Dr. Ryan Tomlinson provides primary care for patients from birth to advanced ages with complex cases.
By BJ Towe
Ryan Tomlinson, M.D., is a primary care physician with unusual credentials: He’s board-certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (Med-Peds), meaning he’s trained to care for patients throughout their lives.
In addition to caring for otherwise healthy children and adults, Dr. Tomlinson has a passion for caring for lifelong, complex conditions. For example, he is trained in providing primary care for patients of all ages with congenital heart disease or cystic fibrosis, or who have survived pediatric cancer.
Extensive benefits for patients with lifelong medical conditions
In recent decades, the 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 aftereffects of treatments they received,” Tomlinson says.
On top of that, more mainstream health diagnoses – diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, for example – can add to the complexity of treatment.
Med-Peds physicians are trained to coordinate care for all of these conditions throughout patients’ lives. A few examples:
- 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 the anatomy of their condition and its effects as they mature.
- The life expectancy for children with cystic fibrosis has increased significantly, from around age 20 in the mid-1970s to nearly 50 or older 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 a lifelong need for follow-up care. Having 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’ve seen them through any treatments they received. You know what they’ve gone through, you’ve developed a trusting relationship with them, and you can be there to support them,” says Tomlinson.
The Iowa Clinic providers support his mission
During his medical residency, some of Tomlinson’s medical rotations were with physicians from The Iowa Clinic.
Tomlinson says, “I knew there was a sense of community within The Iowa Clinic. The providers were always looking out for their patients. They were in constant communications with each other and their patients, working together to provide the best possible care. I knew that was the kind of doctor I wanted to be.”
Dr. Tomlinson provides full spectrum of pediatric and adult care at The Iowa Clinic Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at 1215 Pleasant Street, Suite 206, in Des Moines.