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Teaching and learning about advocacy
  1. T Waterston
  1. Tony Waterston, Community Child Health, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6BE, UK; a.j.r.waterston{at}


Advocacy is an essential skill in the practice of paediatrics, where much of the work covers aspects of health as well as disease and where cross-agency work is common. Educationally, advocacy is best taught using a competency based approach and the key knowledge, skills and attitudes are defined. Central to the knowledge field is the evidence base for advocacy, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is desirable for advocacy skills to be learned through experiential learning and examples are offered including letter writing campaigns, an advocacy journal club and keeping a diary of cases seen in the clinic. Means are suggested for including advocacy training in the core teaching of paediatricians, through a combination of theoretical teaching and practical experience. It will be necessary also to include advocacy topics in examinations, if there is to be genuine prioritisation of this area of practice.

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  • Competing interests: None.