Most doctors hoping to train as paediatric endocrinologists will apply for one of the grid posts advertised around the beginning of each year. Posts start in September and are of 2 years duration. There are a number of clinical lecturer posts in the UK which may be suitable training positions for doctors considering a career as a clinical academic.
UK grid posts in paediatric endocrinology
It is important for doctors starting grid posts at the beginning of year 4 to ensure that time has been spent in a relevant speciality in year 3. 2 years is not long enough to train from start to finish and extra time in clinical endocrinology and research is usually needed. Doctors starting in year 3 and finishing a grid post at the end of year 4 will need relevant clinical training in year 5.
Most paediatric endocrinologists feel that research training is an important component of the tertiary endocrine syllabus. It may be advantageous to undertake a formal period of research before applying for grid posts. This provides valuable experience and expertise, strengthening the individuals Curriculum Vitae and increasing the likelihood of success at interview. It is, of course, possible to organise a research training whilst in a grid post. Doctors without a research training or experience will be encouraged to acquire or develop this. Trainees are advised to discuss the possibility of a career in paediatric endocrinology with local endocrinologists at an early stage. Alternatively doctors can contact members of CSAC.
The RCPCH have produced a PDF guide to the grid which is available for download and this will answer many of the queries raised by doctors who are considering applying for grid posts in paediatric endocrinology.
European training syllabus in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes
The European syllabus in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes is an important reference for trainees in endocrinology and diabetes. It may be difficult for a tertiary trainee to address this comprehensively in a 2-3 year period of clinical training. Key areas may therefore need to be highlighted during discussions between trainer and trainee.
Higher Specialist training record
Doctors appointed to grid posts are encouraged to use the Higher Specialist training record that is available on the website. This document should be discussed between trainer and trainee in the early stages of Higher Specialist Training.
Secondary (with an interest) training in Paediatric Endocrinology and diabetes
Most hospitals will have a diabetes service to run and trainees should feel comfortable with what this entails. There are usually well established links with the local tertiary endocrine unit and so the emphasis for a doctor hoping to practice as a paediatrician with an interest in endocrinology and diabetes should usually be on the diabetes component of the syllabus. The attached document 'syllabus for the SpR in paediatric diabetes' provides more specific information about the kind of experience and expertise doctors should be looking to acquire. Doctors will usually need to spend 12 – 24 months attached to a diabetes service if they are to train to an appropriate level. Doctors should also study the European syllabus which provides information about the kind of endocrine and diabetes experience required by someone training to secondary level.