Training and development (ICM)

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.

Download full image of the Intensive care training pathway

This page provides useful information about single and dual CCT ICM training pathways.

The intensive care medicine curriculum is available from the GMC. ICM training takes a minimum of seven years on the single training pathway and 8.5 years on the dual training pathway.

There are three main training pathways for intensive care medicine:

In addition, trainees need to complete the respective specialty examination for the pathway:

A pass in one of these primary examinations confers eligibility to sit the FFICM Final examination (Fellowship of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine).

Trainees can enter specialty training in ICM at ST3 level. Training takes a minimum of five years (ST3-7). During ST3&4, trainees develop the core competences that they have not covered already in their core training in addition to extending their ICM experience. This may include additional time in anaesthesia, ICM and AM.

In ST 5 & 6, trainees gain experience of sub-specialty ICM including cardiothoracic, neurosciences and paediatric ICM in addition to further general ICM experience. Their training may also include the development of a specialist skill relevant to ICM. This year is aimed at developing trainees’ interest in a specific aspect of ICM work. Opportunities include academic ICM, management, pre-hospital medicine, education and echocardiography (see above – Special Skills in ICM).

Individuals are required to pass the Final FFICM examination in order to progress to the final year (ST7). The final year is spent exclusively in ICM and is aimed at developing high-level clinical and non-clinical skills.

Some trainees may wish to undertake a dual CCT programme leading to a qualification in both ICM and a partner specialty. From 2016, a trainee must be appointed to a dual training programme before the end of their ST5 training year.

Depending on the individual’s previous experience and chosen partner specialty, dual training will extend the training period to a minimum of 8.5 years. Recruitment is stepped, ie trainees enter the first specialty (either ICM or partner) in one recruitment episode and compete for entry to the second specialty the following year. If the trainee enters the second specialty more than 18 months after entering the first, then the GMC will award them a CESR(CP) in the second specialty, not a CCT. For Dual CCT trainees, training during their special skills year will be undertaken in their partner specialty.

Application to the partner specialty is through competitive national interviews. Dual programmes are available in:

Detailed entry requirements and all essential and desirable criteria are listed in the person specification 2017 for intensive care medicine.

All 2017 person specifications can be found on the NHS specialty training website. Please note that these documents are updated every year in the autumn before the recruitment round opens.

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges or the GMC.

Getting in tips

These tips encourage you to add valuable experience to your CV. Here are some suggestions for people at different stages of their career:

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