As we move from August to September, I am reminded that for many of us these are times of new beginnings and new adventures. I want to start by welcoming all those who have just joined paediatric training. Some of you will be joining us directly from the Foundation Programme, some may be joining training after time away, or perhaps you may be joining us from overseas.
Whatever your journey before entering paediatric training, and I suspect for many COVID-19 has changed or disrupted plans and experiences, I hope you are excited for this new adventure. You join at an energising time with the recent approval by the GMC of the college’s new curriculum, Progress+, alongside changes to the structure of paediatric training, to be implemented in autumn 2023.
Training is more than just exams and assessments... it should be about the holistic development of a trainee in becoming a paediatrician
For many of you, your training journey is well underway, although the last eighteen months of a global pandemic will have impacted each of you, and your training, in varying ways. For those nearer the start of training, exams have resumed for some time now with theory exams carried out virtually in your homes or at test centres. The MRCPCH COVID Adapted (Online) Clinical examination has also enabled the college to continue assessing trainees to award MRCPCH. This has been no small feat, with the need to develop new exam scenarios and deliver the clinical exam in an entirely different format. The Examinations team continues with virtual clinical exams for the time being, but as COVID and service pressures allow will look to revert to face-to-face exams, but only when this is feasible and safe to do so. Make sure you check out the priority criteria for places on exams to ensure the team can appropriately prioritise places in the meantime.
At the later stages of training many of you will be planning when to sit the START assessment. The Training Services team is planning a significant expansion of START places for 2022. To enable planning of place allocation the team will be asking all trainees who plan to sit START during 2022 to apply in autumn 2021.
Training is more than just exams and assessments though, it should be about the holistic development of a trainee in becoming a paediatrician. The Trainee Charter is three years old this year. Pending a final approval, I hope this autumn you will see some exciting updates to our recommendations on what makes a good training environment. Watch this space for more updates!
Why not look out for opportunities to become more involved with the College. If you aren’t sure where to start, why not come and observe one of our Trainee Network meetings of the Trainees’ Committee?
We see another new beginning ahead as the world opens up following the COVID pandemic. I know this is likely to bring further challenges to paediatrics and the Trainees’ Committee will be monitoring the impact on your training closely. However, I also know that for many of my friends and colleagues the return to travel and reduced restrictions will hopefully allow long overdue reunions of friends and family from across the globe.
Finally, for those looking for their own new adventure, why not look out for opportunities to become more involved with the College. If you aren’t sure where to start, why not come and observe one of our Trainee Network meetings of the Trainees’ Committee? Find out more on our Trainees Oversight Committee and Trainee Network webpage, which itself will be undergoing its own new beginning with a revamp over the coming months.
Good luck and warm wishes to you all, whatever new beginnings and new adventures are on your horizon.