This page contains information on the specialty of intensive care medicine, a higher specialty recruiting to ST3-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 RCP ST3 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 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; for the first time ever it is now possible to train exclusively in ICM.

As a speciality 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.

As one of the first cohorts of newly-trained ICM doctors you will be ideally placed to compete in the consultant job market as the speciality expands.

It is also possible to train in ICM in combination with a partner speciality. Initially these will be acute medicine, respiratory medicine, renal medicine, emergency medicine and anaesthetics. Should you choose to dual train you will need to be appointed to both training programs through a competitive interview process.

To apply for ICM you will need to have completed Core Medical Training, 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