Research Article

General practitioner training in paediatrics in the Trent region.

BMJ 1989; 298 doi: (Published 27 May 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;298:1434
  1. L. Polnay,
  2. M. Pringle
  1. Nottingham University Medical School.


    A total of 259 postal questionnaires were sent to all final year vocational trainees and new principals in general practice in the Trent region to find out how much training in paediatrics they had had. Questionnaires were returned by 105 trainees and 139 principals (244; 94%). Overall 72% (175) had taken up a hospital post in paediatrics during training, but among the 138 doctors who were on or had completed a three year vocational training scheme the proportion was slightly higher (82%; 115) (p = 0.01). Among the 175 who had had a post in paediatrics 108 (62%) had been given teaching sessions every week, and for half of these doctors the sessions lasted over one hour a week. Seventy five (54%) of the 139 principals reported that in their training in a general practice they had received no teaching about child health and a fifth said that they had not attended a clinic for children; 47 (34%) had received no training on procedures for dealing with cases of child abuse. The doctors who had held posts as senior house officers in paediatrics were more likely to report that they had adequate skills in paediatrics than those who had not, but overall only 62 (44%) reported that they could run a preschool child health surveillance programme. Extra paediatric posts in hospital are needed, but in the mean time improvements can be made to the teaching content in hospital and in the general practice attachment and postgraduate training in paediatrics provided for all general practitioners.