The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists convened a working party in 1992 to examine the possibility of developing a formal certification for anaesthetists wishing to further their interest in pain management.
This led to the formation of a Joint Advisory Committee in Pain Medicine with representatives from the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA), Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (RACP).
The committee developed training requirements for a Certificate in Pain Management and identified institutions in Australia and New Zealand suitable for training candidates from the participating colleges or faculty. A number of trainees have successfully obtained this certification.
In 1998, the ANZCA Council approved the establishment of a Faculty of Pain Medicine with its own interim board. Provisions in the regulations have resulted in individuals being awarded fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine by foundation, honorary or election. The first fellowship exam was held in November 1999.
The establishment of the Faculty, incorporating multidisciplinary representation from other medical specialties, was an important and innovative advance in the management of acute, chronic non-malignant and cancer pain.
Pain medicine was recognised as a medical specialty by the Australian Medical Council in November 2005, recognising the significant problem of unrelieved pain in the community and the need for a comprehensive medical response.
Fellows of the Faculty of Pain Medicine have a wide knowledge of the clinical, biopsychosocial and humanitarian aspects of pain and are well placed to follow a developing and challenging career path.