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Training Summary

Training in anaesthesia is a competency based, time limited programme that will normally take a minimum of seven years. It follows the curriculum developed by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and approved by the GMC.

An initial core training of 24 months will be split between two of the hospitals in the School. Trainees can also enter core training via the ACCS route. In this case they will do six months emergency medicine and six months acute medicine before entering the anaesthesia programme. ACCS is a useful entry route for trainees wishing to pursue a career in ICM or PHEM as it provides the mandatory medicine or EM required for these. Once core training is complete trainees will then apply for competitive entry into a 5 year specialist training programme. During this 5 year programme trainees should expect to rotate through most of the hospitals within the school. A modular training programme in the major specialties has been developed to ensure that trainees gain appropriate and relevant experience in all aspects of anaesthetic practice. Intensive teaching programmes assist trainees in preparation for the Primary and Final FRCA Examinations.

The majority of trainees pass the Primary FRCA during core training and the Final FRCA by the end of the fourth year of training, allowing development of specialist interests within anaesthesia (both clinical and academic), if appropriate, during the subsequent years. For those with the FRCA, a period of “off rotation training” experience is encouraged. This includes Research Fellowships, time in another School, or time overseas. All these are subject to agreement with the Regional Postgraduate Dean, the Programme Director and GMC; and would, in addition, require independent funding.

The training modules for the fifth, sixth and seventh years are designed to provide in-depth experience in all aspects of anaesthetic practice. 6 -18 months of this time will be based at one of the District General Hospitals in the scheme, and will be individually tailored to the trainee’s interests. The opportunity of a secondment to Birmingham Children’s Hospital may be available for those with a special interest in paediatric anaesthesia. A 6 month secondment to one of the other Schools in the West Midlands may be possible.
Progress from year to year will only be permitted following assessment by the trainers, and will be under the direct control of the Regional Postgraduate Dean, Dr Elizabeth Hughes. Trainees must have the Primary FRCA to complete Core Training and the Final FRCA to allow progress to StR5 to be considered.

Details of training modules in all the participating hospitals can be found in the hospital information.


Those who wish to train flexibly should contact the Regional Adviser for Flexible Anaesthetic Trainees, Dr N Osborn (based at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust) or Dr Helen Goodyear, Associate Dean for flexible trainees (Tel: 0121 414 3155).