Postgraduate Study

What is Paediatric Emergency Medicine?

Paediatric emergency medicine is a growing medical specialty. Read our post to find out how you could benefit from a postgraduate degree in paediatric emergency care.

What is Paediatric Emergency Medicine? 

Paediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) is a sub-specialty which has its roots in both emergency medicine and paediatrics. It also has close affiliations with Primary Care, Public Health and Paediatric Critical Care.

PEM is now developing into a specialty in its own right, and there is a great need for extra PEM training on a UK, European and worldwide basis. A paediatric emergency doctor will face a wide range of paediatric presentations, from minor illness to major trauma. Doctors must be ready to respond quickly and efficiently to cases by drawing upon a vast breadth of knowledge within the field of paediatric emergency medicine. 

No matter where emergency care is practised, there are three broad parameters that need to be addressed:

  • Recognition of the critically ill or injured child and the ability to provide immediate and ongoing life-saving treatment
  • The ability to recognise a child in pain or distress and to deliver appropriate treatment
  • To recognise a vulnerable child at risk of abuse in any form


Is Paediatric Emergency Medicine the right medical specialty for me?

If you're still wondering whether PEM is the right thing for you, then take a look at some of the questions below - if you feel you need the answers to these scenarios then our online postgraduate degree might be something for you to consider.

There can be nothing more scary than being presented with an eight-week-old baby collapsed and flat, and a totally distressed mother.

  • How do you cope?
  • How do you begin to deal with this situation?
  • Having resuscitated the child, can you safely transfer this child to the paediatric intensive care unit?

Your next patient is an eight-year-old boy who has fallen out of a tree. He has a bent arm and abdominal pain.

  • What life threatening injuries has he got?
  • What will you do to keep him safe?
  • Are you familiar with current best practice on imaging his abdomen?

Next, a three-year-old child presents with unexplained bruising to the backs of her legs.

  • Are you confident you will get the full differential diagnosis?
  • Have you got the confidence to exclude child abuse?
  • Or the knowledge to confirm Henoch Schonlein Purpura?

If you feel unable to answer the majority of these questions then you may decide it's best to deepen your knowledge of paediatric emergency medicine. You can do this while continuing to work full-time or part-time by choosing to study online. 


Even though I work with adults and paediatrics, it was a fantastic experience to look forward daily to new discussions and new case scenarios. I'm using what I've learned to help improve the lives of patients that I see every day in our hospital setting.

MichelleMSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine


How does online study work? 

The MSc/Diploma/Certificate in PEM delivers a comprehensive and world-class educational opportunity both on a local and international basis.

This part-time online programme is designed to be flexible, aiming to provide a complementary set of knowledge to those embarked on other training programmes such as Emergency Medicine and Paediatrics, but will also develop a skill set to enable individuals who have completed the training to be confident that their knowledge and skills will enable them to perform to the highest level. The programme content is applicable to PEM globally, and includes elective options that can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual student.

Still unsure? In the video below, Dr Ra'ana Hussain shares her experience of studying online for the MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine. Ra'ana is an A&E doctor in one of the busiest emergency departments in Nairobi, Kenya.


Related Links

MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine programme page

Is online learning lonely?

Online study - Frequently asked questions