This subreddit is great for comparing systems around the world, especially as we don't really meet American doctors in the UK.
In the UK paediatric training takes place after 5-6 years of undergraduate medical school, 2 years of foundation (internship), working as a doctor in 4 month rotations, then you do 8 years of paediatric training. Within the next few years this may decrease to 7 years. After this you are a consultant (attending) in general paediatrics, managing outpatient clinics, acute takes, ward work, on calls.
Doctors work 48hr per week, as opposed to 100 (?) hour weeks in the USA.
Subspecialties in paediatrics also train in 8 years, but may have fellowship/phD years as well.
General practice (family medicine) takes place after your two years of foundation, and training takes 3 years, half in hospital, half in GP.
Many GPs will never have worked in a paediatric department, and will qualify having only done 5-6 weeks of paediatrics in medical school.
For day to day problems, GP is the gatekeeper, you bring your child to the GP first. You cannot see a paediatrician. There is no office paediatrician, this is not a role which exists. Paediatric consultants will have a routine wait of 3-6 months to be seen in clinic.
There are not many paediatricians in the UK compared to GPs, and the paediatric college is not filling their training numbers so this will get worse.
As a result, if the GP is not trained in paediatrics, they will be very unsure, and refer children to paediatrics who could have been managed in the surgery. Which results in consultants who spent 8 years training in acute paediatrics managing constipation, coughs and colds, often in an assessment unit during antisocial hours.
In the UK we often talk about how great it would be to have some form of office paediatrician, maybe shorted training, only works 9-5 in an office, seeing children instead of the GP, preventing unnecessary referrals. This is what happens in the USA I understand?
It would seem to be a better system, offering an option of better work life balance for paediatricians, and better service for families than seeing a GP who does not have paediatric training. A GP for children.
Does it work in practice elsewhere in the world?
The UK paediatric training model, after 2 years of working as a foundation doctor.
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