Palliative Medicine

About the specialty: 

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Palliative medicine aims to provide high quality, holistic care to patients and their families. Palliative care is delivered in a variety of settings, including hospices, hospitals and in the community. The management of patients with cancer is a key part of palliative care, however, the role of palliative medicine in caring for patients with non-malignant conditions is increasingly recognised, and is expanding rapidly.  Managing a diverse range of conditions, across a range of settings is part of the appeal of palliative medicine. Excellent multi-disciplinary team working is fundamental to delivering palliative care. Palliative medicine physicians may be involved in service development, management of hospice units, education and training and research.  Providing care, with emphasis on quality of life, for patients and their carers faced with a life limiting illness is one of the most rewarding roles of a doctor. Palliative medicine has one of the highest job satisfaction ratings for doctors in training.

Entry into Palliative medicine training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are five core training programmes for Palliative Medicine training:

  • Core Medical Training (CMT)
  • Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS)
  • Anaesthetic Training
  • Core Surgical Training
  • General Practice Training
Curriculum: 

The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment.

Information on the Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Palliative Medicine can be found on the MRCP(UK) website.

PDF icon2010 Palliative medicine (amendments 2014).pdf

Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from curriculum@jrcptb.org.uk.

ARCP Decision Aids: 

The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. The ARCP decision aid has been revised to give clearer guidance on the number of top topics that require evidence (CbDs and mini-CEX) and the DOPS requirement for management of spinal lines. The document below replaces all previous versions from September 2015.

PDF iconPalliative Medicine ARCP Decision Aid (September 2015).pdf

Forms and guidance: 

Record of Reflective Practice (RRP) - April 2016

To ensure consistency between the curriculum, ARCP Decision Aid and eportfolio, the online Palliative Reflective Practice Summary form has been renamed the Palliative Record of Reflective Practice. Trainees and trainers should complete the form by creating a new log on the Reflective Practice section of the eportfolio. This form can be saved in draft and completed under the trainee or trainer's login. Please note trainees should not file RRPs in the Personal Library.

Reflective practice guidance and a copy of the RRP form are provided below

PDF iconPalliative Medicine guidance on reflective practice.pdf

PDF iconPalliative Record of Reflective Practice 2016.pdf

Guidance for trainees in non-palliative medicine specialties

PDF iconGuidance on palliative and end of life care revised 171114.pdf