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Dual Fellowship Training Program – Paediatrics and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) have together developed the Dual Fellowship Training Program (DFTP).

The DFTP is for medical graduates who wish to attain Fellowship in:

  • Community Child Health and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • General Paediatrics (Australia and New Zealand) and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

For enquiries about the DFTP, please contact

About the DFTP

Trainees who successfully complete the DFTP gain Fellowship of both Colleges (FRACP and FRANZCP).

The minimum overall completion time is 8 years, compared with the 11 years it would take to gain the two Fellowships sequentially.

Trainees must complete:

  • all RACP requirements for Advanced Training in Community Child Health or Advanced Training in General Paediatrics
  • all RANZCP requirements for the RANZCP 2012 Fellowship Program and Certificate of Advanced Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

For full information on the DFTP, download the DFTP Guide [PDF; 550 KB].

How to apply

Before applying to join the DFTP, trainees must complete 36 months of basic training and 18 months of advanced training with the RACP and have met all the training requirements of the RACP.

To enrol in the DFTP, trainees must indicate on the annual application for approval of RACP Advanced Training that they wish to take part in the Dual Fellowship training arrangements. Trainee details will be provided to the RANZCP, who will then contact trainees about the RANZCP selection process.

Previous Participants’ Experiences

We are pleased to acknowledge Dr Katherine Knight and Dr Hiran Thabrew for sharing their experiences as Dual Fellowship trainees and for offering assistance to trainees who wish to understand the journey of a Dual Fellowship trainee.

Dr Katherine Knight

I entered the Dual Fellowship in Paediatrics and Child Psychiatry pathway in 2002 after paediatric basic training. There was and is so much about child psychiatry that is interesting, such as the rapidly growing area of neuroscience, understanding families as systems, and thinking about integration with the mind and body – all across development!

It was a fascinating educational experience over the subsequent four years and I now practise as a Child and Family Psychiatrist in Western Sydney. The knowledge from physician training has been useful in my work in a Children’s Hospital in a Psychiatric Consultation Liaison service.

Working with children, adolescents and parents is often complex and challenging, but is also rewarding. I’m glad to see the dual fellowship pathway open again as it offers a special combination of experiences, skills and knowledge.

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to talk about it at

Dr Hiran Thabrew

If you enjoy working with children in a holistic manner, then dual training in paediatrics and child psychiatry may be just the thing for you! In 2003, a six-month run at a community child and adolescent psychiatry clinic opened my eyes to a whole different area child health and development.

Spending more time getting to know the children with whom I worked, I realised that I wanted to understand more about the emotional health of children, their relationships with their parents and how their minds interacted with their bodies. When my supervisor at the time informed me about the recently launched DTFP, my first reaction was that I had just completed most of my specialist training and could not bear the thought of more exams, let alone having to work in adult psychiatry. Fortunately, I overcame these worries and through my training, enjoyed working in a range of clinical environments, learning a variety of therapeutic styles and appreciating the benefits of working within a multidisciplinary environment.

I now work as a child and Adolescent Psychiatrist within a Consultation and Liaison service at Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland and also as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland. I use both my paediatric and psychiatric skills to work with children and their families in the holistic manner to which I aspired.

I also undertake research into new interventions that could help children with chronic illness and teach paediatric and psychiatric trainees. No matter how complicated the problems with which I have been faced or difficult the days I have had, I can honestly say that I have never regretted the decision to undertake dual training in paediatrics and child psychiatry. It is still my dream job.

Feel free to contact me if you would like more information, or read the following article, which summarises the training and post-training experiences of previous DTFP trainees.

Zebras in the Forest: the experiences of Dual-Trained Child Psychiatrists and Paediatricians in Australia and New Zealand [PDF; 670 KB]