Paediatric rheumatology - sub-specialty

Paediatric rheumatologists care for children and young people with a range of conditions, from mechanical pains and juvenile arthritis to complex multi-system inflammatory disorders. Find out more about this sub-specialty and its curriculum.

What makes a paediatric rheumatologist?

A paediatric rheumatologist is a doctor who cares for children and young people with a range of conditions, from mechanical pains and juvenile arthritis to complex multi-system inflammatory disorders. They rely on history-taking, examination and communication with other professionals, as the conditions they manage often do not have specific diagnostic tests.

Central to their work is liaising with the multidisciplinary team (MDT) – particularly, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists. They support collaborative work within clinical networks, are competent in practical skills such as joint injections and have expert understanding of the drugs used to target the inflammatory pathway.

Paediatric rheumatologists belong to a rapidly developing specialty that encourages a range of clinical and academic interests, including clinical, educational and basic science research. They are committed to contributing to collaborative research studies and clinical trials, with the aim of improving outcomes for children and young people with rheumatological conditions.

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 rheumatology. 

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 rheumatology 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