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GUEST POST: You could do both? Med-Peds Residency Training

Monday, August 1, 2011

As if pediatrics itself would not be enough for you... here's a guest post from the esteemed Past President of the Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors’ Association with another option:

Med-Peds, short for combined internal medicine/pediatrics, is a vibrant residency option. In existence for over 40 years, it is the only combination residency accredited by the ACGME. Training in Med-Peds provides opportunity for graduates to practice medicine in a variety of venues. Primary care is one of these, but graduates may also pursue a subspecialty in an internal medicine fellowship, a pediatrics fellowship, or both. Hospital medicine is also a very popular field for graduates.
The percentage of graduates of Med-Peds residencies who choose primary care is significantly higher than the percentage for categorical medicine going into primary care, and just slightly higher than that of pediatrics. While Med-Peds is considered a primary care specialty (the current rate is about 50% of trainees choosing primary care), it differs both structurally and philosophically from family medicine. A physician trained in Med-Peds can care for patients across the age span (from “cradle to grave” as is often mentioned), and can be within private practice, academic, or hospital settings.

Med-Peds is really a versatile residency option, and is becoming increasingly popular among medical students. Other areas where Med-Peds physicians can work is in global health venues, and also in transitional care, which is caring for patients who are changing from a pediatric provider to an adult provider.

How does a student know if Med-Peds is right for her/him? Great question. Probably the best answer is if the student has worked with a Med-Peds doctor, and just has a gut feeling that “this seems right for me.” Medical students at medical centers where Med-Peds physicians see patients will have the best opportunity, but students from schools that do not have Med-Peds physicians can also take “away electives” in Med-Peds. This is not required for residency training, but any opportunity to work with a Med-Peds physician certainly can help students understand the advantages of being a Med-Peds doctor.

I have heard from some students that, “Med-Peds is a great option for those who just can’t decide on one residency.” This has some truth to it, although many others describe Med-Peds as, “the perfect fit for me.”

The best source for learning more is the website of NMPRA, or the National Medicine-Pediatrics Residents’ Association. The URL is easy to remember: The site includes general information as well as a helpful map of all Med-Peds residency programs in the U.S. and links to their individual program websites, which is useful when choosing where to apply.

ABOUT OUT GUEST POST CONTRIBUTOR: Alexander M. Djuricich, MD, FACP, FAAP is the Immediate Past President of the Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors’ Association and currently the Program Director for the Medicine-Pediatrics Residency at Indiana University School of Medicine. Oh, and you can find him on Twitter @medpedsdoctor. That's how @Kind4Kids found him!


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