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.

Supervision

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 or rehab 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 Canterbury and Dartford.

Tutor bio

Dr Vijay Delaffon
MB BS, MSc, MRCPsych Consultant Psychiatrist, Willow Suite PICU and Training Programme Director, HEKSS

Vijay Delaffon was appointed Consultant Psychiatrist in July 2013. He trained at St John’s Medical College, Bengaluru, India, and went on to complete training at the East Midlands Deanery with endorsements in General Adult and Addictions Psychiatry in 2008.

He also obtained an MSc in Psychiatric Research Methodology with merit from the Institute of Psychiatry in 2012. Medical education has been a passion throughout his career, inspired by great teachers encountered along the way.

He was appointed Training Programme Director for Health Education for Kent, Surrey and Sussex in April 2014.

He believes that psychiatry is currently in need of new impetus to attract enthusiastic trainees who can care for the most vulnerable people in society in the future.

Locality tutors

Dr Anoop Saraf
Medway
anoop.saraf@nhs.net

Dr Sheeba Hakeem
Dartford
sheebahakeem@nhs.net

Dr Laurence Potter
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells
laurencepotter@nhs.net

Dr Ahmed ismail
East Kent
ahmed.ismail3@nhs.net

Teaching

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.

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