Interested in Psychiatry as a career? Please click on the accordians below and follow the pathway to becoming a Consultant.
What Can You Expect?
Psychiatry is a fascinating discipline that captures and integrates much of why students choose to enter the medical profession. It requires an understanding and knowledge of the physical aspects of health but also demands a sophisticated understanding of the psychological aspects of people's lives and the social circumstances in which people live.
Psychiatric disorders can be understood at many levels corresponding with this complex mixture of the individual, their society and their physical make up and developing good psychiatric management plans with individual patients is an art that is both intellectually challenging and endlessly rewarding.
Psychiatry as a career offers a huge range of potential careers in a wide range of settings across the age range.
"I was at the Longley Centre based in the Academic Unit which was great as each day we were place in different Wards around the Longley Centre as well as attending outpatients clinics. So we got to see a variety of patients e.g. intensive treatment suite, elderly Psychiatry etc. The staff at the Academic Centre went out of their way to teach us and we were also able to go and see ECT - which was very different to how it is described in the media!
Although I enjoyed my Psychiatry placement, it did not actually jump out at me as a strong future career option until my Paediatric placement in Grimsby. There were so many teenagers admitted onto the ward with Psychiatric problems and it was good to see the Medical and CAMHS team working together to give the young patients the best care they could. These patients were not under just Psychiatry but also remained under Medicine for some time as tests were performed to rule out any physical pathological causes."
- Gemma Page, 2nd Year Core Trainee
"I have to say that my placement here was the best organised placement I ever had. The support staff in the education centre were astonishingly helpful and friendly. On our first day we were provided with a lengthy induction, given a tour of the unit, given a timetable for the full six week placement, and introduced to the module lead and our personal tutors (we were each assigned to a Consultant who we met with periodically throughout the placement who we could practise long cases with and discuss things we'd seen on the attachment or ask any questions).
All teaching we received during the placement happened on time and was of good quality. On the rare occasion that a facilitator for a teaching session did not show up, the support staff were promptly on hand in order to bleep them etc. The amount of teaching was substantial - in addition to the ILAs, we had 2-3 extra tutorials per week on relevant topics not covered by ILAs/lectures. We also had the opportunity to attend patient consultations with Crisis Team, which was a good learning experience. Staff who were very helpful and good at teaching during the attachment were Dr Das, Dr Taylor and Dr Ackroyd."
- Cara Evans, Former Medical Student
What Can You Expect?
Psychiatry, with its blend of Psychosocial and Physical aspects of Medicine is intellectually challenging and rewarding to practice. Team working is fundamental - Psychiatrists work in teams with a wide range of disciplines and the contribution the Doctors make is hugely valued and respected.
Foundation Trainees get a glimpse of this working environment and the rewards that come from working within teams that are built on respect and cooperation. The work at times is challenging but there is rarely a sense of 'not making a difference' with huge positive feedback from both Patients and their relatives when the teamwork and plans come together in success.
Foundation Trainees are well supported by their Clinical Supervisors and teams. They have the opportunity to participate in groups led by experienced Psychiatrists which allow them to reflect on their experiences and their own reactions to the Clinical work they do.
"I started my Psychiatry job placement feeling apprehensive, not knowing what to expect. I feel it is fair to say that anybody who starts this job the first time would feel the same but I never regretted this job. I was given a lot of responsibility and a chance to exert my individual contribution to the team. My clinical skills were well used and practiced. I met many interesting and inspiring characters. These experiences I value greatly. I came into this placement with limited knowledge; I have now left this placement knowing what is the right path for my future career."
- Dr Francis Felix, 3rd Year Core Trainee
"This was my first ever job as a doctor. I was immediately made to feel welcome within the multi-disciplinary team and was quickly became involved in all aspects of the care of the patients. This post, and the people I worked with, inspired me to pursue a career in Psychiatry. The professional relationships I formed with patients went beyond any other I have experienced in other placements and I could not imagine applying for any other specialty!"
- Dr Helen Henfrey, 3rd Year Core Trainee
What Can You Expect?
Core Training in Psychiatry exposes Trainees to a comprehensive range of clinical experiences over a three year rotational programme. This enables Trainees to gain competence in the assessment and basic management of Psychiatric conditions across the age range, in a range of settings and with different levels of complexity. As the Trainee progresses, they develop their skills in team working, managing complexity and in the evaluation of their own work and that of their teams.
