College of Intensive Care Medicine

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The College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM), also known by its longer and more complete name, the College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand, is the medical specialty college statutorily responsible for the training and accreditation of intensive care medical specialists (called "intensivists") in Australia and New Zealand.[1]


The first intensive care unit (ICU) in the Australasian continent was formed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1958 at the Auckland Hospital. The first ICU in Australia was formed in 1961 in St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne.[2]

Since those early beginnings, the specialty of intensive care medicine quickly grew, culminating in the formation of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society in 1975, and the subsequent negotiations in setting up formal training and accreditation of intensivists as a medical specialty. The latter efforts eventually bore fruit in 1976 with the establishment of two training pathways for intensivists administered separately by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and what was then-known as the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) (the Faculty of Anaesthetists will eventually become the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists or ANZCA in 1992).[2]

The National Specialist Qualification Advisory Committee formally recognised intensive care as a primary medical specialty in 1980.[2] This recognition has been updated with the present-day Australian Medical Council.[3]

The development of intensivist training took a further step in 2001, with the establishment of the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (JFICM). This was an amalgamation of the RACP and ANZCA intensivist training pathways, with administration of the new Joint Faculty provided by ANZCA.[4]

CICM came into being in 2008, after further work on creating an independent medical specialty college. The JFICM was broken off from ANZCA and received statutory recognition as a medical specialty college in its own right in 2008.[1]

Training Program[edit]

The CICM training program consists of six nominal years of training after internship.[5] This length is nominal, as trainees may spend longer in the program, depending on their ability to obtain employment in accredited trainee posts. The training consists of three basic training years (BTY) and three advanced training years (ATY). At the completion of training and satisfactory results from all assessments, the trainee is awarded a Fellowship of the CICM and entitled to use the post-nominal "FCICM" to indicate their status as a qualified intensivist.[6]

This table illustrates the current nominal training pathway as at 2013:[6]

Phase Clinical Training Assessments Notes
Pre-vocational (12 months) If during internship year, compulsory rotations (8 to 10 weeks) in: Emergency Medicine, General Internal Medicine, and General Surgery This phase can be at any stage of postgraduate hospital training, but is typically the internship year. In some jurisdictions (such as the state of New South Wales[7] and Queensland[8] ), the minimum length of this phase is two years due to local regulations.
Basic Training Years (36 months) General Internal Medicine or General Paediatrics (12 months), Anaesthesia (12 months), Intensive Care (12 months) CICM Primary Examination of the basic and clinical sciences, focusing on physiology and pharmacology. Anaesthesia or Medicine terms can be taken in Advanced Training, but it is recommended that they be done during Basic Training for timing reasons. All three terms must meet accreditation standards set by RACP, ANZCA, and CICM.
Advanced Training Years (36 months) Intensive Care (24 months), electives (12 months) Fellowship Examinations Electives must be relevant to intensive care, such as internal medicine (all sub-specialties), anaesthesia, emergency medicine (including pre-hospital), surgery, pain medicine, and intensive care itself.

Dual fellowship training pathways are also available. Historically, streamlined arrangements had existed with ANZCA (for IC/Anaesthesia) and the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (for IC/Emergency Medicine) to enable dual fellowships to be completed with only one nominal year of extra training.[6] In subsequent years CICM have made it more difficult to pursue a dual specialty (for example by retracting their acceptance of ACEM and ANZCA primary exams). At the present moment, pursuit of a dual fellowship requires the completion of a minimum of three additional training years.


  1. ^ a b "Health Insurance Regulations 1975 (Cth) Schedule 4 Part 1 Item 105". 
  2. ^ a b c "Our History". Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society. 
  3. ^ "List of Australian Recognised Medical Specialties" (PDF). Australian Medical Council. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "History". College of Intensive Care Medicine. 
  5. ^ "Training Program". College of Intensive Care Medicine. 
  6. ^ a b c "Regulations 2013" (PDF). College of Intensive Care Medicine. 
  7. ^ "Appointment Periods for JMO Positions" (PDF). NSW Health. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Queensland Intensive Training Pathway - FAQ" (PDF). Queensland Health. 

External links[edit]