Core training in psychiatry

Core trainees in psychiatry are supported through a network of colleges, educational and clinical and educational supervisors, local faculty groups and the inspection mechanisms. Our education and training courses cover subjects including study leave and expenses, counselling, appraisal and assessments and professional development.

Local training days

Local teaching takes place on Thursdays. This is a protected time, accommodated by rotas and job descriptions. These sessions are also bleep-free.

Educational events and opportunities

Trainees are encouraged to attend local training days/conferences in relevant domains, from clinical leadership to humanities.

They have access to workshops on communication skills, interview preparation (for ST4 applications) and presentation skills.

Core trainees have the option of studying for a Masters degree alongside their MRCPsych teaching. Higher specialty trainees (HST) provide great support in presenting alongside core trainees at local events.

Research opportunities

There are research opportunities available from the MRCPsych/Masters degree programme. The education department is supportive in establishing links with relevant contacts for trainees wanting to be actively involved in research.

Medical Education has established a peer-reviewed online journal in Kent which facilitates the publication of the work the trainees carry out.

Work life balance

Closer to the exams and Annual Review of Competence and Progression (ARCP), the balance may naturally tilt more towards work, but otherwise the workload generally allows for time to be spent riding through the beautiful landscapes of Kent, enjoying an ice-cream by the beach or engaging in the cultural programs of these quintessentially British towns.


All trainees are entitled to one hour of weekly supervision with their clinical /educational supervisors. We also run a mentorship programme.

Exam support

The local teaching provided is exam-focussed and relevant to the different papers. Trainees also have regular Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competences (CASC) practice and CASC mock exams, which are excellent preparation tools and all trainees are encouraged to attend from the start of core training.

Sub-specialty opportunities

Besides the required rotations for core training, there are opportunities to organise tasters in Mother and Infant Mental Health Service, forensic psychiatry, liaison, rehab, addictions and neurodevelopmental psychiatry.

There are also opportunities to sit in specialist clinics (e.g. neuropsychiatry) or services (personality disorder units) ECT. There is a regular core trainees' career day, which promotes the different subspecialties with first-hand experience and also helps in preparing for the transition to higher training.

Trainees are required to gain psychotherapy experience under supervision, which allows trainees to gain competencies in that subspecialty.

NHS library services

Library and knowledge services are available to trust staff through libraries at the acute trusts linked to KMPT. By joining a NHS library convenient to you, you can gain access the latest health-related books and journals. We also provide our own resource rooms at Maidstone, Medway, Canterbury and Dartford.

Did you know that the NHS Knowledge and Library hub link can be accessed through both the KMPT i-connect intranet (Library Services page) and through iLearn?

The iconnect page includes a link to the NHS Knowledge and Library hub, user guide, account set up details plus contact details to all your local libraries.

You can also access Library Reports for KMPT on Padlet

Padlet is a ‘living’ document so will automatically update when new reports are added and the link remains the same.

Our KMPT Dedicated Librarian Maria Hughes

Locality tutors

Dr Vinu Vasudevan

Dr Abubaker Isac-Momoh

Dr Adina Parkes
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells

Dr Ivana Pristicova
East Kent Canterbury

Dr Max Pickard
East Kent Ashford and Thanet 


Trainees' local teaching programme, besides including the revision sessions targeted to exams, also includes weekly journal clubs at each site where core trainees present cases or journals regularly.

There are also weekly Balint Group sessions at each site, which are reflective group discussions, so helpful to trainees practice. All core trainees will be provided with the opportunity to take part on a ECT rota and will be signed off as competent at the end of the training.

Trainees are encouraged to take initiative and to be involved from early on in the improvement of our services. New ideas are welcomed and supported and trainees have a chance to pursue their interests (teaching, management, etc). Great importance is given to trainees being able to attend their teaching, which is protected, bleep-free time and there are regular revision/practice sessions, particularly for the CASC exam.

The Psychiatry Tuesday Teaching programme is rolled out every 4 month rotation and takes place weekly virtually. The programme links to the foundation and GP trainee Psychiatry curriculum requirements and core trainees are invited to attend. The programme content is packed with a variety of interesting and stimulating psychiatry subjects.

Previous trainees have commented that no other specialty linked to Kent provides such a robust teaching programme.

Health Education England - SuppoRTT

The London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT) programme aims to support all trainees to safely and confidently return to training after a sustained period of absence.

The programme applies to all trainee doctors absent for 3 months or more, regardless of the reason. For more information visit the website