Developing teaching skills and beginning to understand theoretical and practical aspects of leadership and management form further important learning objectives. Developing sophisticated communication skills and psychological mindedness is integrated into the curriculum delivery with all Trainees learning basic psychological and psychotherapeutic approaches to clinical management and participating in reflective case based discussion groups. Protected time is provided for teaching and Clinical and Educational Supervision is supportive, thorough and useful. All Trainees receive an hour a week supervision from their Consultant Clinical Supervisor and a day or half-day release teaching programme.
Successful completion of the Training programme and the Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists examination enables a Trainee to apply for Higher Training.
Academic Training is available enabling those doctors with a strong interest in research to pursue a career leading to senior positions in academic medicine whilst also obtaining post graduate certification in the Speciality.
"I feel so supported, well nurtured and am having the time of my life."
- Dr Ogba Onwuchekwa, Former Core Trainee
North and East Yorkshire
"I have enjoyed working with a friendly, supportive and clinially excellent team of Consultants who attempt to get to know you as an individual and listen to your feedback."
- Dr Sarah Jones, Sixth Year Old Age Psychiatry Trainee
North and East Yorkshire
What Can You Expect?
Higher Training in Psychiatry takes between three and five years depending on whether a single Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) is sought or a dual.
In Higher Training, a Trainee specialises in one or two of the Sub Specialties of Psychiatry: Child and Adolescent, Forensic, General Adult, Intellectual Disability, Old Age or Psychotherapy.
The Higher Trainee builds on their Core Training to manage with an increasing level of sophistication and assurance the full range of Psychiatric presentations seen within their chosen Sub Speciality. Development of leadership and management skills are of increasing importance alongside developing the skills that will enable the Trainee to be seen as an essential component of teams within which they will work as a Consultant.
As in Core Training, supervision from experienced Consultant Trainers is an essential part of the process.
"I have been part of the HEYH Psychiatry scheme as a Foundation, Core and Higher Trainee. It's been a wonderfully friendly, rewarding and engaging environment to train in. I’ve enjoyed every stage."
- Dr Gaelle Slater, Former General Adult Psychiatry Trainee
"Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber provides unique working opportunities for Training, as well as having a well developed Clinical Leadership and Management Fellow programme.
The location is fantastic, I have the beautiful Peak District on my back door step and the City of Sheffield out of the front. The Consultants and Trainees are very friendly, eager to work together and collaborate on many different projects.
There are superb opportunities for clinical leadership, management and designing your own projects.
There is an excellent teaching programme with a pass rate above the National average."
- Dr Zead Said, Former General Adult Psychiatry Trainee
What Can You Expect?
Becoming a Consultant is a milestone – a big milestone indeed - but that is all it is. It is a point in a journey that has taken a number of years to reach but the learning that is part and parcel of a medical career continues. As a Consultant you have new expectations placed upon you and new responsibilities and at times this can seem daunting. On the other hand, there is a sense of achievement in reaching this stage of your career, and the achievement in reaching this point is still great.
As a Consultant you continue to develop your understanding of team working, complexity and you play an increasing role within your organisation in planning and improving services. Fundamental to your work is continuing to develop your clinical practice and experience such that within your team you come to be seen as a wise source of advice in cases that are complex and a calming influence on the overall work of the team.
Consultant careers can take several paths – involvement in Training the next generation of Students, Doctors and Nurses appeals to some while others enjoy developing careers that take them more in the direction of service improvement and management. Others pursue a research direction, deepening the scientific knowledge base of the profession or developing links across disciplines that enlighten our understanding of psychiatric conditions and the social contexts in which they occur. At different stages of the Consultant career, Doctors can focus on different aspects and switch between things as their careers develop. The breadth of mental health services, and their importance to overall well being and outcomes more widely, means that Consultants are able to find avenues to explore where they can contribute hugely to health care in ways that are endlessly fascinating throughout their careers.
"In terms of preparation for movement into a Consultant role, the School of Psychiatry has helped me in a number of ways:
The first thing that springs to mind is the role of the Educational Supervisor. My Educational Supervisor began guiding me and suggesting things that I could do to acquire the necessary skills and experience for Consultant practice right at the start of my ST4 year. Through that longitudinal view of Training, I was well-supported all the way through Higher Training.
The opportunity to Act-Up in a Consultant role for three months was an invaluable experience, and was something that I was able to draw on in my Consultant interview. I was well-advised and supported in preparation for this role by the Training Programme Director.
The Out Of Programme Experience that I was able to take part in with the School of Psychiatry gave me the opportunity to vastly increase my leadership and management experience. Through work with the Head of School, I was able to further develop a special interest that helped me in my job application and interview, and this is something that I will be able to continue as part of my role as a Consultant."
- Dr Mike Akroyd, Consultant