Education and training

Higher training in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics is delivered according to an approved curriculum largely within NHS hospitals. Much of the training is delivered locally but opportunities exist for trainees to gain additional experience, eg by attachment to academic departments, clinical trials facilities and commercial organisations.

In addition to local training and continuing professional development meetings (CPD), regional and national training and CPD events are available. These include an annual specialist registrar training day organised by the British Pharmacological Society (BPS). National education days organised by trainees, and also supported by the BPS, are held regularly. Similarly, trainees are welcome at other events including twice-yearly meetings organised by the Clinical Pharmacology Colloquium and at regular (CPD) days organised by the National Poisons Information Service.

During their higher training, specialist registrars can obtain further academic qualifications covering aspects of the curriculum, eg a diploma in therapeutics or medical toxicology delivered by Cardiff University, or by studying for a research degree. Many trainees learn research techniques and study for an MD or PhD during the course of their training, while others may undertake out-of-programme training or a more formal fellowship training scheme such as the North West England MRC Fellowship.

CPD for consultants is available through numerous sources and is delivered both locally and through national organisations including the royal colleges, British Pharmacological Society and other specialist societies.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) has produced a cost of training document setting out the mandatory costs of training involved in college enrolment fees, examination costs and GMC fees. Published in October 2017, it has been compiled to help pre-specialty doctors make fully informed career selections, with a clear understanding of the mandatory costs of their future training pathway.