Training follows the core curriculum outlined by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych). This involves participating in a number of clinical assessments as well as adequate portfolio completion. It is also a requirement that trainees have achieved MRCpsych within the 36 months period in order to progress to the specialty training programme. The exam consists of 2 written papers (A & B) as well as the practical CASC examination (OSCE style exam). Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all 3 exams are now provided online via a virtual platform. However, as this is likely to change, please review the exams page at the Royal College of Psychiatry Website.
Psychiatry offers a flexible programme and thus if exams are not completed within the 36 months, trainees can extend or work in non-training posts whilst they achieve membership.
As well as practical training on the job, trainees also have weekly teaching sessions provided by MRCPsych Birmingham. This is a weekly half day session where education is provided by consultants and specialists in all areas of psychiatry. This is protected time and also encompasses a Balint group. The latter is a 1 hour session facilitated by a trained psychotherapist and enables trainees to reflect on their practice. In addition to this, there is also a weekly postgraduate medical education meeting (PGME) where trainees can present case presentations and journal club articles. Junior doctor forums and trainee council meetings are also held periodically. It is encouraged that trainees attend these meetings. Weekly 1 hour supervision with clinical supervisors is also scheduled in for each rotation.
In 2019, the programme organised a successful 2 day residential course updating trainees on new research innovations within psychiatry as well as interview/portfolio workshops. This was an excellent way for all CTs (years 1 to 3) to meet in a relaxed setting and form new networks.
Audit and Quality Improvement Project opportunities are present throughout the deanery and also nationally.
On-calls are resident with the provision of on-call facilities on site as per BMA guidance. Call outs tend to be for A&E liaison psychiatry assessments, new admissions to wards, risk incidents, seclusion reviews and physical health enquiries. This is not an exhaustive list. This is a well-supported system with consultants being available via telephone to assist. The Consultants and Registrars on call, expect the trainees to call and are friendly and approachable.