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Higher specialist training in child and adolescent psychiatry: a survey of academic programmes

  • Tim Hawkins (a1), Alison Lee (a2), Helen Stephens (a3), Gisa Matthies (a4) and Alison Bailey (a4)...
Abstract
Aims and Method

Academic programmes are mandatory in child psychiatry specialist registrar training. A postal questionnaire survey was undertaken to explore the views of specialist registrars and academic programme coordinators identified nationally with regard to their local academic programme.

Results

Sixty per cent of specialist registrars (152 out of 253) and 90% of coordinators (17 out of 19) responded. All schemes offered an academic programme with protected time. Teaching methods were diverse, and satisfaction varied within and between schemes, with trainees reporting greater satisfaction associated with active involvement of coordinators.

Clinical Implications

The authors provide recommendations for local planning of academic programmes. The authors request the assistance of CAPSAC in standardising the appointment and training of coordinators and facilitating their release from clinical commitments.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Bools, C. & Cottrell, D. (1990) Future child and adolescent psychiatrists: a further survey of senior registrar training. Psychiatric Bulletin, 14, 611615.
Garralda, M. E., Wieselberg, M. & Mrazek, D. A. (1983) A survey of training in child and adolescent psychiatry. British Journal of Psychiatry, 143, 498504.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (1998) Higher Specialist Training Handbook (Occasional Paper OP43). London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Royal College of Psychiatrists Higher Specialist Training Committee (1999) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist Advisory Committee Advisory Papers. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Smart, S. & Cottrell, D. (2000) A survey of training experiences and attitudes of higher specialist trainees in child and adolescent psychiatry. Psychiatric Bulletin, 24, 302304.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Higher specialist training in child and adolescent psychiatry: a survey of academic programmes

  • Tim Hawkins (a1), Alison Lee (a2), Helen Stephens (a3), Gisa Matthies (a4) and Alison Bailey (a4)...
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eLetters

Academic programmes in child and adolescent psychiatry

Ramprasad Attur, Specialist registrar
10 January 2006

I read the survey by Hawkins et al and the commentary by Sally E Bonnar (Psychiatry Bulletin January 2006,30,page 19-24) with great interest. Diversity in the academic programmes across schemes has been afocus of informal discussion among trainees.

It is not surprising to see that certain competencies had low scores eg managing anxiety in colleagues, exercising managerial authority (Table 2). These are management skills and may not be within the scope of academic programme. The broad aim of academic programme is looking at strengthening knowledge (CAPSAC advisory papers 1999). Appraisal of papers sometimes can be a tedious as well as unrewarding experience. This partly could be because of the differences inthe perceived importance of papers chosen. CAPSAC mentions a mix of classic studies and recent studies to be used. A database of classic studies in child psychiatry might be part of the solution.

It is worth noticing that peer support and networking come up with top marks as seen by both trainees and coordinators. This reflects the isolation in which most trainees work. My personal experience is that child psychiatry trainees seldom attend local academic teaching sessions, which provide an opportunity to meet fellow SpR trainees in other sub-specialities. This important by-product of academic programme is crucial and facilitates developing skills for using peer group support.

Having a nationally agreed programme would be prescriptive and restrictive as highlighted by Dr Bonnar in the commentary. This would limit local trainee involvement and diminish flexibility. The pace at which new information is coming in makes such a common curriculum redundant quickly. I welcome the idea of using the college website further to disseminate information about academic programmes and also information about the training schemes across the country. This can be a common platform where an evolving dynamic academic programme can be achieved.

ROYAL COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRISTS HIGHER SPECILAIST TRAINING COMMITTEE (1999) Child and adolescent Specialist Advisory Committee Advisory Papers.London: Royal college of psychiatrists

Ramprasad Attur, Specialist Registrar in Child and Adolescent psychiatry, West end Unit Hull.
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