Aims To create an event to enhance paediatric knowledge and enthusiasm in the medical student population and establish a forum for students and internationally renowned speakers to share ideas and experiences.
Methods A two day conference was organised by a student paediatric society to welcome over 200 students from all UK medical schools and the local widening access scheme. The conference programme included workshops and lectures by Paediatricians from around the UK. Topics included general paediatric medicine and surgery, in addition to the subspecialties; neonatology, child protection, emergency medicine and child development. Overall, the event provided an opportunity for delegates to experience additional practical and theoretical tuition in paediatrics which is not widely available within most medical schools’s curriculum. Additional opportunities were available to present research to visiting lecturers and host academic faculty.
Results 215 delegates attended the conference, 60% returned feedback forms. Delegates were asked to rank out of five (one being the lowest and five the highest) their experiences of: lectures, workshops, overall conference organisation, relevance and enjoyment. 40 poster titles (18.6%) were submitted and presented during the event. Written feedback commended the patient involvement in sessions and the subspecialist topics covered.
Conclusion The content of the lectures and workshops were well received and the overall enjoyment of the event was ranked highly. Sessions in subspecialist topics and those which included patients were particularly acclaimed. This could be secondary to limited exposure to such opportunities at medical school, which suggests that in the future the event programme should further focus on incorporating these sessions. Additionally, it was identified that students endeavour to be involved in academic paediatric research early in their educational career. Analysing the feedback provided evidence that students desire more exposure to paediatrics within their medical training. This emphasises the need for such an event to continue on an annual basis in order to further raise the profile of paediatrics and provide learning opportunities in addition to medical school curriculum.