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Violence against trainee paediatricians
  1. J G Mackin
  1. Foyle Community HSS Trust, Little Acorns Paediatric Unit, Bridgeview House, Gransha Park, Derry, Northern Ireland BT47 1TG, UK
  1. Dr Mackingerry.mackin{at}


BACKGROUND Much research has looked at the extent of violence against doctors, but this has been restricted mainly to psychiatry, general practice, and accident and emergency.

AIMS To assess the level of violence against trainee paediatricians.

METHODS A telephone questionnaire was addressed to 25 specialist registrars/senior registrars/senior SHOs in each of three regions in the UK: Northern Ireland, South Thames, and North West England.

RESULTS Sixty eight of 75 (90.7%) trainee paediatricians had been exposed in at least one circumstance to a violent incident, 47 of which incidents (62.3%) had occurred in the past year. Thirty one (41%) had suffered threats on at least one occasion. Although only 5.3% of the interviewees had been victims of actual physical assault, more than 10% said that an attempted assault had taken place. Most of the doctors who had experienced a violent episode (41/68) worried about the incident after return from work and yet only one was offered any counselling. Only nine (13.2%) had ever formally reported an incident to hospital management. Less than 10% of those questioned had received any formal training in the management of violent people, although 99% thought this would be a good idea.

CONCLUSIONS Paediatric trainees are involved in high risk situations at work (for example, child protection and casualty) which frequently result in exposure to violence. Very few report these incidents officially, but often underplay them. More attention should be given to the training and counselling needs of paediatric trainees.

  • violence
  • paediatricians

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