Our plans for a paediatric careers campaign

Recruitment and retention of healthcare workers is the biggest challenge for the NHS in the next five years - and particularly for paediatricians. We must ensure that our current workforce is valued, and that they can help inspire others to enter this career.

[Members] tell me frequently that [recruitment and retention] is a massive issue affecting paediatricians across all grades in all parts of the UK... This will be far more than a recruitment campaign (although that’s a major part) – but will focus on keeping people in our profession long term.

Professor Russell Viner, RCPCH President - from his 28 May blog


At RCPCH Conference and exhibition in May, we began our conversation with medical students, trainees, new consultants and paediatricians who'd worked in the profession for many years.

We’ve made it a priority to gather insights and develop a high impact campaign - ready to launch this autumn in time for the next recruitment round.

We need to think about what we can do individually in our day-to-day work to inspire both the potential paediatricians of the future and our current trainees, who may be wavering and questioning their career path.

Dr Simon Broughton, General Paediatrician and RCPCH Assistant Officer for Training (Recruitment)

The campaign so far

Initially we ran a short online questionnaire to find out the reasons people chose paediatrics and the biggest challenges facing the profession. We’ve undertaken further research work including analysis of existing data, focus groups with aspiring and current paediatricians, in-depth interviews with key paediatricians from across the four nations, and further survey work to test early thinking. This has helped to confirm that we will be approaching recruitment and retention as two separate issues.

We will be working on plans for both recruitment and retention over the coming months and will update details here and through other member communications. 

How you can help

The research with medical students, foundation doctors and current paediatricians (across a range of grades) has confirmed that a video to showcase paediatrics as a career would be an effective recruitment tool. We are currently looking for five to six paediatricians to help create our recruitment video. You can find full details on our opportunity page.

Members at all career stages can also join our mailing list - you'll get occasional updates as we prepare and run our campaign, including specific requests to be involved or feedback on materials. To find out more, email us on careers.campaign@rcpch.ac.uk.

You can also explore fellow paediatricians' advice on how to promote paediatrics - download the poster below. Or, read blogs from people now working in this career.

Engage medical students and foundation doctors... Seeing your enthusiasm and how much fun you have with children and young people is the best advert for paediatrics.

Dr Hannah Jacob, Chair of the RCPCH Trainees Committee