A New Era for Paediatricians

Authors

  • Thomas Slater London School of Paediatrics

Keywords:

pandemic, inequality, london school of paediatrics, adolescence, mental health

Abstract

It is with great pride that I write this first editorial in the first London Paediatrics Journal. What started as educational creativity over coffee in Tooting, South London has now morphed into a reality and the most wonderful opportunity. We would like this journal to be a fresh and modern reflection on the world of paediatrics and we hope that this is happening.

Without wishing to dwell on the enormity of March 2020 onwards, the life of a paediatrician has changed. For all of us, the vision of paediatrics which we all entered the profession with no longer exists: sometimes for the better and sometimes to something more challenging.

It is perhaps no coincidence that many submitted abstracts have mirrored this year’s conference focussed on childhood inequality and complex adolescent needs. Well-recognised before the pandemic; the last two years have rapidly increased their publicity in the media but also drastically increased awareness within our own profession. Spared to a degree from normal paediatric pressures (reduced bronchiolitis is at least a temporary celebration), many have taken the opportunity to upskill in these fast-changing domains.

Improving Adherence to Standards of Care for Young People Presenting with Mental Health Issues to Acute Paediatric Services” is a fantastic reminder of the professional standards to which we should adhere when tackling the grey areas of consent, capacity and confidentiality in young people. But sometimes we need safe spaces to equip ourselves for this challenging area. “Mental Health Simulation Programme” offers us a blueprint to explore our own approach in our own workplace.

Increasing mental health presentations is sadly only part of the new paediatric era within which we are working. Childhood inequality is increasing and we need to recognise this too. “Getting our Teeth Stuck into the Problem” is a novel reminder of the importance of recognizing poor dentition and how we as paediatricians who examine mouths regularly play a critical role in identifying our more vulnerable patients.

Keeping up with young people is not easy and they will always be one step ahead. But should we try harder? Is the title “Paediatrician” even fit for purpose? A name associated with children probably does not help engage young people who are delicately making that transition to adulthood. We need to take the momentum and enthusiasm of young people and channel that back into achieving healthcare fit for purpose in a dynamic world.

It is incredibly motivating to realise that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. As paediatricians, we recognise that times are changing and we are clearly changing with them.

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Published

24-02-2022

How to Cite

Slater, T. (2022). A New Era for Paediatricians. London Paediatrics, 1(1). Retrieved from https://journal.londonpaediatrics.co.uk/index.php/1/article/view/12