College hosts third annual Induction Week for Psychiatry Trainees
The College has this year adapted the annual Foundation Year Trainee Induction Week to take place entirely online, tackling limitations on in-person events in place due to Covid-19.
Now in its third year, the Induction Week was designed by the College Postgraduate Training Department for doctors embarking on their first year as Trainee Psychiatrists. Following positive feedback from Trainees since its inception, sessions this year included a wide breadth of topics including Suicide and Self Harm: Reduction and Prevention, COVID-19 and Psychiatry and Supporting Psychiatrists in Safe Prescribing.
Constraints on social contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that this year’s Induction Week, which normally takes place in the form of a week-long residential event, was held virtually with webinars live-streamed directly to attendees over three full days.
In addition to welcoming 63 new entrants to the Basic Specialist Trainee scheme, the programme aims to equip foundation year psychiatry trainees with introductory skills in areas such as communication, patient safety, physical health, personal well-being, ethics, and Irish social and cultural issues, all of which are vital in this formative stage of training and in ensuring that the highest standard of patient care is to the fore.
The induction week is a one-of-a-kind programme in Irish postgraduate medical training and featured presentations and workshops delivered by senior specialists in Psychiatry and allied healthcare professionals, as well as representatives from the College REFOCUS group and Exchange House Ireland, the national Travellers service.
The workshops provided particular emphasis on development of the unique qualities, as distinct from other Medical Specialties, required by Psychiatrists.
Of significant importance for young doctors, particularly in the file of psychiatry and mental health, are communication skills. A training session, led by Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, Dr Anne Doherty, allowed attendees to reflect on the approach and language they use when relating with patients, family members/carers, members of the Multi-Disciplinary Team, which in turn affects delivery of a diagnosis, and therapeutic connections with patients. Michael Norton, of the College REFOCUS group, provided insight from the perspective of someone who has used mental health services previously. Michael reminded attendees how easy it is, in a fast-paced clinical environment, to forget that simple things like making eye contact or being seated level with a patient, can make to all the difference to the doctor-patient relationship and how this in turn has a huge part to play in recovery.
Discussing the challenges of running educational events whilst adhering to current public health guidelines around limiting the spread of Covid-19, Dean of Education, Dr Aoibhinn Lynch says:
“One of the most important aspects of the Induction week has been meeting our new trainees in person and indeed the trainees meeting each other to build a collegiate network. However, this year that was not possible and we had to keep the safety of all in mind. We hope to be able to meet all of our trainees again in the near future and to return to our face to face format in 2021”.
Overall, this educational induction has been designed to consider every facet of what makes a well-rounded, informed and skilled Psychiatrist and aims to benefit not only the incoming young doctors as trainees, but the patients they will support and work with as well.