Specialist Interest in Paediatric Cardiology
HEE NE offers a SPIN module for existing Paediatric trainees interested in obtaining experience in Paediatric Cardiology. This Paediatric Cardiology special interest post and training is for a period of 12-18 months and it is based entirely in the Paediatric Cardiology Department, at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
The post is in accordance with the RCPCH approved SPIN module in Paediatric Cardiology (available from the RCPCH website https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2018-05/cardiology_2.pdf) allowing trainees to pursue a career as Paediatrician with an expertise in Cardiology (PECSIG).
The post is targeted at Level 3 trainees, ST6 and upwards only, but would be most suitable for those in ST7 or ST8. This would allow the trainee to spend time in the latter portion of their training maintaining their exposure and interest to Cardiology in preparation for appointment to a PEC position. Once a trainee is appointed to the role within the School of Paediatrics, they need to prospectively apply for their SPIN approval via their TPD to the Specialist Advisory Committee for Paediatric Cardiology. The best guidance on SPIN can be found on the RCPCH Website.
Dr Madhu Podalakur – Former Paediatric Trainee
“I have worked for six months in Cardiac PICU, followed by doing SPIN in Paediatric Cardiology for 18 months.
To start with I was very apprehensive as the Freeman Hospital is very specialised and a busy Paediatric Cardiology Unit, however I was very well supported during my time and had great structured training.
Highlights of my training: -
As I had minimal cardiology experience prior to this, the team has taken account of this and posted me with echo technicians for the initial few weeks. Again, this has given time to learn basic echocardiographic skills and confidence to perform individually.
I had plenty of experience doing cardiology clinics initially under supervision and later on with very minimal supervision/discussion, which gave me huge confidence in performing echocardiogram independently and decision making.
My best part of my training was doing a wide variety of cardiology clinics with different consultants and discussing them after reviewing a patient was the biggest plus point during my training.
Apart from a day-to-day busy work schedule we had regular journal club, difficult ECG discussions, multidisciplinary team meetings, echocardiogram teachings and plenty more opportunities to learn.
Compared to other regions the SPIN programme at the Freeman Hospital is for 18 months. In my opinion in the first six or nine months you learn lot of basic cardiology and echocardiogram skills. I think it is during the second half of the training that i have developed confidence and become more comfortable with decision making. Hence, I felt 18 months is needed to do cardiology clinics as General Paediatrician.
Overall it was a great experience and gave a lot of confidence to deal with similar situations when I am working with my general paediatric colleagues.
Good team to work with and I always want to go back and work when the opportunity arises. If someone is interested in Cardiology, it is the place to be in.”