As incoming chair of the Trainee Committee of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland (CPsychI), I was honoured to be invited to contribute a piece on the Trainee Committee to the EFPT. Two of our members have recently joined the EFPT board, so it seems a fitting time for us to share a piece about what we do.
The Trainee Committee is a committee of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland which was founded in 2009 as the representative professional body for Psychiatrists in Ireland. It is recognised by the Irish Medical Council as the sole body responsible for providing specialist training in Psychiatry. There are a wide range of Faculty groups and Sub-Committees in CPsychI, including REFOCUS, a group of Carers and Service Users who give of their time to work with the College on improving training of Psychiatrists and identifying ways to improve Irish mental health services.
Over the past 7 years, members of the College have developed curricula for Basic and Higher Specialist Training (BST and HST). These are competency-based, and require Trainees to demonstrate achievement of mandatory learning outcomes, via structured assessments with their Supervising Consultant. In the last 2 years, the College have also developed a Clinical Examination, which Basic Specialist Trainees must pass, after completion of the written papers of the MRCPsych, in order to achieve their certificate of completion of BST.
The Trainee Committee is made up of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) in Psychiatry, who are elected every two years. Our members have a crucial role in representing the Trainee voice in groups throughout the College, as well as facilitating good communication between the College and Trainees nationally.
The Trainee Committee run a number of events annually to help achieve these aims, with support from administrative staff and Consultant members of the College. We run an annual conference specifically for NCHDs in Psychiatry, tackling areas of interest to Trainees. In addition, in the last 18 months the Trainee Committee has put in place a new initiative of Deanery Liaison Officers. These are sitting members of the Trainee Committee who undertake to provide a link between the College and NCHDs in Psychiatry. The initiative is in its infancy at present, but the aim is to improve engagement and representation of the Trainee voice within the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland.
We also run events around the country to promote recruitment and retention of Trainees to Psychiatry. MedFest is a medically themed one-night film festival that explores topics of interest in medicine and surgery, via screening and discussion of films. The Trainee Committee also runs annual ‘Summer Schools’ in three locations across Ireland. These allow Medical Students and Interns the opportunity to hear from Trainees and Consultants about life as a Psychiatrist, as well as visiting clinical sites to meet with Multidisciplinary Teams. Trainee Committee members also help to judge Medical Students’ entries into an annual essay competition and public speaking contest (The Spike Milligan contest).
We would like to thank the EFPT for the opportunity to share a bit about ourselves, and congratulate and thank Dr Sean Naughton and Dr Zetti Azvee for their work within the Trainee Committee and now on the EFPT board.
Dr Rosie Plunkett