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Victorian Training program in Community Child Health fellowship

  • This 12-month fellowship is based at the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne; an accredited Program of Excellence in community child health. Our program provides strong clinical and theoretical training in developmental-behavioural paediatrics, essential for Advanced Paediatric Trainees who plan to specialise in community child health or to work as consultant general paediatricians.

    The Victorian Training Program in Community Child Health's (VTPCCH) learning objectives are aligned closely with the RACP's Physician Readiness for Expert Practice (PREP) training philosophy: we aim to provide trainees with a supportive learning environment with a trainee-centered supervision model. Fellows will develop individual learning goals for the year and will be paired with mentors with expertise in clinical practice, population child health research, public health and policy development, and program development and evaluation. We hope that the graduates of our program will progress to not only be expert developmental-behavioural clinicians but also the next generation of academic community child health paediatricians

    The program is based at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, and we cooperate closely with   Monash Medical Centre, Barwon Health, Goulburn Health, and Sunshine Hospital. Fellows have community placements in North-West and South-East metropolitan Melbourne.

    Applications

    Applications for the Victorian Training Program in Community Child Health begin mid-year. Application forms and further information are available from The Royal Children's Hospital's Junior Medical Staff department web page. All positions at different health services are jointly selected except for specific Monash Medical Centre positions (see below).

    Program objectives

    The VTPCCH is designed to meet several of the learning objectives of the Community Child Health Advanced Training Curriculum and is based on the knowledge, skills and attitudes outlined in the Professional Qualities Curriculum of the RACP. At the completion of this program,  Fellows will have:

    • Gained a sophisticated understanding of normal and abnormal child development using the principles of developmental psychology and neurobiology.
    • Developed skills expected of a consultant paediatrician who assesses, diagnoses and manages children with a wide range of developmental and behavioural problems.
    • Gained an understanding of the health, education and welfare requirements of children with special needs (e.g. learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders).
    • Learned to work within and lead community service teams engaged in child and family health, education and welfare (e.g. schools and preschools, multidisciplinary assessment teams, maternal and child health services, family support services, and child protection services).
    • Gained an understanding of planning and management principles relevant to child health (e.g. program and policy design and implementation, use of information systems to inform program and policy development and evaluation, measurement of health outcomes, ethics and advocacy, principles of quality management).
    • Gained an understanding of the principles of child public health (e.g. demography, epidemiology, biostatistics, sociological foundations, environmental and cultural influences, illness prevention, research methodology, data collection, health surveillance, health promotion and health economics).
    • Developed skills in self-directed learning, evidence-based practice and critical appraisal, in preparation for lifelong continuing medical education.

    Program structure

    The program is initially conducted over one year. Some Fellows will go on to complete a second Senior Fellow year or use their Fellowship research project as a springboard to commence a higher research degree such as a PhD.

    The program has three main components:

    • Clinical experience
    • Seminar teaching
    • Supervision

    Clinical experience is gained both in the community and in specialist hospital outpatient clinics. Fellows are based with Child & Family Services teams within the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, community health centres, or local government services. Fellows will develop skills in developmental and behavioural assessment, behavioural management, learning difficulties, child disability, child protection and school health, in the context of multidisciplinary team work. These community settings enable Fellows to develop wide perspectives of the needs of children and their families, and an understanding of the roles played by various professionals and services in delivering health, educational and social services.

    Clinical experience is also gained in specialist developmental clinics at The Royal Children's Hospital and Monash Medical Centre and specialist services in the Geelong, Shepparton and Sunshine regions, emphasising the important links between hospitals and the community in preventative treatment and research aspects of health care.

    The weekly seminar program (accredited as a Program of Excellence by the RACP) complements the clinical experiences by providing a practical and theoretical background in community child health, including a broad public health perspective. A weekly journal club exposes trainees to new research in the field, including research carried out at the Centre for Community Child Health.  Individual and group supervision, facilitated by a senior consultant, supports each trainee in attaining his/her goals for the training year, and provides a basis for evaluation and development of the training program.

    Research Opportunities: Fellows are encouraged to take on a population paediatric or developmental-behavioural research project and will be matched with a suitable mentor. We encourage and support Fellows to work towards a peer-reviewed publication or conference presentation.

    Positions available

    At The Royal Children's Hospital (Total 6 EFT):

    • Fellows in Community Child Health
      Developed for advanced paediatric trainees interested in a career in community child health. These positions are also suitable for advanced trainees who will pursue a general paediatric career pathway. The program emphasises strong clinical training in community and hospital settings and provides an introduction to public health and population paediatric research.
    • Fellow in Community Child Health / Mental Health
      Developed for advanced trainees in general paediatrics or community child health, emphasising the close overlap in developmental, behavioural and mental health conditions.
    • Senior Fellow in Community Child Health
      Developed for advanced paediatric trainees interested in an academic/ leadership career in community child health.  This program includes a strong public health and research component as well as a clinical component in a community setting.

    Other positions in the VTPCCH (Total 7 EFT):

    • Monash Medical Centre
      • Registrar in Community Child Health - 12 month position
      • Registrars in Community Child Health - 6 month positions combined with 6 months in paediatric emergency medicine (NOTE: prospective candidates should apply for these positions via Southern Health,
    • Geelong
      • Fellow in Community / General Paediatrics - 2 x 12 month positions
    • Shepparton
      • Fellow in Community / Rural General Paediatrics - 12 month position
    • Sunshine
      • Fellow in Community Child Health - 12 month position

    Curriculum and program requirements

    The Victorian Training Program in Community Child Health is based on the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Community Child Health Advanced Training curriculum. We provide a comprehensive year of training which is accredited for developmental/psychosocial training and training in a 12-month Program of Excellence. It is also recognised for later admission to the Chapter of Community Child Health of the Division of Paediatrics and Child Health, RACP.

    For further details on the course objectives, goals and curriculum please download the Curriculum Handbook

    Enquiries

    Please forward enquires to:

    Associate Professor Gehan Roberts, Coordinator of the VTPCCH
    Email:  gehan.roberts@rch.org.au
    Phone: (03) 9345 5356

    Or if unavailable:

    Associate Professor Jill Sewell
    Email: jill.sewell@rch.org.au
    Phone: (03) 9345 5350

 

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.