Med-Peds Physicians provide a new kind of care for people who experienced complex childhood conditions as children.
Dr. Ryan Tomlinson is one of only two Med-Peds primary care physician licensed in the state of Iowa and serving the Des Moines metro. His training makes him uniquely equipped to work with kids and adults with lifelong conditions.
A relatively “new” specialty to the field of medicine, an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics physician, known as a Med-Peds provider, means this person is trained to care for patients of all ages. Specifically, for children with complex childhood conditions who have grown into adulthood.
In addition to caring for otherwise healthy children and adults, Dr. Tomlinson has a passion for patients with congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, or who have survived pediatric cancer.
In recent decades, medical sciences have made it possible to extend the lives of children who were born with or developed complex medical conditions.
“We’re able to keep these children alive longer, but many of them still live with the after-effects of treatments they received,” Tomlinson says. “On top of that, more mainstream health diagnoses – diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can add to the complexity of treatment.”
Med-Peds physicians, like Dr. Tomlinson are trained to coordinate care for many conditions throughout patients’ lives such as:
- Adults who were born with heart defects or developed heart disease as a child may have had multiple surgeries which can dramatically change their anatomy and physiology. A Med-Peds physician thoroughly understands their condition and its effects as they mature.
- The life expectancy for children with cystic fibrosis has increased significantly, from age 20 in the 1970s to 50+ today. A Med-Peds physician understands and is equipped to treat all stages of the disease and the complications it causes.
- Pediatric cancer survivors experience long-term effects of treatment, which creates lifelong needs for follow-up care. A single primary care physician who coordinates care – from diagnosis to follow-up – improves overall outcomes.
“Another benefit of Med-Peds is that you meet patients when they are children. You see them through any treatments they receive. You know what they’ve gone through, you develop a trusting relationship with them, and you can be there to support them,” Tomlinson says.
If you or your child has unique health needs you can learn more here about the specific training a Med-Peds has to complete.
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About Dr. Ryan Tomlinson
Ryan Tomlinson, MD, is Central Iowa’s only primary care Internal Medicine-Pediatrics physician. Dr. Tomlinson’s specialty of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics is unique in that physicians care for a complete spectrum of patient ages and complexity. Dr. Tomlinson is located at The Iowa Clinic’s Internal Medicine-Pediatrics office located within Iowa Methodist Medical Center. The waiting room in this space was recently renovated to be more kid-friendly.
Dr. Tomlinson received his medical degree from the University of Iowa and completed his Combined Medicine-Pediatrics Residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He also completed a year as the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Chief Resident at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
On a personal note, Dr. Tomlinson can speak Swedish. Outside of the clinic, he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking/trying new foods, camping, outdoor activities, gardening and traveling to new places around the world.
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