Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 188, Issue 1, pp 189–192 | Cite as

Future career intentions of higher specialist trainees in general Paediatrics

  • Grainne ButlerEmail author
  • Colm Breatnach
  • Sinead Harty
  • Patrick Gavin
  • Colm O’Donnell
  • Michael J. O’Grady
Original Article



A survey of paediatric higher specialist trainees was carried out in 2002 assessing career intentions and perception of training. Fourteen years later, with increased numbers of trainees and a national model of care and a tertiary paediatric hospital on the horizon, we re-evaluated the career intentions of the current trainee workforce.


To assess the career intentions of the current paediatric higher specialist trainees.


A 28-item questionnaire was developed based on a previously validated instrument and distributed online using the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland trainee database.


We distributed the questionnaire to 118 eligible trainees and received responses from 92 (78%). Seventy-nine (86%) respondents desire a consultant post in Ireland. Seventy-five (82%) indicated that their preferred consultant post location was in a tertiary paediatric centre. Sixty-two trainees (67%) intend to become subspecialists with 25 (27%) planning a career in general paediatrics. This contrasts with the 2002 survey when 76% wished to work in urban centres and 61% of trainees planned a career in general paediatrics.


There appears to be a mismatch between the career goals of the future paediatric consultant workforce and the requirements for staffing paediatric units nationally. This has the potential to complicate the proposed expansion of general paediatricians in regional centres and result in a significant proportion of current trainees failing to secure a post in their desired location.


Careers Paediatrics Training Workforce 


Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grainne Butler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Colm Breatnach
    • 1
  • Sinead Harty
    • 1
  • Patrick Gavin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Colm O’Donnell
    • 3
  • Michael J. O’Grady
    • 4
  1. 1.Our Lady’s Childrens Hospital CrumlinDublin 12Ireland
  2. 2.Children’s University HospitalDublin 1Ireland
  3. 3.National Maternity HospitalDublin 2Ireland
  4. 4.Regional Hospital MullingarMullingarIreland

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