Pain medicine exams

Pain medicine trainees are assessed via long case assessments and the fellowship exam during the pain medicine training program. 

Past examination reports can be found in Learn @ ANZCA under the Fellowship examination folder located in the FPM Trainee Support Resources. 

Long case assessments 

Trainees must successfully complete at least one local long case assessment and one external long case assessment during the training program. Both assessments use the same marking form. To achieve a pass the trainee must demonstrate proficiency at the level of a specialist pain medicine physician in their first year of practice.

 

Local long case assessment

The local long case assessment is held in the training unit and assessed by two FPM fellows.
 
The assessors do not necessarily need to work at the unit or know the trainee but at least one of the fellows must have previously assessed a long case. The patient should be known to one of the assessors but not the trainee and must be invited as opposed to being a waiting list patient.

Guidance notes and a marking form have been prepared to support units in the delivery of the local long case assessment. 
 
The marking form must be submitted via the ePortfolio.
 
Once a trainee has passed a local long case they can sit the external long case assessment.  If they are then unsuccessful at the externally run long case assessment, they must re-sit the local long case assessment and achieve a pass before they can repeat the external long case assessment.

External long case assessment

External long case assessments are usually held in major cities across Australia and in New Zealand twice a year, and once a year in Hong Kong and Adelaide.
 

External Long Case dates

Trainees need to meet the eligibility criteria and submit their application by the relevant application closing date, which varies for each region in view of the scheduling of these assessments. 

These assessments are limited to trainees who live in the region. In regions where the external long cases are not delivered, trainees are encouraged to contact the faculty prior to applying. 

Candidates sitting the external long case assessments are advised to complete a rapid antigen test (RAT), if experiencing flu-like symptoms on the day of the assessment. 

Regions Venue Assessment date Application closing date Application form
New Zealand Chronic Pain Service, Manukau SuperClinic Tuesday 9 April 2024 8 March 2024 Registration closed
New South Wales Royal North Shore Hospital Friday 10 May 2024 15 March 2024 Registration closed
Queensland Princess Alexandra Hospital, Burke street Monday 20 May 2024 25 March 2024 Registration closed
Western Australia Sir Charles Gairdner/Osborne Park Hospital, Roger Goucke Pain Centre Monday 20 May 2024 26 March 2024 Registration closed
South Australia The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Saturday 8 June 2024 22 April 2024 Register here
Victoria The Royal Melbourne Hospital Saturday 22 June 2024 2 May 2024 Register here

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to sit the external long case assessment, the following criteria must be met by the application closing date:

  • Completion of at least one satisfactory ITA
  • Completion of the general physical examination assessment and 
  • Successful completion of a local long case.

If unsuccessful at the external long case assessment, a trainee must complete an additional local long case assessment prior to re-sitting the external long case. 

FPM fellowship exam

The Fellowship Examination covers the theory and practice of pain medicine and comprises of two sections; the written examination and the oral examination. Candidates who are successful in the written examination are invited to the oral examination. Candidates must complete both sections of the fellowship examination in the same sitting to achieve a pass. 

Applications for the 2024 sitting close on 5 August 2024. All eligibility criteria must be met by the closing date for the examination. 

Any applications for special consideration are due four weeks prior to the closing date. For 2024, candidates who would prefer to handwrite their answers to the written examination may nominate to do so at the time of applying to sit. 

A demonstration exam has been set up to assist pain medicine trainees as they prepare for the written examination.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes in the pain medicine training program curriculum guide the range of content which may be assessed. Competencies relevant to the knowledge, behaviours and clinical skills are found in sections one to three of the FPM curriculum.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate an understanding of what treatments/therapies are available and may be undertaken when referring a patient to other pain management specialists.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to sit the fellowship exam, trainees must:

  • Complete two satisfactory in-training assessments (ITAs) by the application closing date.
  • Submit the application form with payment of the examination fee by the closing date
Late applications are unable to be accepted.

Format

Section

Format 

Duration

Written section

10 short-answer questions (SAQ)

2.5 hours

Oral section

4 objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) stations

10 minutes each

4  structured Viva voce examination stations

15 minutes each

 

Dates and venues

 

Section

Dates Venue(s)

Written examination

Thursday 12 September 2024 Australia: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville

New Zealand: Wellington

Hong Kong and Singapore

Oral examination

9 November 2024 Melbourne


 

Withdrawing from the examination

Candidates wishing to withdraw their application on medical or compassionate grounds must inform the faculty in writing before the date of the exam. 

Trainees unable to attend the examination

On the day of the exam, if a candidate is unable to present for the exam on medical or compassionate grounds, the candidate must submit a written notice and provide evidence of cause within seven days of the exam.

No special consideration will be given to a candidate who elects against advice to continue with the exam.

Demo written exam

A demonstration exam has been set up to assist pain medicine trainees as they prepare for the written examination.

Find out more

Conditions of entry for FPM exams

Important information for all candidates participating in FPM exams, including our conditions of application and entry.

Find out more

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Last updated 12:04 15.04.2024