Paediatric clinical pharmacology - sub-specialty

Paediatric clinical pharmacologists have expertise in the development of medicines and their safe, rational use. Find out more about this sub-specialty and its curriculum.

What makes a paediatric clinical pharmacologist?

A paediatric clinical pharmacologist is a clinician who has expertise in all aspects of the development of medicines and their safe, rational use. This includes research (from early phase clinical trials to translational), ethics, clinical practice, drug regulation and education.

In clinical practice, they provide advice and support locally and nationally regarding the introduction of new medicines, adverse drug reactions, poisoning and toxicity, and prescribing policies. They contribute to the ethical review of research, plus the safe and effective conduct and delivery of drug trials. Additional research skills developed during training include those in drug development, medicine safety and the rational use of medicines in children.

Clinical pharmacologists play a vital role in many areas that complement the use of medicines in children. Roles within drug regulation include developing local guidelines, advising on pharmacovigilance and serving on national committees. They contribute to the education of undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals on drug metabolism, formulations and prescribing.

RCPCH Progress curriculum

As of 1 August 2018, sub-specialty trainees use the RCPCH Progress Level 3 Generic syllabus alongside the RCPCH Progress Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology Syllabus. Both can be downloaded below.

Sub-specialty learning outcomes

In addition to the generic learning outcomes for level 3, paediatric clinical pharmacology trainees must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Competently manages patients with adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and acute poisonings.
  • Designs and plans a clinical trial of a medicine and understands the roles of the study team.
  • Participates in the design, delivery and interpretation of paediatric clinical trials of medicines.
  • Understands, advises and teaches on drug metabolism in children.
  • Contributes to Trust, regional and national paediatric drug policy development and implementation.
  • Advocates for the safe and effective evidence-based use of medicines in children.

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