Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What's the difference between Med-Peds and Family Practice?

A: Family practitioners are trained to do more (pediatrics, medicine, obstetrics, minor surgery, podiatry) in three years, whereas Med-Peds concentrate solely on medicine and pediatrics in four years. One could say that FP relies more on breadth of knowledge where Med-Peds relies on depth. Med-Peds residents get much more intense inpatient exposure, especially on the pediatric side with many more months in the ICUs and NICUs. After graduating from residency, Med-Peds physicians are eligible for subspecialty training in any specialty in either medicine or pediatrics.




Q: What do Med-Peds graduates do when they're finished with residency?

A: Most go into primary care. Often they join up with a group of other Med/Peds physicians. Many work in emergency rooms and an increasing number are going into fellowships in either medicine, pediatrics, or both. Currently there is a growing demand for Med/Peds trained hospitalists.



Q: What is better, a combined Med-Peds clinic or a separate medicine and pediatric clinic? Why do your residents go to private Med-Peds clinics?


A: Each has its advantages. Having one clinic is definately more convenient and it is great to see kids and adults in the same day. The major advantage, though, of having two clinics is that you're guaranteed to see pediatric patients during half of your continuity time. It's also nice to work with pediatricians and internists who have years of experience in the ambulatory setting. It gives you the perspective of both sides. Here at UofL, we have strong support of alum who practice primary care and function as preceptors for our continuity clinics. This is a little less convenient, but provides an unique perspective of outpatient medicine that residency programs have difficulty exposing training residents. We feel it is a great opportunity and our residents love the experience.




Q: How much do Med-Peds doctors make in the real world?

A: As a generalist, they make about what an internist in a given area will make. Typically FPs make a little less and general pediatricians start around 100-120K. AAMC's Careers in Medicine has a more in-depth article regarding Med-Peds as a specialty.


Q: How important is it to do a Med-Peds residency at a program with a "free-standing" children's hospital?

A: It depends on what you want to ultimately do. Our pediatric-trained ancillary staff are solely dedicated to taking care of kids in our children's hospital. Just getting X-Rays and EKGs read correctly can be challenging. You can't underestimate the importance of having an entire hospital devoted to kids, from the IV nurses to physical therapists and child life specialists.



Q: Can Med-Peds residents go on to do fellowships?

A: Yes. Since, at the end of our training, we are board certified internists and pediatricians, any medicine or pediatric subspecialty is fair game. Some people go on to do both (i.e. adult AND pediatric infectious diseases). We have recent graduates who trained as pediatric intensivists, combined Med/Peds GI, and pediatric cardiology fellowships.



Q: Deep down are you more 'Medicine' or 'Pediatrics'?

A: Some people naturally find one side or the other more in tune with their own personality. There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to both. Adults tend to not be so cute and sometimes can smell and Kids are still cute even when they smell bad. But kids tend to have parents who can sometimes drive you nuts and you can sometimes learn more from adults because they have so many co-morbidities. Usually residents are pretty happy on whatever service their on but usually ready for the 'switch' to the other side.




Q: Are you treated any differently by your categorical colleagues?

A: No. Both sides seem to put up with us pretty well. We blend, but at the same time, it's important for your program to have its own personality... and we do!


Q: What is your interview day like?

A: We have a one day interview process with dinner the night before with Med/Peds residents. You will receive a tour and overview of both Pediatrics and Internal Medicine as well as a combined overview of the Med/Peds Program. And of course interview with the faculty and program director.