This page contains information on the specialty of intensive care medicine, a higher specialty recruiting to HST-level vacancies. ICM is not a medical specialty, however does accept applicants from medical training backgrounds.

Please note - intensive care medicine is not participating in the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office HST recruitment process.

Recruitment to intensive care medicine is being coordinated by Health Education West Midlands.


The specialty

Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) is an exciting and dynamic specialty with the responsibility for caring for the most critically ill patients in hospital, providing a link between basic clinical skills and the most up-to-date technology.


Intensive Care Medicine trainee characteristics

ICM will particularly suit trainees who:

  • are dynamic, enthusiastic and motivated
  • want exposure to the widest range of pathology across all hospital specialties
  • enjoy true multi-disciplinary team working
  • have a desire to perform practical procedures.

Working in Intensive Care Medicine

As an ICM doctor you will have responsibility for caring for the most critically ill patients in hospital. While many other medical specialties deal exclusively with specific organs or body systems, ICM encompasses patients with the entire spectrum of medical and surgical pathology.

An ICM doctor is able to provide advanced organ support during critical illness and is responsible for co‐ordinating the care of patients on the ICU.

ICM is high‐tech, life‐saving care that underpins and interacts with all other areas of the hospital. This is an exciting time to undertake ICM training; as it is now possible to train exclusively in ICM.

As a specialty ICM is still expanding; the population is growing older and medical technology in conjunction with ever improving pharmacological treatment has resulted in patients living with conditions that were deemed unsurvivable only a few years ago.

Many of these patients depend on the support of intensive care during the acute phase of their illness.

It is also possible to train in ICM in combination with a partner specialty.  The approved Dual CCT programmes are with Emergency Medicine and Anaesthetics.

Prior to the introduction of the new 2021 curriculum, trainees in Respiratory, Renal and Acute Internal Medicine could also apply to train in ICM and achieve a dual CCT. These groups of consultants provide an essential part of a modern Critical Care Service. The new curriculum for these medical specialties now compulsorily incorporates training in Internal Medicine (IM), resulting in dual CCTs in, for example, Respiratory Medicine and Internal Medicine. Addition of ICM therefore results in a triple CCT. This new development adds extra content to the programme for physicians wishing to train in ICM, but also produces consultants with broad skills ideally suited to the changing demands of an evolving, modern Critical Care Service.

Should you choose to dual/triple train you will need to be appointed to both training programmes (i.e ICM and your chosen partner specialty) in the same region, through separate competitive interview processes.

To apply for ICM you will need to have completed IMT, ACCS or Core Anaesthetic Training.


Medical Care

Find out more about intensive care medicine and the services delivered by the specialty on Medical Care – the RCP’s online guide to service design.


Further information