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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Trainee recruitment initiatives with HEE and RCPsych

The launch of eight trainee recruitment joint initiatives between Health Education England and RCPsych have been running from April 2015 - September 2016.


These trainee led recruitment projects were selected out of nearly 50 proposals. The initiatives are designed to address perception issues surrounding psychiatry as a career, attract more Medical Students and Foundation Doctors into the profession and target specific regions and psychiatric specialties that are hard to recruit to :-


  • Ageing & Psychiatry conference, Oxford
  • Balint Groups for Medical Students and Foundation Doctors in HEE South West, Severn
  • Global Mental Health, Student Selected component overseas placement
  • National Art competition and Exhibition for Foundation Doctors 'psychART'
  • Medicine Calling, Conference for Young People considering a career in medicine - University of Leicester
  • Raising the profile of Foundation Education Days, South Tees
  • Shrink Wrapped Book - Tales from Psychiatrists
  • Psychiatry Early Experience Programme (PEEP), South Yorkshire

The trainees are responsible for organising the entire project, and were allocated various funding amounts. They launched at different times throughout the year.


“The Royal College of Psychiatrists welcomes the opportunity to pursue this joint initiative with Health Education England (HEE) with the aim of improving recruitment to psychiatry. It is particularly exciting that these initiatives are trainee led. They embrace a variety of approaches which have in common the aim of engaging medical students and young doctors in projects which we believe will demonstrate the relevance of psychiatry in a way which will encourage many to pursue it as a career.” - Dr Tom Brown Associate Registrar RCPsych


Any further information please email

Medicine Calling - Saturday 3rd September 2016, University of Leicester.

A conference for young people considering a career in medicine with a spotlight on psychiatry. If you have thought about medicine as a career but struggled to gain experience. Are you aware of the varied careers a degree in medicine offers? This conference gives you an opportunity to meet medical students and doctors at all stages of their career. Also practical advice on applying to study medicine. To book please contact

HEE recruitment initiative Medicine



















Shrink Wrapped - Tales from Psychiatrists


Shrink Wrapped












We are two higher trainees, Dr Ros Humphreys and Dr Sarah Donnington based in London. As part of a joint initiative between RCPscyh and Health Education England to support trainee led recruitment projects, we are creating a short illustrated collection of interviews with psychiatrists for medical students.

We hope to produce a vivid and fresh portrait of the psychiatrist by exploring the stories that have inspired and influenced our eight interviewees. Our aim is that the book's format and style will reflect what we do every day as psychiatrists: hearing and attempting to understand individual lived experiences. Extracts from the interviews have been arranged thematically, covering a broad range of topics including what it means to be a psychiatrist, personal influences, patient stories, challenges of the job and fulfilment.

Creating this book is an enriching experience, reminding us of what originally attracted us to psychiatry. We hope that it captures the essence of what it is to be a psychiatrist and, for medical students, will germinate an interest in this amazingly diverse branch of medicine.

More information about the book and launch event on Wednesday 25th May are available on the Shrink Wrapped website.


Global Mental Health - Student Selected Component

This initiative is an exchange programme that gives third year medical students the chance to complete a Student Selected Component, located overseas for 6 weeks. This is often only completed in the final year.

Dr Lucy Potter and Dr Sophie Tomlin wanted to run this project to allow medical students to have this opportunity early on in their medical career. As well as promoting a positive image of psychiatry. They have coordinated all aspects of this programme.

Four Students have now been selected and will start the programme in June. The exchange is between Lisbon Hospital de Santa Maria and Springfield University Hospital, London. The placement will also include lectures about global mental health, basic psychiatry lectures and some Portuguese lessons. They will be working under Lecturer and Psychiatrist Luis Madeira and Head of Department, Professor Daniel Sampaio. The hospital is the largest in Portugal and offers different specialties.

Following the international placements the students will be invited to attend a one day event, where they will share their experiences through presentations. Interviews from the students will be featured here soon.

'psychART' National Art competition for Foundation Doctors

The psychART competition was open to all Foundation Doctors in the country, and over 100 paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, poetry and film pieces were entered. The College is now exhibiting a selection of entries at the college throughout March, including the winners.


The winners were announced in the three separate categories:-


Judges’ vote:

1st place- ‘Extreme Doodling’ by Phanida Fung

2nd place- 'Was Webst Fur Errinerung?' 'What do you weave for memory?' by Sue Fairbanks

3rd place- 'thejoyofmania' by Karrish Devan


'Extreme Doodling’ by Phanida Fung















Online vote:

1st place- ‘This is a Man’s World’ by Noleen Osborne

2nd place- 'First Day of School' by Aicha Rais

3rd place- 'Just Ask' by Rebecca Robinson


'This is a Man's World' by Noleen Osborne











Delegates vote:

1st place- ‘Homeless 1’ by Rory Hutchinson

2nd place-'This is a Man's World' by Noleen Osborne

3rd place- 'Just Ask' by Rebecca Robinson


'Homeless 1' by Rory Hutchinson















The judging took place on the 18th November, during the one day conference that hosted around 70 delegates and inspirational speakers, with fascinating talks on topics including:

  • ‘The history of psychiatry in art’
  • ‘Art and psychiatry in practice: the perspective of a consultant psychiatrist and artist’
  • ‘The art of recovery’
  • ‘Participatory Arts with Young people with mental Health’
  • ‘The idealised body image through the ages and why eating disorders are so interesting’

This psychiatry recruitment event was organised by two higher trainees- Dr Megan Fisher and Dr Saffron Homayoun. The day ended with a musical performance and a debate on ‘There is no role for art in the modern day NHS’.

The college looks forward to exhibiting some of the psychART competition entries in February 2016.

This event is part of a joint initiative between RCPsych and Health Education England to support trainee led recruitment projects. These are all aimed at addressing perception issues surrounding psychiatry as a career, attract more Medical Students and Foundation Doctors into the profession, and target specific regions and psychiatric specialties. All other projects listed above.


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