Paediatrics continues to offer varied career opportunities including subspecialisation in level 3 training (ST6-8) in 17 accredited subspecialties as well as Community Paediatrics and neonatology (subspecialty training). In addition, doctors with a predominant general Paediatric interest can develop special expertise by undertaking “SPIN” modules during training or in career grade posts. There are 16 such modules (SPIN modules).
Paediatrics had a new ePortfolio last year, “Kaizen”. After some teething problems, this is a helpful electronic resource which continues to be developed and new features added. It is available for use by nurse practitioners, trust grade and staff and associate specialist posts but of course there is a fee for doing so (Register for RCPCH ePortfolio).
The RCPCH offers very helpful advice for doctors who wish to apply via the CESR route to the specialist register and in my mind no one should apply without seeking RCPCH advice first as chances of success are greatly increased (RCPCH CESR).
In 2018, Paediatrics will have a new training curriculum which will be outcome based rather than a competency based curriculum (RCPCH new curriculum). After having a number of new assessments introduced in August 2016, there are no planned changes in the assessment strategy and of note is that there is no minimum number of mini-CEXs or CbDs with a strong emphasis on the formative nature of assessments. In the future, RCPCH will have entrustable professional activities (EPAs) which are currently in development.
As all Paediatricians hopefully like children, there are a number of training rota gaps due to parental leave at both junior (ST1-3) and senior (ST6-8) training levels for which locums are frequently needed or for which trust grade posts are established. It is important to be up to date with paediatric life support courses (NLS and either EPALS or APLS) and level 3 safeguarding.
Author: Dr Helen Goodyear, Consultant Paediatrician and Associate Postgraduate Dean, Health Education England (West Midlands)