N. Gostelow, S. Greenaway

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust, London, UK


Journal clubs help develop critical appraisal skills, keep clinicians abreast of recent literature(1), promote lifelong learning and facilitate social interaction(2). Our institution is a tertiary paediatric hospital with eight to twelve senior anaesthetic registrars completing training in advanced paediatric anaesthesia, alongside more junior trainees completing shorter rotations. Like many institutions, our department faces competing pressures from COVID-19 recovery, increasingly complex clinical workload and, in 2023, disruption from industrial action. Meeting training requirements for advanced modules, in addition to generic professional capabilities outlined by the 2021 Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCOA) curriculum(3) can be challenging alongside these pressures. This educational initiative aimed to evaluate if a peer-led journal club is beneficial for both clinical practice and achieving non-clinical competencies.


An initial survey gathering opinions towards a paediatric anaesthetic journal club was circulated to anaesthetic trainees. A trainee lead allocated registrars as presenters for journal clubs held every two weeks between November 2023 and January 2024. Presenters could choose any article related to paediatric anaesthesia. Journal clubs were held both in-person and via Microsoft Teams™. Feedback surveys were distributed immediately after the presentation.


The initial survey had a 50% response rate. 100% of respondents agreed a journal club would have a positive impact upon their training and 71% that attending could provide evidence for other curriculum competencies. Six journal clubs were held and attended by between three and eight anaesthetic trainees. Topics included perioperative blood transfusion guidelines, perioperative cardiac arrest (7th National Audit project), Total Intravenous Anaesthesia and controversies around nitrous oxide use. Likert scale surveys (scale 1-5) showed presentations were relevant to practice (median = 5) and useful for stage of training (median = 5). Attendees also reported presentations were likely to change practice, see figure 1. Free text responses showed attendees valued the opportunity for discussion alongside specific learning points covered.


This educational initiative shows a peer-led journal club produced learning with the potential to change practice for future paediatric anaesthetists. Peer-led sessions allowed trainees to choose topics of relevance to them and their colleagues, encouraged discussion and can contribute towards a sense of community.  Hybrid structures can increase attendance and engagement(1). The journal club also experience in other curriculum requirements such as teaching, appraising research and data, and organisation and management. The journal club will be continued for the next rotation aiming to become more established in departmental culture encouraging more junior trainee and consultant attendance.


  1. Eusuf D, Shelton C. Establishing and sustaining an effective journal club. BJA Educ. 2021; 22(2): 40-42
  2. Brzezinski M, Sawatzki R, Tran HN et al. An Analysis of Successful Features of Anesthesiology Journal Clubs. J Educ Perioper Med. 2020;22(4):E648.
  3. Royal College of Anaesthetists. 2021 Curriculum for a CCT in Anaesthetics [Internet]. London: RCoA. 2021.[cited 01/02/2024]. Available from: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2023-11/2021%20Curriculum%20for%20a%20CCT%20in%20Anaesthetics%20v1.2_0.pdf
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