Published 03/12/2021

In what ways can I train in ICM?

There are multiple ways to train in ICM to help you develop a portfolio career.

This section explains the options in detail - please click the menu links for more.

Single CCT training

It has been possible to train exclusively in Intensive Care Medicine since 2012. The single CCT involves 3 stages:

In Stage 1 trainees will learn to diagnose and manage a wide range of problems both within and outside the Intensive Care Unit. This will involve an attachment of at least 12 months to a general ICU.

In Stage 2 you will not only consolidate the ICM training achieved in ST3 and ST4 but gain
experience in 3 major areas of specialist intensive care. It will also allow you will to undertake a special study year to gain experience in a special skill directly relevant to ICM practice. The options here are incredibly varied and examples include advanced ultrasound, research, quality improvement and ECMO.

Stage 3 is the final year of training in which trainees progressively increase their level of
autonomy so that they are capable of becoming independent and leading the ICM MDT and planning patient care.

Further Guidance on the Curriculum for ICM can be found here.

Dual CCT training

It is also possible to dual train in ICM and a second specialty. There are currently five GMC approved dual programmes:

  • Acute Medicine
  • Anaesthetics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Renal Medicine
  • Respiratory Medicine

Dual training can bring its own benefit to training with a number of transferrable skills, varied work and complimentary curriculums.

Dual trainees will need to acquire the full competencies of both disciplines but by a suitable choice of training attachments and educational interventions this can be achieved without undue prolongation of training.

Whilst the numbers choosing to do single CCT is increasing, dual training remains the most common option with survey data from interviewees at the last three recruitment rounds showing that the number of trainees wanting to undertake a Dual CCTs programme was on average 93%. 

It is also possible to obtain Triple CCTs with ICM and some physician specialties

Dual and Triple CCT programme Guidance is available here.

Academic training

Research training is recognised as an essential component in creating a high quality specialist workforce for Intensive Care Medicine.

The curriculum in Intensive Care Medicine provides the framework for several levels of research training, from a common core to advanced academic scholarship.

In keeping with this the Faculty supports the development of modular clinical academic training in ICM.

Less Than Full-Time

Over the past decade the number of doctors in this type of flexible training has increased.

Doctors wishing to work on a less than full-time basis do so for a variety of
reasons. This is supported by the Faculty and the Deaneries / LETBs.

LTFT differs from full-time training only in the period of time over which it is undertaken.

Click here for more on Less Than Full-Time Training.