The Case for Medicine-Pediatrics Training in the U.S. Military

Joseph M. Maciuba, Mary C. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Residency programs in the combined specialty of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics (Med-Peds) are not offered in the military graduate medical education system despite existing in the civilian sector for over 50 years. This residency consists of 4 years of training and results in the development of board-certified internists and pediatricians who can care for patients from infancy to death. This versatility, combined with an emphasis on the transition from childhood to adulthood, would be valuable to the Military Health System. Med-Peds physicians could serve in a variety of settings depending on the needs of the military: in the outpatient clinic, in the hospital, or in an operational setting. Specifically, Med-Peds doctors could operate as critical care extenders in austere or operational environments to patients of all ages. This could improve outcomes of pediatric casualties in war because of specific training in both medical and pediatric intensive care units. Med-Peds physicians would integrate seamlessly into the Military Health System to work alongside family medicine doctors, internists, and pediatricians to provide high-quality primary care to service members; this may also allow for the increased flexibility of the medical corps. As there are already military residency programs in pediatrics and internal medicine, the required infrastructure for such a training program exists. The addition of this residency may also lead to more interest in military medicine from prospective applicants to medical school. This essay uses personal experience to explain how the addition of this specialty to the military would benefit the medical mission domestically and abroad.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-273
Number of pages2
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


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