I currently have a number of voluntary roles at the College. These include Regional Lead for Mersey, MRCPCH Examiner and Facilitator at the Effective Educational Supervision course.
I have also been part of the working group on mentoring and I've contributed to the Paediatrics 2040 project by reading and summarising the papers on maternity and neonatal forecasting for the future.
I have always relished the opportunity to be able to contribute to the development of doctors, and paediatricians in particular
The RCPCH Regional Lead* is an interesting and varied role, one aspect of which is to provide quality assurance for new consultant posts as well as other non-training posts like associate specialist and staff grade. The Regional Lead and Deputy typically work together to ensure all the duties of the role are achieved. Unfortunately there has not been a Deputy Lead in the Mersey region and it has been a challenge combining the role with a busy acute paediatric job specialising in neonatology.
I have been fortunate in being able to attend Council meetings in London, deputising for the Area Officer at the time, Dr Peter Arkwright. It was an interesting experience being able to contribute at that level to the discussions on the College’s stance, especially during the difficult time with the on going proceedings regarding the case of Dr Bawa-Garba.
I have always relished the opportunity to be able to contribute to the development of doctors, and paediatricians in particular, especially when I look back on my own career. In that regard I conducted a research study on mentoring and career development of junior doctors as my dissertation for a Masters degree in Medical Leadership (published in the International Journal of Medical Education, 2013). I then contributed to the College's working group, which devised the standards for mentoring for the College.
I have lived the experience of continuing with my career whilst caring for my children
I obtained my primary medical degree in Zaria, Nigeria and came to the UK just after my house job (Foundation Year 1 equivalent) and did a further six months in medicine to settle in, before setting off on my paediatric career. I am married and have three children, so I have lived the experience of continuing with my career whilst caring for my children, at a time when there was not the option of part-time training. They have since grown up in their respective careers, so I can empathise at many levels with my patients, parents and colleagues!
I have also been able to develop my hobbies, which has been helpful for maintaining a work-life balance. I play tennis in an amateur league at a local club close to home; and my faith is important to me.
In November 2019, we had a regional meeting with the theme ‘Together We Strive for Excellence’ held at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. No one knew then what was to come with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has since rendered most meetings virtual.
It is rewarding to think that one is making a difference for the betterment of all the children of the nation and colleagues
The Regional Lead is a local representative for the College, is part of the paediatric school board and can provide an independent voice and support for paediatricians.
I would encourage paediatricians to contribute to the College. It is rewarding to think that one is making a difference for the betterment of all the children of the nation and colleagues.
- *Note the Regional Lead role no longer exists at RCPCH