It is not the actual sound itself that matters, but the reverberations that it makes as it travels through our mind.
Virginia Woolf, 1926, TLS.
Last year I was the trainee representative for The British Association of Paediatricians in Audiology (BAPA), who are dedicated to the development of the management of hearing loss in children. BAPA represents all paediatricians who share an interest in children’s hearing and has an additional role as a special interest group of the College. With the College, we help with workforce planning, specialist training and development of standards for this special interest.
My journey in the field of audio-vestibular (AV) paediatrics started at a regional community paediatrics study day. There I listened to a talk given by Dr Tracey Davis, paediatrician with special interest in AV paediatrics and BAPA executive member. I realised from this chance encounter that I knew very little about hearing problems in children.
As part of my sub specialty training, I did have the opportunity to sit in on audiology assessments. This is where I began to see what role the paediatrician and the audiological scientists played in helping to prevent, diagnose, and treat hearing disorders. Speaking to the families who attended clinic, I also caught a glimpse of the impact of hearing disorders in children and their families on their health, and education.
Working in AV paediatrics – I thought – would give me a chance to make a positive, and on occasions, life-changing contribution to a child with hearing impairment and their families lives.AV paediatrics is a special interest which combines knowledge of physiology, neurology, genetics, and technology as well as an opportunity to work in a team with teachers, speech therapists and social workers (amongst others) in a truly patient-centred and family focused way.
Now that I’ve completed my training in Community Child Health, it is time to look for some new trainee representatives!
We would love to appoint two enthusiastic trainees who have an interest in AV paediatrics, who would help to promote the organisation and speciality to their fellow trainees. It’s a great opportunity for you to get involved with helping to run a national, charity organisation that influences the way AV paediatrics is practiced in the United Kingdom. Every year we run a national conference – which I have chaired for the past two years – and is well-attended by clinicians from all four nations. So please do get in touch if you are interested.
Finally, we also have exciting news to share that the College's special interest (SPIN) module in AV paediatrics development has just been approved and the training will include the breadth of AV conditions of childhood. The SPIN will be open to applications from this autumn. The key elements of the SPIN are summarised in the box below.
Stay safe everyone and continue to look out for each other.
SPIN – Paediatric Audio Vestibular Medicine:
Increased knowledge & understanding of
The skills to
AV paediatrics SPIN training will be: