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Could the development of an interactive website facilitate communication between psychiatric trainees?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Jonathan Richardson
Institute for Aging and Health, Wolfson Research Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle NE4 6BE, e-mail:
David Cousins
Newcastle General Hospital
Brian Lunn
Newcastle General Hospital
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Copyright © 2006. The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Effective and efficient communication between junior doctors in a training scheme is important if their training needs are to be fully met. As such the College requires that each training scheme has a trainees’ committee. Effective communication is important in terms of trainee representation but can be difficult when training schemes are spread over a large geographical area. Electronic communication may overcome this problem and provide additional benefits (Reference Huang and AlessiHuang & Alessi, 1996).

We wished to ascertain how well trainees understood their local system of representation and to canvas opinion about whether a website could facilitate this representation. A questionnaire was sent to trainees within the northern region of England; 73 out of 179 (41%) trainees responded to the questionnaire. Although only 48 respondents (65%) reported having received minutes of the trainees’ meeting, all had access to the internet. Most trainees (65, 89%) welcomed the suggestion of the development of a website. Factors identified that would encourage use of the website included an examinations section, study tips and advice, and a discussion forum. A website for trainees in the northern deanery was therefore developed ( to address these issues. Its use by and acceptability to psychiatric trainees at all levels will be monitored.


Huang, M. P. & Alessi, N. (1996) The Internet and the future of psychiatry. American Journal of Psychiatry, 153, 861869.Google Scholar
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