Let's Talk Surgery Podcast, Surgical Crossroads: Choosing your specialty - the Paediatrics episode


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Welcome to the Paediatrics episode of the RCSEd’s Careers podcast. Our panel today are Consultant Paediatric Surgeons Christopher Driver and Robin Garrett-Cox, and our very own Sesi Hotonu, who has gone from being a host of the podcast to a guest.

Christopher Driver has been a paediatric surgeon and paediatric urologist since 2000. He is currently based in the Children's Hospital in Aberdeen and is the clinical lead for the internationally regarded Scottish Paediatric Patient Safety Programme . He is a strong advocate for delivery of healthcare as close to home as possible and provides outreach services in Inverness, Dundee and Shetland. He loves the variety of paediatrics, explaining how the benefit of being a smaller specialty is that you get to do a lot of different things and describes himself as a jack of all trades, and relishes having the confidence to carry out a wide variety of procedures.

Robin Garrett-Cox has been consulting at Bristol Children's Hospital for just over 13 years in paediatric surgery neurology and oncology. He spent two months working with a paediatric surgeon during his training and found it ticked all the boxes for him. He likes the practical aspect of being a surgeon and was attracted to paediatrics because of the smaller, neater surgery involved.
Sesi Hotonu is a paediatric surgery registrar for NHS Education Scotland, based in Edinburgh. She is also past Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow (RCS(Ed) for NHS Grampian. While at medical school she wanted to do obstetrics and gynaecology, in particular foetal medicine. However, during a paediatrics rotation she followed the journey of a 2-3 day old baby who was transferred to a larger centre, and it was there she ‘found her tribe’. She found the pathology interesting and loved the delicate, elegant and intricate nature of the surgery.

While describing the day-to-day nature of their work, our panel share their thoughts on the unique challenges and rewards of their specialty, such as the importance of empathetic communication with patients and parents, and the emotional challenges inherent in the job.
Aside from the obvious pleasure and rewards that come from working with children, our guests put forward an array of reasons to pursue a career in paediatrics – from the joy and interest in the variety of procedures; the life changing outcomes of a simple operation; to coming across something new every day. It’s also a small, supportive specialty and a real community of colleagues who are there for each other to provide help and advice.

If you think paediatrics might be the specialty for you, our panel advise a strong CV with audit and research experience and an excellent working knowledge of paediatric surgery. Courses are available from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. It is a competitive specialty, but as a result, most people who get into paediatric surgery have real passion and drive to do it and do it well.

Contact Information
Visit https://www.rcsed.ac.uk/ for further information and details on becoming a member.

Email: comms@rcsed.ac.uk for any questions or topic suggestions you may have for future episodes.

This show is brought to you by the RCSEd. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. Hosted by Greg Ekatah, Sesi Hotonu and Sadie Khwaja produced and directed by Heather Pownall of Heather's Media Hub Ltd.

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