Paediatric respiratory medicine - sub-specialty

Respiratory paediatricians are clinicians who have detailed knowledge and understanding of the respiratory system in children. Find out more about this sub-specialty and its curriculum.

What makes a respiratory paediatrician?

Respiratory paediatricians are skilled in providing holistic care to manage respiratory health and ill-health in infants, children and young people. At a tertiary level, they have highly specialised skills to manage complex acute and chronic conditions including difficult-to-treat asthma, cystic fibrosis and rare lung disease. They have expertise in technical skills including flexible bronchoscopy and the care of technology-dependent children.

Respiratory paediatricians deal with challenging problems of diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainty in their field of medicine. In doing so, they interact with many medical and surgical specialties to improve outcomes in children with lung disease in acute and chronic settings. They have a significant interest in patient responsibility and hold clinics in a variety of settings, including sharing care within clinical care networks. They advocate on public health issues at the individual, local and national level to promote lung health.

Training in this sub-specialty

Paediatricians in the UK start their training in general paediatrics, and at the final level of training (level 3), some choose to train in a paediatric sub-specialty, such as paediatric respiratory medicine.

The RCPCH Progress curriculum provides a framework for paediatric training, and outlines the Learning Outcomes and Key Capabilities required at each stage before attaining the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

The syllabi support the curriculum with further guidance on how the Learning Outcomes can be achieved and demonstrated. Those in sub-specialty training use two syllabi, which are part of the RCPCH Progress curriculum:

  • Level 3 generic syllabus (for all level 3 trainees)
  • Sub-specialty syllabus.

In 2021 we made some some enhancements to the paediatric respiratory sub-specialty syllabus, which were approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for use as of August/September 2021. The version you use depends when you plan to CCT:

  • If you will CCT by 15 September 2022, you'll use version 1
  • If you will CCT on or after 15 September 2022, you'll use version 2.

You can download all syllabus documents below