, and test results.
Allopathic physicians must have exceptional communication skills to discuss diagnoses, test results, and treatment options with patients and collaborate with other professionals successfully.
Successful allopathic physicians will have excellent leadership skills to manage nursing teams and other health professionals to deliver effective health care to patients.