In order to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the specialty of Med-Peds, the MPPDA continues 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. Barbara L. Schuster.

Barbara L. Schuster, MD, MACP, FRCP (Edin)

Current Position: I stepped down as the Founding Dean of the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership Campus in Athens, Georgia in May 2015. Since then, I have worked with the undergraduate pre-med program at the University of Georgia, continued to work with colleagues at the Bar Ilan Faculty of Medicine in Safed, Israel, taught a bit at the University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel, and recently, returned to my ‘roots’, working part-time with a new internal medicine residency program at the Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center. I describe myself as ‘semi-retired’.

Current academic appointments: Clinical Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia and Affiliate Professor, University of Haifa.

My ‘love affair’ with Med-Peds began in medical school. However, with very few residency positions available in the mid-1970’s and a dual career marriage, I accepted a position in a Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency in Rochester, New York. When I began my first academic position, assistant program director for the Primary Care Program, I began to organize the Med-Peds residency option in Rochester, New York, becoming its program director. With colleagues at UNC, as a step towards organizing a match process for med-peds, I helped to obtain a specific ‘NRMP suffix’ for the then unaccredited programs, which allowed medical students throughout the country to identify med-peds positions. The leadership of APDIM asked me to develop an extended workshop for the leadership of med-peds programs for the Fall 1986 APDIM meeting. I subsequently organized similar workshops for the Fall 1987 and 1988 APDIM meetings where discussions with representatives from ABIM and ABP began to explore standards and requirements for the dual programs. MPPDA was launched after these three initial meetings with support from APDIM and APPD. Accepting a position as Chair of Internal Medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, in 1995, I relinquished my position as med-peds program director.

I remain committed to a future where Med-Peds is the core postgraduate program for the education of a generalist with the depth and breadth of skills and knowledge to care for families or to be the generalist foundation for subspecialty practice that will expand subspecialty care, especially pediatric, into mid-size communities.

With less stress and more time flexibility, I enjoy time with my three grandchildren, traveling with my husband of almost 45 years, indulging in concerts, and returning to non-medical reading. However, teaching students and residents continues to be the most satisfying and stimulating.