The Training Programme Director - Dr Sarah Duncan
Specialty Programme Co-ordinator - Gillian Conway
HR Officer, Lead Employer Trust – Jenny Lear
Information about the Specialty
Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) is a fun and rapidly evolving specialty which provides care for all aspects of sexual health and HIV medicine. At a time when national figures report significant increases in new diagnoses of syphilis and gonorrhea; use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis is becoming more prevalent and HPV vaccination is often considered routine, it is a very exciting time to be involved in sexual health.
Why choose Genito-Urinary Medicine?
Genitourinary Medicine provides an opportunity to meet multiple needs of patients’ within a single appointment. Care is evidence based yet patient centered. We recognise that in taking the time to listen to patients’ concerns, we can make a huge difference to both symptoms and broader issues such as self-esteem and risk taking behavior.
GUM is fairly unique amongst medical specialties in providing care for both young teenagers and adults of all ages. We treat presentations which are entirely curable, as well as managing chronic long term conditions, which allow us to develop supportive relationships with patients over time. GUM is one of the few medical specialties which also contributes to the wellbeing of the general public and population health. We contribute to national statistics and respond to specific disease outbreaks.
GUM has a reputation for great job satisfaction amongst consultant physicians. We are continually challenged by the variety of clinical presentations we see; we make rapid diagnoses using near patient tests and we perform practical procedures including biopsy, and insertion of sub-dermal and intrauterine contraceptives.
How do I know if I am suited to GUM?
Please contact us if you are interested in organising a taster session in GUM in our region.
Our trainees are:
- Good communicators
- Team players who value the multidisciplinary team
- Not easily embarrassed!!
As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?
GUM is a four year training programme and we have specifically mapped attachments to meet the requirements of the curriculum. Our two training bases are the New Croft Clinic in Newcastle which is the largest integrated sexual health cntre in the North East and City Hospitals Sunderland, which is the regional lead in the assessment of genital pain and in the provision of services for transgender patients.
Our rotations include:
- 12 month rotating placement in each training base (alternating between Newcastle and Sunderland)
- 2 month HIV in-patient placement within each 12 month training year at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle
- Weekly HIV out-patient clinic throughout each training year
- Specialist attachments to Gynaecology, Dermatology, Microbiology, Public Health, Hepatitis Care and Andrology.
- Training in contraception leading to certification in intradermal and intrauterine techniques and Membership of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
- Opportunities to complete training in Psychosexual Medicine
- Participation in the regional HIV network, regional BASHH meetings and Urogenital pain MDTs
- Management training
- Support for research such as project ideas, supervision and help with applications for funding and resources. (we have established a regional sexual health research in practice network to link clinicians and academics supported by regional universities and we participate in regional academic meetings: https://www.ahsn-nenc.org.uk/
- Support to enable sub-specialty training within individual areas of interest
- Participation in Child & Adult Sexual Exploitation group.
Why train in the North east?
In the North East Genitourinary Medicine is a close-knit friendly specialty with close co-operation and collaboration between Sexual Health Departments. Three of our current GUM consultants were initially training in other specialties but decided on a career in GUM after seeing what we have to offer!!
There are regular regional network meetings where we work together to produce regional projects, guidelines and teaching. The outcome of these often will result in poster and sometimes oral presentations at national conferences or journal publications. We encourage our trainees to apply as trainee representatives on national BASHH groups and to apply for ad hoc opportunities such as members of writing guideline groups for BHIVA and FSRH.
In addition to the quarterly Northern BASHH (British Association of Sexual Health and HIV) and Northern HIV Network meetings, trainees have a formal protected educational afternoon each month with regional and national speakers.
Link to BASHH website: https://www.bashh.org/branches/northern-branch/whos-who-in-the-northern-branch/
The NHS trusts in which trainees are based are strong advocates for integrated sexual health and they prioritise training opportunities. We have been assured that future contract discussions and commissioning will not change the delivery of GUM training locally.
The North East is a great place to settle with the majority of doctors who train in our region opting to live here permanently. You will fall in love with our beaches, splash in our waterfalls and live with your family in a safe and affordable location.
Link to visit north east http://visitnortheastengland.co.uk/
What our trainees say:
Every single day is different; you never know which challenges you will be faced with! The skills needed to deal with these patients are very different from those in other specialties and it is the small challenges like this that keep the job interesting.
Working in GUM you tend not to only act as a doctor but a confidante and often a “friend”. It is an honour that patients let you into their lives to the extent they do. The clinic patients are equally as interesting, every one having a different presentation and different needs.
G.U.M is such a great specialty with a wide variety of avenues to go down. Usually we do 1 clinic per week in the Infectious Diseases department in Newcastle and spend 2 months per year there experiencing in-patient HIV work. You train in contraception and do placements in Obs and Gynae, Microbiology, Dermatology and Public Health and can train to deal with victims of sexual assault if you wish. This exposure means you can develop special interests for when working as a consultant. It is much more rounded training than some of the other specialties.
https://www.st3recruitment.org.uk/specialties/genitourinary-medicine (link to ST3 Recruitment page)
To find out more about our region and Trusts please visit the Find Your Place website.