Internal medicine/pediatrics physicians are trained in two primary care fields and are capable of treating conditions affecting adults and children - functioning in a capacity similar to family doctors.

Watch an Overview of Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

About Internal Medicine / Pediatrics

Internal medicine/pediatrics is a combined medical specialty that is often shortened and referred to as “med-peds". As med-peds physicians, these doctors are able to treat a very wide range of disorders and complications in both adults and children. Despite their wide spectrum of care, med-peds physicians are not family or general practitioners, as they are not trained in obstetrics or surgery during their residency (see below).

Physicians trained in combined internal medicine/pediatrics are able to provide comprehensive care for patients of all ages – from newborns to adolescents and adults to seniors. The unique training of med-peds doctors allows these physicians to provide lifelong care to patients, as well as the possibility of providing care to generations of families. This allows the physician to gain a concrete understanding of the patients’ family histories and therefore a unique insight into the patients’ health systems, including genetic and hereditary tendencies or predispositions.

Because these physicians are also trained in pediatrics, they are able to provide comprehensive medical care to children of all ages suffering from a wide range of illnesses and disorders. They are capable of providing preventive medical care such as wellness checkups, vaccinations and shots, as well as providing care for chronic illnesses and injuries. On the other hand, these physicians can also provide care for the vast array of diseases that affect adults. Most med-peds physicians practice in the area of primary care, but some may specialize in internal medicine or pediatrics, among other areas of medicine.

Internal Medicine / Pediatrics Education & Training

The training to become an internal medicine – pediatric physician (also known as “med-peds” physicians) begins with the successful completion of an undergraduate degree that is usually focused in math and the sciences. After completing a four year program at an accredited medical school to earn an MD or DO degree, the student must complete a specialized four year integrated residency program that pulls from both the pediatric and internal medicine specialties.

During the residency, the resident gains experience in bedside care, as well as diagnosing and treating patients of all ages suffering from a wide range of disorders. Following completion of a med-peds residency and gaining state licensure, the physician will be eligible to practice, or may choose to pursue advanced training in a combined or categorical fellowship.

Because med-peds physicians are trained in both internal medicine and pediatrics, many pursue double board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics.