What is a Medicine-Pediatrics Specialist?

Medicine-Pediatrics, also called Med-Peds, is a combination of the separate specialties Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. A Med-Peds physician receives training to become board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics by completing a four-year residency training program. Through this combined training, a Med-Peds physician is capable of performing all the duties of the individual specialists. Physicians who choose to become Med-Peds specialists typically wish to receive the rigorous and often in-hospital training of the individual specialists while also maintaining the ability to care for people of all ages.

Many Med-Peds specialists enter primary care practices upon completion of their training while others further sub-specialize into fields such as Cardiology, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonology and others. Med-Peds physicians in primary care are able to care for families much like traditional family physicians but invariably have some differences in their approach to patient care and do not practice any obstetrics or surgery.

The Med-Peds combination is relatively new in the medical world. We have the distinction in the Rochester area of having one of the two oldest programs in the country at The University of Rochester (the other is The University of North Carolina). There were few Med-Peds training programs until the late 1980′s and early ’90′s. Now there are well over 100 programs nationwide. Most major university medical centers offer a combined program in addition to the individual specialties, and there are many non-university-affiliated hospital systems that offer this training as well.