Jonathan L. Tolentino, M.D., associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been named president-elect of the Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors Association (MPPDA).
Dr. Tolentino’s appointment begins July 1. He will serve one year as president-elect and become MPPDA president on July 1, 2022. He will then serve two additional years in an MPPDA executive committee leadership role — first as the group’s immediate past president and then as past president.
“MPPDA, part of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, represents all program directors from the 78 combined medicine-pediatric residency programs throughout the nation,” Dr. Tolentino said. “As president-elect of the MPPDA, I’m excited to continue the past work of MPPDA, and I look forward to seeing where else we can go to support our residents and residency program directors.”
Accredited medicine-pediatrics (med-peds) residency programs offer training in both pediatrics and internal medicine. Graduates of these four-year residency programs are eligible to complete their board-certification in both specialties.
Dr. Tolentino said an increasing number of health systems and health leaders see the value in adding med-peds physicians to their teams. COVID-19 amplified their importance.
“At the height of the pandemic, many pediatric inpatient units began accepting adult patient overflow,” Dr. Tolentino said. "Med-peds physicians were regularly called upon to provide care to adult patients inside these settings. This was a great example of how seamlessly these providers can navigate through many parts of the health system.”
Molding versatile physicians
Supporting the advancement and growth of med-peds programs and program directors who help to mold these versatile physicians is what excites Dr. Tolentino about his role with MPPDA.
“Residents who train in combined med-peds programs become practicing physicians with great versatility,” he said. “They have a strong understanding of pediatric care and the conditions that affect children and how those conditions manifest in adults.”
This expertise makes med-peds physicians critical to transition medicine — the movement of patients from pediatric to adult care. Innovating around transition medicine is a personal interest for Dr. Tolentino and a focus for MPPDA. Also among the organization’s priorities is being a leader in diversity, health equity and inclusion in medicine.
“Through my role within the MPPDA executive committee, I look forward to sharing the great health equity work we’re doing here at the University of Miami, and being part of the work we are doing nationwide,” he said.
Dr. Tolentino joined the University of Miami in March 2020 and serves as program director of the med-peds residency program. He is a med-peds physician with the University of Miami Health System (UHealth). In addition to seeing adult and pediatric patients within UHealth hospitals, Dr. Tolentino serves as a preceptor in the med-peds primary care clinic and cares for adult patients at the UHealth Professional Arts Center.
Before joining UM, Dr. Tolentino served as program director for the med-peds residency program at Stony Brook Medicine in New York. He completed his medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia and residency at the University of Cincinnati.