Feedback from previous trainees who enrolled in the CAMHS specialist training In London.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a trainee.
I was lucky enough to have an honorary lecturer role where I was able to combine research, teaching with clinical experience and acquire a qualification in education.
The training prepared me well for my current clinical role as well as my educational roles.
I left the scheme feeling confident and competent for my next role.
The therapeutic skills training in all domains (CBT, family therapy and psycho-dynamic thinking) was second to none and provided me with the foundations of systemic thinking which I pursued further as a consultant.
With the Tavistock recognising the systemic training on the St Mary's higher training scheme so that I could enter directly onto the family therapy diploma in the second year.
The academic course was thorough and stimulating and extremely well organised, allowing clinical practice to be supported with knowledge of evidence based practice.
The trainees I trained with were a tight knit group who supported each other and continue to do so as we practice as consultants and have become life long friends.
I can recommend this scheme with absolutely no hesitation.
I came back to London having done my core training in Merseyside which was a daunting prospect, not knowing the system or any of the trainees or trainers.
My first memory is a phone call I received from one of the Training Programme Directors, they were so friendly and down to earth and above all supportive. It can feel like a bit of step up from Core Training to Specialist Training and St. Mary’s have an amazing academic programme to help with that step up.
Every Wednesday you get to meet up with your peers and there is a really robust evidenced based teaching programme- real classroom learning with experienced presenters. This was so useful coming from core training when my formal learning felt a bit out of date; it was useful to be taught on subjects like psychopharmacology, therapeutic modalities and be able to take it to your practice the same week. Meeting up once a week was also a really good way to socialise with the other trainees and also learn from more senior trainees along the way- I can’t stress how important this support was for me!
The research day was also amazing; not having much research experience at all, I felt supported and encouraged to develop a project that I was interested in and had amazing supervision. Spending a day a week working on the project was really nice, giving your week an interesting balance; you have access to all the Imperial Libraries across London which is an amazing resource. I’m proud to say I had my review published recently which is great and my supervisor was so helpful throughout that process. Overall I feel like I’ve been trained really well and there are some really great posts in CNWL and West London Trust, so there’s a good choice of services to get a broad experience and geographically too which was helpful for me when considering travel options.
I feel like I’ve made some lasting relationships with colleagues and am grateful for that, it makes a big difference coming into work every day and feeling valued and greeted by friendly people! I’m now going into a locum consultant post in the trust and again, at this final stage I feel supported and encouraged by the other consultants and trainers, as I did three years ago when I moved down from Liverpool!
This is a brilliant training scheme. Whatever your specialist interests may be there are opportunities to build on these, clinically and through research. The educational programme is the best I have come across; interesting, kept up to date and facilitated by experienced and enthusiastic Consultants.
My personal highlights whilst on the scheme were joining the teaching faculty at Imperial College University, presenting my research on refugee mental health at the Geneva ESCAP international conference and participating in the teaching programme.
The on-calls can be challenging but these are the years to learn whilst being supervised by supportive seniors; you will see a range of presentations and it is a huge advantage to be able to work in more than one NHS Trust, this will give you the best experience in preparing to be a Consultant.