2+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2016
Medical Student, MD/PhD Student
Hello all,
I am thinking about possibly applying to med-peds in addition to categorical IM. I was wondering what insight people who are in a med-peds residency or have been through one recently could give me.
About me: I am interested in having a strong primary care background, and subspecializing in rheumatology or allergy/immunology. I intend to balance subspecialty practice with service for underserved populations. I enjoyed both peds and IM rotations and notice that when I encounter a peds (esp school age or adolescent) patient, it brightens my day. I am interested in treating both both children and adult patients for subspecialty and primary care.
My main concern is about the rigor of a meds-peds residency compared to IM. I am an older applicant (completed an MD-PhD program) and am very beaten down by med school.
I am viewing the alternation of 3 months of adult and 3 months of peds as a positive, in that working with kids usually boosts my spirits after caring for mainly debilitated end of life adults. My question to med-peds people is how much work do you do versus IM folks? How is your call/hours/patient load/other responsibilities compared with IM? Do you feel more overworked than your colleagues? Are your programs work-life balance friendly at all?
Thanks in advance!


RSV Fomite
2+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2016
Attending Physician
Med peds is generally busier than either categorical by virtue of having relatively more wards months. Whatever rotation you're on though, youre equally busy to whatever categorical residents are on the same service as you, as you have the exact same responsibilities. Obviously, its also an additional year. I'm a bit of a workaholic, but I don't feel overworked. My less intense colleagues may feel differently, but I don't think as a whole we feel any different from similar personalities in our respective categorical programs. I personally tremendously value the variety of the work and feel I'd be more burned out at the end of residency having done all of my training in a categorical program, but that's a personal bias. I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for in work life balance, but as far as a culture of work life balance, the med peds programs I have experience with are comparable to peds, i.e. very accepting of pregnancies, promoting wellness, etc. You sound like you have good reasons to pursue med peds. Allergy and rheumatology both seem to be a couple of the easier specialties to continue to see the spectrum of adult and pediatric patients as well. I'd encourage you to continue to consider it, talk with residents and faculty at your program or a local program
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7+ Year Member
May 11, 2012
New York
Resident [Any Field]
I was an older applicant as well, with a family, a Master's, and several years of bench work before I started med school. I just wrapped up intern year in Med peds, and it certainly is tough, but it's also doable. My program did 6 month switches for intern year, with the 3 month switch starting this year. My point is that if you really enjoy the peds, and are thinking about specialties that closely involve peds, that med peds may be right for you.

On a side note, if you eventually decide on allergy, it is unique in that all med/ peds/ med - peds grads apply to the same programs. Med peds would arguably give you a boost as you've already studied both medicine and pediatrics.
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NMPRA Director

National Med-Peds Residents' Association
Jul 29, 2015
Resident [Any Field]
Hello! Its great to hear that you are interested in applying to Med-Peds. It certainly sounds like our field would be very fortunate to have you! I am the National Med-Peds Residency Association (NMPRA) Director for Medical Student Interest Groups and Recruitment. First and foremost, I applied to both Med-Peds Programs and Categorical Internal Medicine Programs as a MSIV. I found that going to a few interviews in both and being fully transparent allowed be to discover which field was best for me. It didn't take long for me to recognize that I wanted to do Med-Peds.

Regarding your interests - I agree with the other responses that Med-Peds would provide excellent and unique opportunities to pursue either subspecialty. Furthermore, Med-Peds provides solid primary care training, giving you a lot of experience with both pediatrics and adults. While the alternating Medicine and Pediatric blocks can be challenging, I agree that it provides nice variation in training and ultimately improves your spirits (specifically when working with children).

In response to the rigors of training... Yes, typically Med-Peds residents have a smaller proportion of elective time and more ICU / Wards months. While this can be challenging, I will say that most Med-Peds programs place a lot of emphasis on resident wellness and work-life balance. There are residents with various backgrounds / personal lives. Several residents are married, with children, and have additional degrees; whereas other residents are single, went straight through undergrad --> med school --> residency... all are equally as happy. The bottom line is that yes, the training is challenging - but most residency programs are - and Med-Peds Programs generally create a culture where you will be well-supported as a professional and individual during residency.

Don't hesitate to check out www.medpeds.org for more information about NMPRA; and feel free to reach out to myself or other members with additional questions!
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