Abstract Title
Supporting paediatric educators: ideas from around the UK


Hannah C Jacob
Caroline R Fertleman


7JJ The Teacher


Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom
The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom


Most undergraduate training in child health is provided by paediatric Consultants and trainees.  These doctors teach medical students in addition to their clinical and managerial responsibilities, often with no time allocated specifically to undergraduate teaching. 


There is considerable variation in how well supported and valued this teaching faculty feel.  It is essential to provide appropriate support and recognition to those engaged in teaching in order to maintain high standards in undergradute child health training.  In particular, the specialty needs to nurture educators to maintain their ongoing involvement in education in spite of extensive professional commitments.


This study aimed to identify methods used in medical schools across the UK to support doctors teaching undergraduate paediatrics.

Summary of Work

We contacted the undergraduate lead for paediatrics at every UK medical school via email.  All those agreeing to participate underwent a semi-structured interview, either face-to-face or on the phone. 


Participants were asked about the methods used locally to support doctors involved in teaching child health to medical students.

Summary of Results

21/31 (68%) undergraduate paediatric leads were interviewed between June and November 2013.  Numerous strategies for supporting teaching faculty were identified (see Figure 1).  These included peer-review of teaching, awards and certificates for those delivering teaching and teaching mentors for less experienced teaching faculty.



A number of those interviewed reported that strategies such as these were particularly effective in recruiting and retaining paediatric trainees to the teaching faculty.  They felt this was because the nature of rotational jobs meant trainee-level educators appreciated local mentoring especially and liked having certificates/feedback for their portfolios.


Undergraduate paediatrics is taught by clinicians at the bedside, in clinic and in tutorials across the country. Boosting morale and providing adequate recognition of those delivering this teaching is essential to provide the highest quality undergraduate child health training possible.


This study identifies a number of methods that can help nurture and retain high quality paediatric educators. Developing a network of paediatric educators can allow good practice to be shared and provide peer support for those engaged in teaching undergraduate child health.

Take-home Messages
  • A range of methods are being used to develop and support paediatric educators around the UK


  • Improving networks of paediatric educators can help promote good practice and retain the best paediatric teachers for medical students


Thanks to all the paediatricians interviewed and to the National Institute of Health Research for funding HJ's Academic Clinical Fellowship.

Summary of Work

Details of method:

  • medical school websites and administrators were used to establish who the undergraduate lead for paediatrics was


  • each individual was contacted with an initial introductory email and a follow-up email if no response was received initially


  • the choice of whether to conduct the interview face-to-face or on the phone was mostly determined by geographical constraints, with those based at medical schools further from the researcher's base interviewed on the phone


  • a proforma was used to help ensure consistency about which questions the participants were asked


  • each interview started with specific questions about the undergraduate paediatric course locally before progressing to open questions about the participant’s experience of faculty development and support
Summary of Results
Take-home Messages
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