Combined Training Programs: Taking a Simultaneous Adult and Pediatric Care Training

Olivia Kelly, MD
Updated April 23, 2021
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Combined Training Programs: Taking a Simultaneous Adult and Pediatric Care Training

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Common pediatric programs are offered with a 3-year duration and are coupled with various other factors to be considered such as type of affiliation, location, and track selection. An aspiring individual who is trying to establish a career in general pediatrics, or take on a sub-specialization under the same category is bound to be subject to this decision half-way through medical school. Effectively weighing one’s options is critical in determining the perfect balance between these determinants. As such, knowing all possible opportunities and utilizing each efficiently is the key to producing maximum results in terms of speed, quality, and convenience.

Being able to exhibit maximum comprehension during the program while still maintaining optimum conditions is like a dream come true for any medical student. Sometimes, it seems like a far-fetched dream as plans usually go awry during certain critical aspects. Despite that, preparations go a long way in trying to stabilize that path to your liking, and knowing the unknowns of the road before you are no different from gauging the temperature of the bath before you dip your whole body into it.

In that sense, combined training programs are made available for students who wish to specialize in both adult and child-focused training programs in a shorter period. It is a whole other kind of ordeal, but its benefits are a step above the rest. Juggling two different specializations in one training program allows an individual to obtain both certifications in a time that is longer than its individual aspects, but is also significantly shorter than its combined counterparts. For students looking for that sense of convenience even in their residency program, combined training is certainly a must-have for pediatric program candidates who wish to step it up.

Internal Medicine – Pediatrics Program

It is the most common program within the classification, and it combines the residency programs of both pediatrics and internal medicine into a 4-year training course. The provision of such will require you to examine patients in both clinics and hospitals, and some variations even allow residents to consult adults and children simultaneously on the same day. An allocated period for each specialization is likewise provided in some programs, but it is undoubtedly in no way easier than the latter variation.

This combination will allow you to handle patients in every critical juncture of life – whether it is during birth, adolescence, or even adulthood. The vast scope of practice provides you with the knowledge to recognize conditions in every possible situation, even in variable instances such as transitions. Choosing to specialize in a certain period within the spectrum of their qualification is usually done by many trainees to narrow down their mastery despite being exposed to a larger population. Nevertheless, the alternating rotations within those 4 years ensure your mastery of the two categories and qualification to be certified by the American Boards of each respective department. If you think that this is right up to within your alley, you should consider signing up for this program.

Pediatrics – Anesthesiology Program

A 5-year program that combines the qualifications required by both categories into one training course, specialized for the use of residents who aims to be capable in both disciplines. Most residents who take this program are usually focused on complex conditions in children that integrate surgery and its corresponding aspects into the treatment regimen. It has been announced in 2010, and it currently has 6 programs in 6 different locations throughout the United States.

Due to its limited duration, another year is usually recommended for subspecialization in various aspects such as hematology-oncology, allergy and immunology, sleep medicine, orthopaedic surgery, and palliative medicine. The inclusion of such helps in highlighting certain competencies within the program to further fortify the experiences collected by the resident. Its provisions are indeed, quite extensive, but unlike the previous program, its focus on pediatric care is still present throughout. The skillset for both is widely complementary for either discipline – making it one to choose when you’re looking for the cherry of your pediatric program. In cases where surgery would’ve been your second choice for a residency program, this could also be a suitable candidate for you.

Pediatrics Emergency Medicine Program

This program utilizes a 5-year training course that provides residents with the professional capability to perform in both disciplines. The scope of such a program requires that the adult components of their emergency medicine qualification are met and integrated with their knowledge and experience in pediatric instances. As such, the components of general pediatric medicine are also to be obtained throughout the training course provided by the program. Considering the regular combined duration of both areas (6 years), this course is a great avenue for residents to take up another subspecialization or fellowship for the year that has been omitted from the total duration. Of course, this could also be considered a free year for students. However, continuous learning is a critical aspect in the practice of medicine, and expanding the scope of your practice is just a more efficient way of performing that necessity.

The combination of these two programs produce physicians who are not only well-versed in the general aspects of emergency and pediatric care but are also knowledgeable in the field of preventive medicine and chronic diseases. The scope of their practice, from its age range to the disease classification, is one to look out for when comparing various combined programs. Primary care restrictions are also virtually non-existent in candidates who finished the program and it shows a great promise of versatility and compatibility both in theory and in practice. As such, when you’re looking for an all-around program that is probably the safest bet out of all combined programs, this is probably the one for you.

Pediatrics – Medical Genetics Program

The aspects of general pediatrics and genetics, including genomics, are combined in this 4-year training program aimed at providing residents with the certification necessary for both ABP and AMGG. There are currently 22 universities that are offering this program, and for most of them, a 3-year fellowship in genetics is an efficient alternative for when you would like to take the two disciplines separately. With this unique combination, you will be able to tackle metabolism-related and congenital conditions in children with the integration of genetic testing and examination. Of course, the limits are boundless, and these are just a few examples of specific focus points that are made possible through the combination of the two classifications. Throughout the program, consistent rotations between the two disciplines might be employed, but the individual allocation of the two in different years is also a possibility in some universities. Nevertheless, it is always assured to provide a holistic understanding of both categories – allowing residents to take on the certification examination of both departments.

Pediatrics – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program

Rehabilitative management, from its physical to its psychological and social aspects, is tackled in this 5-year program for residents who had their eyes on taking both specializations in their studies. The program provides residents with the information necessary to provide early interventions, rehabilitative treatment, diagnosis, and age-appropriate assistive devices for further management. Common pediatric problems are given priority, but their scope is not necessarily limited to such.

In addition to that, you could also take a subspecialization program in medical genetics (on top of common pediatric subspecialization programs) for a certain number of units during your rotations. As such, it is evident that its procedures are more unique than the rest, and this is even more relevant in the issue of their certifications. Obtaining a certification in PM&R requires the students to take a fellowship program for an extra year, along with a third exam, even with the combined program. It might seem like additional work, but it is necessary to have the right qualifications for such discipline. After all, it is still significantly shorter than the 3-year duration of a stand-alone PM&R program – making it an efficient choice even with the additional year of training.

Pediatrics – Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program

Coined as the “triple board” program, this 5-year training course provides residents with specialized knowledge in general pediatrics, psychiatry, and child psychiatry to take on the certification examination of the three disciplines. Being able to take on this program allows residents to obtain the ability to address the entire spectrum of psychiatric disorders from birth to adulthood, and provide interventions that are specifically catered for each. As such, graduates of this program are often focusing on either academic work or clinical practice – both of which are also qualified to take on an additional subspecialization for their research or their care. Although the short duration might be daunting for some, especially considering that the information of three different classifications is going to be integrated, it does provide the fastest path towards obtaining three different specializations in one program. It might be challenging, but it might also be efficiency at its finest.

The varying preferences of students sometimes confuse them when choosing between residency programs. In some cases, it results in them concluding that they would be taking multiple residency programs to obtain the necessary knowledge for each of their desired disciplines. As such, taking on combined training programs introduces efficiency despite having multiple choices – an option that is arguably a life-saver for many who are struggling with indecision. Speed, quality, and convenience. There’s probably no better deal than this.


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