Trainee and Training FAQs



Questions for those interested in Training


How do I train in Pain Medicine?
Pain Medicine is part of the curriculum for all anaesthetic trainees throughout their training. All trainees must complete basic and intermediate pain training in CT1-ST4. Higher and Advanced training is optional and by local competitive entry. 


Is there a formal teaching programme for Pain Medicine?
The 2010 curriculum should guide any programme of training and the Pain Faculty organises a programme of pain study days each year. Teaching is also organised at a school level and the Regional Adviser in Pain Medicine and the Local Pain Medicine Educational Supervisor are points of contact for trainees. The London Deanery has recently developed a formal lecture course with ten study days per year for its advanced pain trainees, see the events calendar here


Why should I do Higher Pain Training?
This will be useful for any trainee who wants to expand their knowledge and skills in pain medicine. It is an essential step to Advanced Pain Training and for a future consultant with a special interest in running an acute pain service or a career in Pain Medicine. Higher pain training is considered the minimum training for a consultant who will undertake acute pain sessions.


Why should I do Advanced Pain Training?
Our Careers and Training pages provide information about what to expect as an Advanced Pain Trainee, including Career Stories from current trainees and recently appointed Consultants. Recruitment to APT posts occurs regionally, more information about your particular region can be found here.


Are there consultant posts available once I complete training?
Please see our workforce page for more information on consultant Advisory Appointment Committees.


How much pain training can you do?
Basic and Intermediate pain training are compulsory.  Higher training (4-12 weeks) and Advanced training (12 months) are for those aiming for specialisation in Acute and/or Chronic Pain Medicine.


Is there a CCT in Pain Medicine?
There is no separate CCT in pain medicine; it is part of the CCT in Anaesthetics.


Do Higher and Advanced Pain Trainees need to register with the Faculty?
Yes. Please complete the form available here.


Is there any guidance on applying for consultant roles?
Yes. Please click here to read advice on how to prepare for consultant application by Dr Jonny Rajan.


I am a consultant and hoping to train or retrain in Pain Medicine.  Is there any guidance?
Yes, please see our statement on retraining here.




Questions for those undertaking Training


What part of the Faculty is responsible for trainees, assessments and the curriculum?
The FPM Training & Assessment Committee (FPMTAC) is responsible for all matters relating to the curriculum, training, assessment, the exam, quality and workforce.


Does the Faculty respond to trainee questions?
Yes.  Individual questions sent to us directly, through the Trainee Representative or through the RAPM are always answered.  In addition, the FPMTAC has released ‘Response to Questions’ where trainee meetings have produced a number of questions.  This included a response to questions specifically about the examination: please see our Examination FAQs.


When in my training should I keep a Pain Medicine logbook? 
As stated in the curriculum (section 8.4.4) all trainees (CT1-ST7) should keep a logbook of significant acute and chronic pain cases seen and procedures learnt during theatre lists, acute pain rounds and outpatient chronic pain clinics.


At what stage of anaesthetic training should I attend acute pain rounds and chronic pain clinics?
All anaesthetic trainees should attend acute pain rounds throughout training. Ideally these should be equivalent to one round each quarter, although this training may be delivered in modules. All pain rounds must be noted in the pain logbook. The revised Basic pain curriculum requires an introduction to the biopsychosocial model of pain and some pain clinic visits are advisable e.g. two per year in CT1 and 2, although this training may be delivered in modules.


As an ST 3/4, how long is the compulsory module of pain training?
The total of acute and chronic pain sessions will be a minimum of 20 half-day session.


Is there an examination in Pain Medicine in the UK?
Pain medicine is part of the syllabus for the FRCA examination. No other examination is necessary to complete the CCT in Anaesthestics.  However, trainees will need to pass the Pain Faculty fellowship examination as part of their assessment to become a FFPMRCA (or DFPMRCA for those who do not hold the FRCA). 


How much cancer pain experience should an APT (Advanced Pain Trainee) have?
An understanding of cancer pain and its managment is an essential part of the Advanced Pain Medicine curriculum. An APT must supplement their theoretical knowledge with adequate clinical exposure to fulfil the competencies in this area, and this will require a minimum of 16-20 sessions. These sessions should usually be arranged locally in Pain clinics, Palliative Care clinics, some Oncology clinics and local hospices. These may need to be at sites additional to the main training centres or at an 'out of area' Cancer Centre Pain clinic. It is recognised that in contrast to 20 years ago, many Pain Clinics in the UK may not receive many direct Cancer Pain referrals. However, many Pain clinics work together with Palliative Medicine and Oncology with joint clinics or MDT discussions, and receive referrals for complex pain and possible interventions. It is important that training reflects the broad needs of local Pain services. (PLEASE NOTE: This related to your Advanced Pain Training year, not the optional Cancer Pain Module).