Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides for the assessment, diagnosis and management of severe mental health problems in Children and Adolescent from birth up to the age of 18.  The majority of Child and Adolescent mental health services are based in multidisciplinary, community-based teams although there are a small number of day hospital units and inpatient beds around the country.  The team is led by a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and usually consists of at least one Trainee Psychiatrist as well as other disciplines including Nursing, Psychology, Social Work, Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy.  Child Psychiatry services are actively engaged in teaching, research and academic activities.  Child Psychiatry services also engage in consultation and liaison with other agencies and specialties such as Adult Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Primary Care, Schools, Educational Psychology, Gardaí, Social Work and Psychology services, all of whom may be involved with a particular Child and their Family.

Training Pathway

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5
Training Level Medical School Intern Year Foundation Year Basic Specialty Training in Psychiatry Higher Specialist Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Duration 4-5 years 1 year 1 year 2-3 years 3 years
Entry Process Graduate or direct entry Entry through the HSE Intern Match Entry through competitive interview Entry based on successful completion of foundation year Entry based on successful completion of Basic Specialty Training
Application Date CAO process opens in November Application process opens in October Application process opens in November Application process opens in November Application process opens in November
Programme Operated by: Undergraduate Universities Intern Networks College of Psychiatrists College of Psychiatrists College of Psychiatrists

The programme is operated and regulated by the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland under the aegis of the Irish Medical Council (IMC). The College of Psychiatrists is the only body recognised by the IMC to provide psychiatry training.

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Meet a Consultant

Dr Maeve Doyle, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

As an undergraduate medical student, the two placements that I most enjoyed were Psychiatry and paediatric medicine.  However, I had no idea then that my two areas of interest could be combined into a rewarding career in Child Psychiatry.  I decided to pursue a career in General Practice and as luck would have it my second last placement was in Psychiatry and I never left!

I work mainly in an outpatient setting, seeing children and adolescents with mental health problems together with their families.  I also have a number of clinical sessions in a paediatric hospital with children with chronic illness such as diabetes and cystic fibrosis.  Child Psychiatry services are always delivered by a multidisciplinary team consisting of social work, psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, speech and language and social care for which are all represented on my team.  Mutual respect for our differing skill setsdiffering skill sets and collaborative working greatly enhances the quality of service the children and their families receive.

As human beings we all belong to systems such as family, school, work, community, sporting clubs, etc.  A considerable amount of my work involves consulting with the wider system in assessing the child/adolescent and family and trying to co-ordinate a package of interventions that will best fit.

My week starts with a three hour team meeting at which all new referrals to the service are discussed, new case are presented, existing cases are reviewed and the weekly journal club takes place.  Apart from my own cases, I am also involved in providing supervision to the junior doctor, nursing staff and social care workers. A large part of my work is administration which can range from looking at accommodation requirements of the service, to policies and procedures, to  development of the service, to identifying training needs for the service’s most valuable assets — the team members.

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