Overview of the Specialty

Family medicine physicians are trained to prevent, diagnose and treat a wide variety of ailments in patients of all ages. Although the scope and practice of family medicine is broad, it is a precise discipline, integrating a unique blend of biomedical, behavioral and social sciences. Family medicine focuses on care within the context of the family on a continuing basis. Family physicians employ a diverse range of cognitive and procedural skills and coordinate care with other specialists when necessary. They receive training in surgery, psychiatry, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and geriatrics.

At a Glance


  • 3 years of residency
  • Categorical and advanced positions available

These are minimum requirements. Some programs may have longer residencies.


Geriatric Medicine1 year
Sports Medicine1 year


Median, Academic Salary$192,000
Median, Clinical Salary$211,000

Source: Association of American Medical Colleges

Training Requirements

Training consists of a minimum of three years of postgraduate education in a ACGME-accredited training program. There were 480 family medicine residency programs accredited by the ACGME for 2014/15 that offered 3,195 categorical positions.

Matching Program Information and Match Statistics

Family medicine residency training programs participate in the NRMP. Match results through the NRMP and competitiveness information for family practice residency training positions are summarized in the US Match Statistics table below.

US Match Statistics





# Categorical/ Advanced positions available for U.S. Seniors3195310930372740
% U.S. Seniors matched*96%97%97%98%
# Unfilled Categorical/ Advanced Positions72132123149
# Unmatched U.S. seniors46405922

Source: NRMP Match results for U.S. seniors applying in a single specialty. *Competitiveness is based upon the percentage of U.S. Seniors who ranked each specialty as their only choice.

WUSM Match Statistics

For a list of WUSM match statistics for the past several years, please visit Search for WUSM Statistics. (password protected)

Subspecialty/Fellowship Training

Subspecialty/fellowship training following completion of a family medicine residency training program is available in geriatric medicine and sports medicine. Detailed information about the scope of these subspecialty training programs, number of positions offered, and length of training is available at the FREIDA website.

Visit AMA website »
Visit FREIDA website »

Career Information

FREIDA physician workforce information for each specialty includes statistical information on the number of positions/programs for residency training, resident work hours, resident work environment and compensation, employment status upon completion of program and work environment for those entering practice in each specialty.

Washington University Resources

Faculty Contacts

Walton Sumner II, MD454-8164
Kirsten Brandt, MD996-8103

National Organizations