Ask not what the College can do for me, ask what I can do for the College

Dr Nikhil Ganjoo, Consultant Paediatrician, recounts how much he's enjoyed the many roles he's had in the College throughout the years, and encourages other members to get involved and help shape College activity.
Dr Nikhil Ganjoo

As a junior paediatric trainee, the College to me was an organisation that I paid money to for exams and that would pop up on my monthly bank statement as a subscription. However, in the next phase of my training, I secured a unique unique chance to view firsthand all the hard work which goes on in the background - as the Trainee Representative for exams.

At my first RCPCH Executive board, I was overwhelmed by the scale of activity and hard work of members, which we trainees don’t necessarily get to see. All this is voluntary work! The recruitment team strategising on ways to attract the best trainees, the START team working on new content, and as part of the Clinical exam team we were testing the new exam and proving to the GMC (General Medical Council) why the new format of the Clinical exam was in line with evolving testing techniques.

Within that role, I was the voice of trainees in the appeals panel. I attended clinical exams to get a trainee’s perspective from behind the scheme. The College was evidently receptive to feedback and open to suggestions for change, clearly asking me about my thoughts.

I have seen trainees from diverse backgrounds being involved with recruitment or exams...

The trainees' meeting was a melting pot for driving ‘trainee centred’ changes. The College President would be present and standing in support each time.

As I received my CCT (certificate of completion of training), this phase was to end - but it dawned the new phase of working and supporting ‘My College’.

Over the years, I have seen trainees from diverse backgrounds being involved with recruitment or exams as trainee representatives or to test new processes. I would encourage all trainees to ask how they can volunteer and be a part of the College processes to help drive change.

I was also lucky to be part of the #ChoosePaediatrics recruitment campaign. I got to meet the College President and it was fabulous to hear that he echoed my feelings, acknowledging retention is as important as recruitment. New roles are evolving to reflect this progressive thinking of the College.

I continue to support the College with the exam question generation for the Clinical exam and I follow the College on Twitter, resharing all the information in my capacity as the regional social media lead for paediatrics.

I read my College updates and put myself out there to be part of new exciting projects big or small

To all my friends who are part of this RCPCH family: you may not know how to get involved, but continue to explore various avenues. The first trainee College role I applied for I got rejected. Then a more relevant role came up more closely matched my skillset and I jumped onto the bandwagon. At every stage, I read my College updates and put myself out there to be part of new exciting projects big or small. May it be the launch of the ‘photo contest’ on Instagram or the recruitment campaign I am there to support my College.

Check out how you can also get involved with the College!