Phased careers

The phased career offers flexibility; it is sustainable in the face of the changing age demographics of the population and is likely to drive enthusiasm and productivity. Paediatricians will have a varied career path over time.

The diagram below demonstrates three types of phased career. The portfolio; whereby a number of work strands are maintained over the career, the crossover; whereby the balance between two areas of work changes greatly and training is needed, and the change over; whereby the area of work changes completely and training is required. 


Illustrative examples of paediatricians whose own careers have followed these routes are below: 


Philip maintains expertise in paediatric respiratory medicine, neonatal medicine and medical education. Working in three different teams presents a challenge at times, but offers perspectives that provide advantages to the children and their families.


Sheila worked in acute paediatrics, with some time in neurodisability. Planned with her colleagues and her trust, she enhanced her skills in neurodisability, concentrating mainly on the long-term problems of children with disability and then moving away from emergency care. Niamh was a consultant in neonatal intensive care for 15 years, with some national and regional responsibilities in service management. Recently, she has moved to full-time NHS management in her trust, with national commitments in healthcare quality management.


Sanjay had worked in paediatric intensive care for 15 years. Skills in communication, leadership and clinical decision-making, complemented by further training, allowed a move to pain care and then to full-time work in paediatric palliative care.

The nature of the training required within a phased career will be dependent upon the nature of the work and specific competences required.

Further information on the phased career is available in the Paediatrician's Handbook (login required)