In order to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the specialty of Med-Peds, the MPPDA would like to spotlight individuals throughout the year who have played a part in the development of the MPPDA and have contributed to the rich history of Med-Peds in the past 50 years.  This month’s “Legends of Med-Peds” features Dr. Gary Onady.   Dr. Onady served as MPPDA President in 1995 and served as the first adviser for the National Med-Peds Residents’ Association.  NMPRA recognizes a resident each year who has made significant contributions to Med-Peds with the Gary Onady Award.

Gary M. Onady MD, PhD

Current position: Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program Director and Team-based Learning Module Developer for the Boonshoft School of Medicine/ previous Med-Peds role(s) – Wright State University Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program Director 1991-2003, MPPDA Executive Committee 1994-1997, MPPDA President 1995-1996 Current academic rank/title: Professor of Pediatrics; Professor of Internal Medicine

Institution: Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine


What you have done in your career with Med-Peds?

My career with Med-Peds has provided me with the skill base to work as a leader with a true appreciation as to the needs of pediatric and adult patients priorities in health care.  To that effort, I have worked hard to secure the position of Med-Peds GME support by writing the Primary Care Act that protected and assured full funding of all combined training programs.  This Act was signed into law by President Clinton in his 1996 Balanced Budget Act.  I have learned to effectively communicate the role of this specialty through my political involvement with the Primary Care Organizational Committee with the Institute of Medicine, represented Med-Peds policy needs as a Diplomat of the AMA by submitting and passing several Med-Peds Policy statements, and through my role with academic societies have furthered development of Med-Peds Education through the MPPDA, APDIM, APPD, ACP, AAP.

It gives me great pride to have been the first adviser for NMPRA at a most important time for their development with the need to be a strong voice for Med-Peds residents.  There were some within our ranks that did not have the trust of faith in this organization, but with their strong active leaders and my guidance this organization took of and continues to flourish.

Then as mentioned above what I have done with my career in Med-Peds has become a leader in Team-Based Learning Curriculum development,  Evidence-based Medicine contributions (Cochrine, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, United HealthCare, ACP Journal Club Editorial Board, AAP Grand Rounds Editorial Board Member (Past Member), and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Guideline  Author and Site Accreditation Evaluate that enhances the transitional care of a prevalent chronic health care condition.

What has the MPPDA meant to you?

An organization with amazing resources and reputation to use that organization to put the word out about Medicine-Pediatrics as a specialty career.  Through my position and work with the MPPDA I was able to publish several articles in AMSA Journals to tap into medical students to peek their interests in Med-Peds; and published in many professional journals regarding the specialty and practice outcomes of Med-Peds physicians.  Without MPPDA support none of this would have been possible

How has Med-Peds training helped you throughout your career?

It has made me a more well rounded physician that also expanded my opportunity to appreciate and apply concepts of Evidence-based Medicine for all ages leading me to serve as collaborator with United Healthcare to write clinical practice guidelines for their National Nurse Call Line service that enables them to advise their members through all ages as to medical advice for a wide array of conditions.  Med-Peds as a transitional care specialist has afforded me the range of expertise to serve as a leader with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a site reviewer, guideline author (CF Related Diabetes) and researcher serving on their Therapeutic Development Network.  Medicine-Pediatrics expertise has also afforded me as a well sought after resource as a consultant for malpractice cases that span pediatric to adult issues.

Med-Peds training has especially prepared me to be deeply involved in my most rewarding career experience in development of Active Learning Teaching Modules for all four years of the Undergraduate Medical School Curriculum.  I have developed many Team-Based Learning and Peer Instruction Modules on mechanisms of diseases that present both pediatric and adult medicine clinical correlates to empower the application of concepts in biochemistry, genetics, physiology, histology, pharmacology and pathology.  It has also prepared me to be a highly productive and successful ambulatory care provider, hospitalist and mental health collaborator with our school of Professional Psychology that again spans many behavioral conditions of childhood and adulthood.

What do you see for the future and opportunities for Med-Peds going forward?

A re-direction to expanding Med-Peds Residencies in GME.  The Family Practice model was an amazing concept, but medical economics, malpractice issues and actual practice trends has not allowed this FP model to be optimized. I can only see Med-Peds in this current time as the most promising specialty to cover the primary care needs of our society.  Because of the complexity of medical care uniquely experienced by Medicine-Pediatric physicians, I see these specialists as the major source within the field of medicine to promote, expand and model a real need for the actual practice of Evidence-Based Medicine.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Personally, I enjoy collecting trumpets many trumpets.  I am currently a very devoted musician currently playing in 6 bands: 3 Jazz Orchestras, 2 Small Group Ensembles and 1 Funk band.  Also a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians and as a union member have also a lot of opportunity to pick up some Classical Music jobs which is how I got my start as a trumpet player.  I also play the Hammond B-3 organ that started my musical career at the tender young age of 7 years, when I started gigging monthly at the Golden Rooster night club in Cincinnati, run by the organist for the Cincinnati Reds, Ronnie Dale, who arranged opportunities for me to play at the old Cincinnati Reds Crosley Field for the 7th inning stretch.  I also enjoy gardening, landscaping and being an amazing Chef (especially with the Big Green Egg)  I also enjoy spending time with my lovely wife, Annette, my two amazing daughters Dia and Rena and my dog Emily (With a special fondness for my dogs Jazz, Hollywood and Leila that are now with my daughters)