A career in...
Choosing community paediatrics
Medical students often know little about this rewarding subspecialty
- By: Emma Rebecca Firth
The experience of paediatric placements as a medical student is one of the strongest factors in future career choices within this specialty.1 Undergraduate training is adult focused, however, and is mostly delivered through hospital placements, which means there is limited exposure to community medicine and paediatrics,23 and especially to community paediatrics. Only a handful of medical schools worldwide, such as those in Maastricht (The Netherlands), Newcastle (Australia), Havana (Cuba), and Ilorin (Nigeria), focus on community based curriculums (box 1).4
Considering that community paediatrics is an integral part of child health services and is closely allied to other specialties such as hospital paediatrics and general practice, this seems an oversight.
With little or no experience of community paediatrics, students and junior doctors are often unclear about community child health services and their provision, and few consider community paediatrics as a career option, at least until late in training.1 This is a