Infectious Diseases (ID) training consists of a minimum 4–year programme commencing at ST3 level. However, most trainees combine the specialty with either General (Internal) Medicine (GIM; 5-year programme including ID CCTs and level 2 standard for Acute Medicine) or Microbiology (6-year programme for CCTs in both ID & Microbiology).
The training programme in Yorkshire is currently divided into 3 centres: East (Hull) and West (Leeds and Bradford) and South (Sheffield). Trainees spend the first 2 years in Infectious Diseases including community and travel acquired infection, HIV/AIDS and infection consultation. Both programmes then include attachments to related specialties, in particular Microbiology, Intensive Care, Genitourinary Medicine and Public Health. GIM training is provided in Bradford, Hull and local District General Hospitals. Trainees are actively encouraged to pursue special interests and have been able to spend more substantive time in resource poor settings in Africa and the Far East. Previous trainees have also successfully secured scholarships and fellowships to undertake specialist training in Europe and Australia.
Research, Study and Personal Development
All departments run regular seminars on infection-based topics. There is a monthly training afternoon for trainees in infection (ID, Microbiology and Public Health) and there is a Yorkshire Infectious Diseases Society which meets twice a year. In addition trainees are encouraged to attend and contribute to national specialist society scientific meetings and training programmes such as those organised by the British Infection Association and Federation of Infection Societies. In addition, for trainees in GIM there are regional RCP training days in General Medicine, coordinated by the Royal College of Physicians and Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber courses in generic and management skills.
Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber runs an excellent course on research skills and methodology. Trainees are also expected to perform audit, leading to oral or poster presentations and publications. There is an option of carrying out a 6-month research project in ST5 which could be used to plan to take time out from the training for a further research degree e.g. MD or PhD. There are active research units both in Leeds and Hull and there are current research programmes in Hepatitis, HIV, C.difficle infection and chronic infections. The ID unit in Hull has strong links with the academic Infection and Immunity unit in York.
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching
There are plenty of opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Trainees who are interested in clinical teaching can pursue the Certificate or Masters in Clinical Teaching. HYMS and Leeds medical students have regular attachment to the ID units both in Hull and Leeds.
There is a designated study leave budget (coordinated by Dr Hugh McGann, consultant at St James’s Hospital in Leeds) for trainees to attend courses and meetings. These include Specialist Society meetings, various general medicine courses (run by the RCP) and the different Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber Courses such as Core Module, Research Skills, Skills of Effective Teaching, Legal and Ethics, Leadership and Management modules.