A scheme of taster days in psychiatry training for foundation doctors

This page is aimed at people who work in medical education and training. It gives information about a taster scheme that promotes psychiatry training among foundation doctors at the Severn Foundation School.

Why it is beneficial to introduce the scheme?

In response to the recruitment shortage in psychiatry, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has suggested that the promotion of taster days may increase junior doctors’ exposure to psychiatry and thereby boost recruitment. This is supported by the UK Foundation Programme Office.

What the scheme entails?

The taster-day scheme was set up following discussions with Severn Foundation School. Consultants and doctors in training were invited to be involved. Foundation doctors who wish to have a taster day contact the coordinator and have the opportunity to express their preference of subspecialty and geographical location.

The coordinator links them to a consultant offering their chosen subspecialty and a doctor in core training in the area. The doctor in core training then helps facilitate the taster day by offering shadowing and informal discussions about training and exams.

All taster days arranged are logged on a database. After completing the taster days, foundation doctors are asked to give online feedback.

Detailed information

Positive feedback

Feedback from foundation doctors has been very positive, with doctors rating the opportunity highly as it allows them to gain an insight into psychiatry.

Consultants and doctors in higher training have been very receptive to providing taster days for foundation doctors. The doctors in training that have been involved in supervising the foundation doctors enjoy having a role in the taster days and recognise the scope for management and teaching opportunities that this brings.

Improved recruitment

Many foundation doctors who have participated have gone on to apply for core training in psychiatry – some of these have successfully applied for and commenced psychiatry core training in Severn.

I want to learn more

For further information, contact Liz Ewins at elizabethewins@nhs.net or Ami Kothari at ami.kothari@nhs.net. Alternatively, see the scheme’s website.