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Going into academia/research as family physician?

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I'm curious about how feasible it is to become a researcher as a family physician - would it be more difficult than if one was a specialist? 

As well, are you limited to researching topics within the scope of family medicine or could you go beyond that (or would people/funding bodies/journals not take you as seriously)? For example, I'd love to do research about healthcare data and AI, but that doesn't seem particularly relevant to the field of family medicine in comparison to other specialties. 

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