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Curriculum and Assessment

PMST Curriculum

Please go here to download the Specialty Training Curriculum in Pharmaceutical Medicine August 2010 (Amended 2014) [PMST 2010 curriculum].

On 1 January 2016 all pre-2010 curricula were decommissioned. Any trainee still on a pre-2010 curriculum will either be required to move to the current curriculum or will have their NTN removed and be released from their programme of training. Please read the FPM's policy statement on moving pharmaceutical medicine trainees to the PMST 2010 curriculum.

Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training

Trainees following the PMST 2010 curriculum are required to use a trainee e-portfolio, which contains the workplace-based assessments that they and their Educational Supervisors need to complete.

Specialty training in PMST may begin after gaining a post in pharmaceutical medicine and after completion of the Foundation Programme (F1 and F2) and two years of post-Foundation clinical training in any medical specialty, for example Core Medical Training (CMT) of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, or its equivalent in other medical specialties.

The nature of the clinical training prior to specialty training in pharmaceutical medicine must include experience of acute and continuing clinical management and care, and wide experience of prescribing and monitoring the effects of medicines.

The specialties in which this experience is gained are not critical and pharmaceutical physicians come from a wide variety of medical and surgical disciplines.

The programme of PMST consists of the specialty knowledge base, leading to the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine by examination, which must be passed prior to the award of a CCT, and practical competency-based training in an individualised programme centred on an approved workplace training environment.

Practical PMST comprises a modular programme in 6 fields of practice in pharmaceutical medicine that accompanies and / or follows acquisition of the specialty knowledge base. The 6 operational modules are Medicines Regulation, Clinical Pharmacology, Statistics and Data Management, Clinical Development, Healthcare Marketplace and Drug Safety Surveillance.

A seventh, common, module in pharmaceutical medicine continues from the generic module for the medical specialties delivered during clinical training with its emphasis on individual patient care within the NHS. The common module in pharmaceutical medicine encompasses the principles of Good Pharmaceutical Medical Practice and Interpersonal, Management and Leadership Skills relevant to the ethical and professional work of a pharmaceutical physician practising outside the NHS.

Successful completion of the training programme leads to a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT), the holder of which is eligible to apply for entry to the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK.

Doctors with non-EU clinical training are not eligible for entry to a UK CCT programme, including PMST. Those doctors may undertake PMST training, but on completion, they will not receive a CCT, and their entry to the GMC's Specialist Register will be determined by fulfilling the requirements of The General and Specialist Medical Practice (Education, Training and Qualifications) Order 2010. If successful, a Certificate confirming Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) will be awarded.


Workplace-based assessments

Trainees following the PMST 2010 curriculum are required to use the workplace-based assessment (WPBA) tools, which are available on their trainee e-portfolios. The WBPAs for pharmaceutical medicine are as follows

  • Pharmaceutical Medicine Assessment Tool (PMAT)
  • Teaching Observation tool (TO)
  • Project-based Discussion tool (PbD)
  • Multi-source Feedback tool (MSF)

Knowledge-based assessment

The knowledge-based assessment of the PMST 2010 curriculum is the FPM's Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine examination. There are no alternative examinations that a trainee can sit to complete the knowledge-based assessment of the curriculum. Please go here for more information about the FPM's Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine.

Discontinuation of recognition of the Free University of Brussels and the ECPM/University of Basel examinations

In January 2014 the FPM's Board of Trustees approved a recommendation submitted by representatives from the FPM's Officers of the Board of Examiners and the Education and Standards Committee, and endorsed by Specialist Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical Medicine, to discontinue recognition of the full examinations of the Free University of Brussels' Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine, and the ECPM/University of Basel's Diploma in Advanced Studies for the knowledge-based assessment of the Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST) programme from 1 January 2016.

On 16 December 2014 the GMC approved the FPM's curriculum change application to remove the exams delivered by the Free University of Brussels and the ECPM/University of Basel from the approved assessment system. As a consequence of this decision references to these exams in the PMST 2010 curriculum were removed.

Currency of examinations

Please visit this link to the GMC website for information about the currency of national examinations that count towards the award of a CCT or CESR(CP). In the case of pharmaceutical medicine, the national examination is the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine.

The FPM's Board of Examiners has incorporated into its regulations for the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine examination (see regulation A.5) the GMC's expectation that candidates will not normally be allowed to attempt a national examination more than 6 times.

Candidates who have not entered the PMST programme, or trainees who are out of programme due to a career break or maternity leave for example, can sit the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine examination, but they must enter or re-enter the training programme within 7 years of passing the examination.

Candidates who are applying for entry on the GMC Specialist Register for Pharmaceutical Medicine via the CESR route are required to have passed a specialist examination, i.e. the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine examination. Candidates who intend to apply for a CESR will not normally have attempted the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine examination more than 6 times.

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