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Paediatric trainees’ training experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic: a national survey
  1. Matthew James Harmer1,
  2. Genevieve Southgate2,
  3. Maduri Raja3,4,
  4. Shouja Alam5
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
  2. 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton, UK
  3. 3 University College London Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  4. 4 Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Southampton Children's Hospital, Southampton, UK
  5. 5 Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Genevieve Southgate, Southampton Children's Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK; Genevieve.southgate{at}


This study examines trainees’ experiences of paediatric education and training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Paediatric trainees across the UK undertook an online survey. 368 of approximately 4000 trainees responded; quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Although the majority of trainees remained in their specialties, there was significant disruption to training events, teaching and learning opportunities. Despite this, for many, novel opportunities presented themselves that may not have otherwise been accessible. Trainees reported increased virtual learning, reflection, leadership and management opportunities. A breadth of trainee-identified web-based paediatric training resources were also highlighted. As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, these trainee experiences inform educators to adopt helpful training practices from other regions, including sharing of virtual learning regionally and acting-up opportunities. Trainees highlighted previously under-recognised areas of concern that can inform quality improvement initiatives, such as enhancing patient safety through tackling trainee fatigue, combating reduced clinical experience or instituting protected supporting professional activity time.

  • COVID-19
  • health services research
  • qualitative research

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  • Twitter @matthewjharmer, @GenSouthgate, @raja_maduri, @ShoujaAlam

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer Views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Health Service or RCPCH.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.