Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Child Psychiatry concerns child mental health. A child psychiatrist treats conditions such as depression, substance misuse, autism, and eating disorders.
Entry Route into Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme before they are eligible to apply to train in child and adolescent psychiatry. The training programme for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry involves two stages:
- Core Psychiatry Training (CT1-3) over three years, and
- Specialist higher training in psychiatry (ST4-6), which also takes three years to complete, but requires trainees to complete the examinations for Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Job Progression as a Child Psychiatrist
During core training, trainees complete multiple four- to six-month placements in different psychiatric specialties.
During specialist training, trainees complete three 12-month placements in areas that are relevant to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Trainees must demonstrate at least 36 months of full time psychiatric experience, excluding foundation modules, before they are eligible to apply for ST4 posts.
Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as
- a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training,
- a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or
- an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic Child Psychiatry Roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for the two-year Academic Foundation Programme. Following this they can apply for academic core training posts, followed by academic speciality training. In general, trainees are appointed as an academic clinical fellow during ST1-2, and as a lecturer at ST3 until the end of their training programme.
In 2017, the competition ratio at ST4 was 1.11, with 69 applications for 62 posts. The competition ratio at CT1/ST1 was 1.26, with 623 applications for 495 posts.
In December 2017, there were
- 621 consultants,
- 18 associate specialists,
- 80 speciality doctors,
- 3 staff grades,
- 140 speciality registrars,
- 86 core trainees,
- 8 F2 trainees, and
- 12 F1 trainees.
The salary for NHS consultants ranges from £76,000 to £102, 500, and for speciality doctors from £37,500 to £70,000. The salary for doctors in training ranges from £26,350 to £45,750.
A Day in the Life
Child Psychiatry is mainly a community-based speciality, although some psychiatrists work in acute hospitals or inpatient units. Daily work may include assessing a patient in the emergency department, attending multidisciplinary team meetings, liaising with social services colleagues about child protection issues, seeing a patient for a cognitive behavioural therapy session, and teaching junior colleagues or medical students. A child psychiatrist based in the community may review between four and 10 families. On-call rotas vary but tend to be less demanding than in other medical specialties.