The rise in the proportion of female medical graduates has led to an examination of the alternatives to full-time continuous postgraduate training. Part-time training has become more common, particularly in psychiatry and non-acute specialties. The means of establishing this type of training have been described in detail (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1987) and the training requirements are discussed in the JCHPT Handbook. However, when part-time training is written about it is presented as a daunting process, fraught with concerns about a less than optimum training and practical difficulties. The survey by Ann Gath (1988) of supernumerary senior registrars in child and adolescent psychiatry detailed problems such as prejudice, a sense of exploitation, and lack of support and advice. These issues are clearly of great importance to those considering this option but there is also a more positive and optimistic view of part-time training which seems of particular relevance to child psychiatry. At the time of writing I am nearing the end of my higher training on the PM 79(3) scheme and am in a position to describe some of these more positive aspects.
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