As a paediatrician, you will learn the unique skills of dealing with babies and young children, being able to assimilate information from both your patient and the parents and becoming expert at diagnostic and investigative skills. This is upon a background of increasing parental expectations and carers often seeking hospital advice and care rather than that of the family doctor, ensuring that you will experience dealing with relatively well children as well as sick and unwell children and babies.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health states that the training of a paediatrician should be in general paediatrics. However the opportunity of specialising occurs within the National Grid Programme run by the College and trainees would normally expected to apply for this at ST5. This is open to trainees from all of the UK. Health Education England, Kent, Surrey Sussex (HEE, KSS) has recognised grid posts in Neonatology, Community Paediatrics and Paediatric Emergency Medicine.
The programme continues to develop helped and guided by a strong group of trainee representatives, who support the College tutors and bring new ideas into the School.
At present the programme includes and highlights are
- Regular Paediatric Learning, Education and Training days (PLEAT)
- Regular simulation training across the region
- Annual Trainee Prize day
- Good success at all parts of the MRCPCH Exam
- 3rd best overall satisfaction region for paediatrics within the UK (2015)
The programme is always aiming to improve and become better and this is greatly helped by the trainee representatives and the Training Programme Directors (TPDs) and the College Tutors (CTs ). The School of Paediatrics Specialty Workforce Team (SWT) are there to support you all and do their best to guide trainees appropriately.
I trained at Cambridge and Guys, qualifying in 1981. In 2010 I gained an MA in clinical education from Brighton University.
I have been a training programme director in the School of Paediatrics at HEE, KSS since the start of the programme. I really enjoy meeting trainees and helping you to achieve your goals. My own special interest is in community paediatrics (although I also do acute paediatrics) and I am also the HEE, KSS community paediatric lead.
Outside of medicine I enjoy my family, my garden and playing the viola.
Sarah Birks, Consultant Paediatrician and Clinical Tutor (Level 3)