Background Less than full-time (LTFT) training in Ireland is still unusual. Our aim was to identify perceived barriers to LTFT training amongst paediatric trainees and make recommendations to improve knowledge, uptake, and experience of LTFT training. Methods An email questionnaire was disseminated to RCPI paediatric trainees to assess current awareness of and perceptions of barriers to LTFT training. Results 218 questionnaires were distributed, 59 (29%) responded of whom 50 (85%) were female. 17 planned to apply for LTFT training. Seven had no knowledge of LTFT training. The perceived barriers with the highest rankings (% respondents deeming highest possible relevance) were: LTFT post availability (49%), potential impact on career progression (51%), and availability of only 0.5 whole time equivalency (WTE) - i.e. 19.5 hours/week (54%). Trainees noted lack of flexibility, including availability of the scheme only from July to July, restriction to maximum 2 years. Trainees felt applications would be rejected if they were not a parent. Some reported perceptions from teams that LTFT trainees are less committed and that trainees can find it difficult to integrate. Discussion Training options including >0.5WTE posts should be made available to all trainees, and a cultural shift within training bodies and with trainers should be encouraged to recognise LTFT training as an acceptable pathway for all trainees.
Ir Med J (Irish medical journal)
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