Testimonial 1

Having worked with very knowledgeable, proficient and compassionate consultants during my Core Psychiatry Training in the West Midlands Deanery, I was committed to completing my Higher Psychiatry Training here too. I started my Higher Psychiatry Training in London Deanery, after accepting an appointment to Charing Cross and St Mary’s Combined Higher Training Scheme in London in February 2018, however I moved back to West midlands Deanery after an inter-deanery transfer, in October 2018.

I worked in a variety of subspecialties during my core training including Liaison and Addiction psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, National Deaf centre and Eating disorder units. This experience further consolidated my interest in a career in General Adult psychiatry.

For my ST4 post, I worked in IPU 11-19, Community-Mental Health Recovery team (Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust), which functions on the recovery model. I enjoyed providing care to patients in the community who had a diagnosis of psychosis, schizophrenia, or bipolar affective disorder.

I returned to Neuropsychiatry as an ST4 (less than full time), which is a specialist service that offers assessment, diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. It offers outpatient and community services, and also runs across a two-bed video telemetry unit. I thoroughly enjoyed running Huntington’s disease clinics and General Neuropsychiatry clinics seeing interesting cases like Non epileptic attack disorder, Sleep disorders, Tourette syndrome, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Conversion disorders, Functional Neurological disorders, Neurodevelopmental disorders including ASD and ADHD.

I am currently completing my endorsement placement in Liaison Psychiatry at Queen Elizabeth Hospital that provides me ample opportunity to assess and mange patients with severe mental illness admitted to University Hospital Birmingham (UHB). We work in liaison with UHB, Community Mental Health, Home treatment team, Psychiatric decision unit, Bed management and approved Mental Health Professionals. I will complete my final year of training at Psychiatric intensive care unit at the Oleaster.

I am the current General Adult Psychiatry Peer group chair since February 2020.  I have been representing my Peer group at the School Board meetings, regularly. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, we had to cancel face-to-face regional training days. Organising teaching for West-Midlands General Adult regional training days via Microsoft teams, and chairing these training days has been an excellent opportunity for me to polish my leadership skills. I have also completed a Diploma in Medical Education from University of Dundee during my special interest sessions. Due to excellent research opportunities, I am currently doing a research with Research & Innovation Department of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation trust.

I am also an Honorary Tutor for Service Users and Carers group for MRCPsych course Birmingham, and an Academy teacher for Clinical Teaching Academy of Psychiatry, University Hospital Birmingham. I also have a very important role as an Honorary Psychiatry Digital Teaching Fellow to lay the foundation of an online learning platform, Post Graduate Virtual Learning Environment (PGVLE). My aim is to develop and manage this digital platform during this challenging yet important time for trainees considering their training needs.

The West Midlands deanery has provided me excellent opportunities, and an environment that supports trainees to develop personally and professionally. I have been lucky to be involved in many leadership & management and educational roles as a General Adult Peer group chair and have worked collectively with my colleagues during this difficult and challenging time.

The trainees have had excellent support from School Board and Head of school of Psychiatry West Midlands. The General Adult training programme directors have been approachable, encouraging and very considerate when allocating future placements, taking into account individual training and personal needs of trainees. From my personal experience, there were excellent and equal training opportunities and a variety of training posts to choose from, for both full time and less than full time (LTFT) trainees.

Dr Saima Jehanzeb

Written in October 2020.


Testimonial 2

I am ST6 working in General Adult Psychiatry. My interest in Psychiatry dates to the times spent in medical school, I realized psychiatric illnesses were highly prevalent but under-recognized compared to organic disease. After making a move to the UK, I did my Foundation year training in Perinatal Psychiatry as FY2 in West Midlands Deanery. This was the turning point in my life where I decided to be a Psychiatrist. I applied for core training in Psychiatry in the West Midlands deanery and got my 1st training rotation in South Birmingham. I have been training as Less than full time since my core training. It has allowed me to maximise my exposure to various subspecialties including Liaison, Eating disorder, Assertive Outreach Team, Community Mental Health Team, Inpatients, CAMHS, Elderly Care, Forensics and Intellectual Disability during my training. Having a wide exposure to various subspecialties enabled me to decide that General Adult Psychiatry is the right future path for me.  I had the opportunity to teach medical students as well Foundation, GPVTS and Core Psychiatry Trainees within my training rotations in West Midlands Deanery. I have been highly supported to pursue my special interest in Medical Education and I am progressing towards my Master's Degree in Medical Education. I have also been appointed as an Honorary “Psychiatry Digital Teaching Fellow PGSoP HEE WM” which is an exciting opportunity to develop an online platform for continued learning. As ST6, I am currently working in a CMHT where we assess patients presenting with non-psychotic illness. My clinical workload includes patients presenting with affective, neurotic as well as neurodevelopmental disorders. My role also includes supervising junior colleagues, teaching medical students, core trainees and to participate in quality improvement/service evaluation projects. I shall be joining the First Episode Psychosis Service in second half of my rotation. West Midlands deanery offers a unique experience in managing culturally and ethnically diverse population. The trainees are provided support to flourish in both clinical and academic skills. As a higher trainee, there are plenty of research and leadership opportunities. I have been able to polish and practise my psychotherapeutic skills and feel well supported. As a core and higher trainee, I have enjoyed a lot and gaining valuable experience and supervision to enable me to progress in my career pathway.


Testimonial 3

My name is Nidhi Gupta. I am an ST6 in General Psychiatry. I decided upon a career in Psychiatry after I came to the UK. Having had a background in Psychopharmacology, I was inclined to apply my theoretical knowledge to clinical practice with my background in clinical pharmacology having completed an MD in that speciality. Having completed part of my core training in the west midlands, I already had an insight into the excellent training that the West Midlands provides and so was keen to pursue my specialist training in this deanery. I found immense support from the West midlands deanery in terms of professional development with free courses and opportunities to get back into Higher training as a speciality doctor.  The West Midlands School of Psychiatry has given me a fantastic grounding in Psychiatry. I have had the opportunity to gain a wide range of experience working in Coventry and Birmingham. I am currently working in The Barberry, which is the National centre for Mental Health. I am working under the guidance of Professor Oyebode who is a world renowned Psychiatrist and has been well regarded in the psychiatric fraternity.   The deanery is ideal for delivering this wide range of experience as it includes hospitals with such diverse population demographics and service provision and yet all within a commuting distance from the centre of the region.  

Apart from day-to-day experience in clinics with complex and challenging severe mental illness, I have also been able to develop my Rehabilitation endorsement as well as psychotherapy skills under expert supervision within a supportive environment. The training is well structured and supervised.  The School of Psychiatry in the West Midlands are approachable, open to feedback and offer guidance and support throughout the training.   The West Midlands also has an excellent once a month regional training day that not only allows us to extend our knowledge of the specialty, but also gives us an opportunity as trainees to meet our leadership competencies, share experiences with other trainees in the region as well as opportunities to network. The regional training days are organised by the Peer group committee that comprises of a Chair, vice chair, General Secretary and Treasurer. The committee also organises a higher trainees away day. New trainees are always welcomed into the deanery and actively encouraged to participate in every aspect of their training. I am now looking to the future; to my final ST 6 year training. I will always look back and be grateful for the great training and opportunities to develop my career, which the West Midlands has provided.