Having written several books on parenting for the lay public I was approached by a medical student from Bristol to support her in her project to teach ‘parenting’ to medical students. This was certainly novel and is part of the curriculum in the USA but not in the UK. I felt able to contribute to this topic because of my publishing history and being a parent of three children.
She went on to win several prizes, present our work nationally and co-led a workshop with me and a medical student, who had produced an excellent parent safety leaflet, at the London School of Paediatrics Conference in January 2015 on the topic of how either being a parent or not being a parent impacts on your professional role as a paediatrician. This area is novel with no published literature in the subject.
This has now developed in two streams. Firstly, the RCPCH has invited us to develop materials for their Paediatric Care Online resource for teaching parenting to paediatricians and secondly I lead a group exploring the perceived credibility of paediatricians without children compared to those with children. I have involved ethicists, academics and colleagues to produce sensitive and meaningful research questions.