Background and Aims Recently, the pursuit of a career in Paediatrics has gradually suffered a decline. This observation prompted an evaluation of Specialist Paediatric Registrars’ (SPR) perceptions of their training programme and its impact on them.
Methods Utilising an online questionnaire, all trainees in 2011 were surveyed through the RCPI database. Data sought included demographics, perceptions of career progression, work effectiveness, social impact of hospital-based training and potential career costs in paediatrics. Likert scoring (cuing at 1 not at all, cuing at 6 extremely), binary questions (scored as yes, no or unsure) and narrative options were used.
Results Fifty-three (71%) responses were obtained, with representation from each year of training. The mean Likert score was 3.8 for career progression, 4.6 for functional efficiency at work and 3.3 for attainment of a work-life balance. The value of log-books and end-of-year assessments showed positive skewing (Likert 5/6) in 8(15%) and 7(13%) respectively. Narrative responses indicated the most challenging aspect of training was time for academic pursuits 28(53%). Other concerns included relocation for 8(15%) and career uncertainty for 7(13%). SPRs cited exercise for 29(43.4%) and discussion for 19 (35.8%) as coping strategies. Thirty nine (73.6%) SPR’s incurred personal costs in training with compromised family cited by half. Mean Likert score for cost acceptability was 2.8 and perceived preparedness for consultancy, post-training, scored 3.7.
Conclusion SPRs feel there is a need for change within their scheme and that paediatric training incurs significant opportunity costs, with ultimate career uncertainty.