Thriving in BST: Introduction of a Health and Wellbeing Course for Basic Specialist Trainees in RCPI

Sean Casey, Nicole Moriarty, Emma Porter, Jennifer Yates, Gordon Haire

Keywords: Physician Health & Wellbeing, medical education/training


A key finding of the National Study of Wellbeing of Hospital Doctors in Ireland (RCPI, 2017) was that medical training bodies must develop educational supports to improve trainee wellbeing. Simultaneously, increasing numbers of trainees are self-referring to the RCPI H&W department, particularly at BST level. As such, the need to develop a structured course to promote trainee wellbeing has arguably never been stronger.


The course was designed and delivered by 6 senior NCHDs (HST or equivalent) from the RCPI H&W Committee. A business proposal case (1) was submitted to RCPI faculties for approval. The NCHDs then collaborated with the education department to design the course, which is currently delivered online. The RCPI H&W booklet serves as pre-course reading. A variety of learning activities are incorporated to optimise participant interaction.
Dates have been set for 6 pilots for the first year of the course. Anonymous feedback questionnaires are issued to all candidates.


To date 4 pilot courses have been delivered, with attendence rates between 7-15 participants. 10 participants have submitted post-course feedback (3), which is as follows;
100% felt they could relate the concepts from the course to their role and apply what they have learnt.
100% felt the responses to learner questions provided for further learning.
90% felt the resources provided were appropriate, adequate, and deepened learning.
Additional feedback included making the course mandatory for all BSTs.


Overall the feedback from the pilot courses has been almost universally positive. RCPI has provisionally approved the course as 'mandatory' for the upcoming academic year. Future avenues include:
1. Expanding the NCHD faculty to ensure enough courses can be delivered for all 600 BSTs
2. Sharing the findings of this project across other medical training bodies
3. Incorporating candidate feedback into future courses

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