Training and development (palliative medicine)

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.

The approved postgraduate training programme for palliative medicine is available from the GMC.

You will need to complete core training after your two-year foundation programme. Core training has a choice of two pathways:

Applicants for specialty training at ST3 should also hold the full MRCP (UK). Not all applicants who meet the required standard to continue will necessarily be offered a post due to the level of competition.

Doctors who have undertaken alternative career pathways, including general practice and core training in emergency medicine, surgery and anaesthetics, will also be eligible to apply for higher specialty training if they can demonstrate that they have met the required criteria. (See the GMC palliative medicine curriculum for further details).

Trainees can enter higher specialty training in palliative at ST3 level. ST3 training takes a minimum of four years.

The JRCPTB has detailed information on the curriculum and assessment for palliative medicine. 

Detailed entry requirements and all essential and desirable criteria are listed in the person specification 2016 for palliative medicine ST3.

All 2016 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, local education and training boards (LETBs) or the GMC.

Getting in tips

It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in palliative medicine as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.

Whether you're a medical student, foundation trainee or doing your core specialty training, there's information below to help you. 

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