Academic Training in ICM

Published 20/01/2023

Formal research training

Some doctors in training may considering a career in academic ICM. There are two main routes to explore these opportunities. Doctors in training can compete for the opportunity to enter integrated academic and clinical programmes. Each of the four UK countries has its own arrangements for these integrated academic and clinical posts. Please see these useful websites section for further details:

It is vital for those considering an academic pathway to look at the entry requirements for each programme. An alternative option for is doctors in training to take time out of programme to focus entirely on research with the aim of completing an MD or a PhD. Both options require the support of the training programme director and the postgraduate dean.

ICM training should map onto conventional clinical training, see Figure one. Having a clinical academic training post is not crucial to developing a research career, although it does provide ring-fenced research time. The main thing to note is that getting a research degree, whether a doctorate or MD, is now vital in the UK to allow successful application to research funders for senior career development posts. Many doctors have successfully obtained doctoral funding without having either an academic foundation post or an academic clinical fellowship (ACF). What is important is that they have looked for research opportunities wherever they are, acquired basic research skills and have become involved in ongoing research projects alongside their clinical work.

It is common for doctors to dip in and out of the clinical academic training pathway. This makes career development very flexible and there is room for doctors to develop a research interest  late in their training. Concordant training routes will also allow individuals who enter the academic training scheme in the first instance, to seamlessly move back to conventional clinical training route if they revise their career intentions, or fail to secure the personal research funding needed to develop as clinical academics.

The academic training in the attached diagram is modular and covers all stages of training from Academic Specialised Foundation Programme to Advanced Fellowships and Clinician Scientists. The modules of post qualification training for academic intensivists are described in more detail below. The depiction of training opportunities and requirements are described in the context of an illustrative diagram (see Figure 1 in PDF guidance download), that reflects standalone ICM from an ACCS background. This does not cover the training needs of those coming from IMT or core anaesthetics and therefore  flexibility and potentially modifications are required  to make it generalisable to training needs of all individuals who seek Dual Accreditation. However, it provides a useful illustration of the principles involved.