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There is very little research into the challenges of training in intellectual disability psychiatry or into interventions which may address these challenges. Using focus groups, we explored the experiences of intellectual disability psychiatry trainees, and evaluated a leaderless trainee support group developed in Bristol.
Five distinct themes were identified via framework analysis: that trainees felt unprepared for the difference from previous posts; the need for support; the value of the group; that trainees were concerned about judgement in supervision; that the group structure was valued.
Our findings highlight the support needs specific to intellectual disability psychiatry trainees. Leaderless peer support groups may be a valued resource to address such issues, and may be a useful model to be considered by other training schemes.
This paper describes a model of training in leadership and project management skills for advanced trainees, using educational projects within the Severn School of Psychiatry. Fellowships lasting 1 year have been developed to enable trainees, working with a senior consultant trainer associated with the School of Psychiatry, to support important new educational initiatives. Linkage with the local university training and learning for health professionals research module has provided academic support for the trainees and the projects. Four examples for the first year of the programme are described and feedback from structured interviews with participants is presented. The development of the fellowships appears to have had wider benefits, in developing educational faculty in the School of Psychiatry and the trainees involved have had opportunities to extend their project management and leadership skills. The fellowship programme is continuing to develop, based on feedback from its first successful year.
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