The future of ICM/Physician dual training

13 Jul 2020

In November 2019, the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM) and the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) submitted a proposal paper to the Curriculum Oversight Group (COG)* of the General Medical Council to defend the need for the continued ability to train between Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) and Acute, Renal and Respiratory Medicine. The paper was endorsed by all the specialties involved as well as representatives from the four nations of the UK, the Getting It Right First Time programme, and experts in areas ranging from care at the end of life to commissioning. The paper covered four options of future training, including dual, triple and two types of credentialed training.  The latter options around credentialing were reviewed and rejected by FICM and the JRCPTB as unworkable and our reasoning was included within the paper. 
We have now heard formally back from COG through the GMC education team. They have confirmed that whilst they “have not been persuaded that there is evidence of a service need for doctors with a CCT in three specialties”, they would “welcome a training model which would enable trainees to dual train in ICM or IM with AIM, Renal Medicine or Respiratory Medicine.” This would therefore allow us to submit a proposal that preserves the opportunity to dual train going forward.  Both the FICM and JRCPTB are already in discussions to begin this work as part of the ongoing reviews of our curricula. 
Although further work is now required to take the detail forward, we are over the first hurdle in protecting the future of ICM/physician training, which has greatly aided the development of all four specialties and their related services. We will keep you informed as this work progresses. 
NB: *The Curriculum Oversight Group of the GMC is formed by representatives from the four UK health departments and the four statutory postgraduate medical education bodies. It is primarily interested in the workforce reasoning behind curriculum submissions with the General Medical Council itself reviewing educational content. 

Dr Mike Jones  
Medical Director, Training & Development – Federation 

Dr Tom Gallacher Medical Director
Chair, FICM Training, Assessment & Quality Committee