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Pain Medicine

Pain Medicine

Pain Medicine

Your Pathway into Pain Medicine training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

Total Training Time

Total: 2 years (full-time)

  • Minimum two years (full-time) of approved clinical experience directly related to pain medicine

How To Apply

The Pain Medicine pathway is a post-specialist qualification. That means all applicants will already be competent in, or be in the process of training towards, another medical speciality.

Applications are made directly to the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Faculty of Pain Medicine. Before applying, the college recommends that prospective trainees consider the location of available accredited training sites.

Up to six months of the specialist training can be recognised as prior learning experience, and any applicant who has gained experience within an accredited faculty should detail this in their application process.

Further information on the selection policy and selection process for prospective applicants can be found here.

To secure a training position in QLD, applicants must also apply to the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Campaign. Information on how to preference Pain Medicine can be found here.

When applying to the Queensland Health RMO Campaign, candidates can preference up to five hospitals at step 10 in the process. Candidates should always discuss employment opportunities with their preferenced facilities or training programs before submitting an application. The hospital within our region accepting applications is: Townsville University Hospital. For more information on the campaign and application process go to the Queensland Health website.

Application Deadline

Key dates for application submission, assessment and selection rounds are available on the Queensland Health Recruitment Campaign website for application through the RMO campaign. Once the campaign closes, only your preferenced facilities or training programs can access your online application and attachments to assess and conduct meritorious recruitment activities. The facility or training program may contact candidates to discuss applications, employment opportunities or organise interviews.

Each specialty training college has different application dates so ensure you refer to the individual website for information. Consider these dates in conjunction with the RMO campaign key dates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect as a Pain Medicine trainee?

Working as a Pain Medicine specialist can be a very rewarding experience. As a trainee, you will have the opportunity to work with patients who are suffering from pain and help them find relief.

You will learn how to treat acute pain, such as post operative, post-trauma and acute episodes of pain in medical condition as well as pain associated with cancer:  tumour invasion or compression, pain related to diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, or pain associated in the general treatment of cancer. You will learn about the latest treatment options and technologies that can help improve your patients' quality of life.

Pain medicine is a rapidly growing field, and there are many opportunities for career advancement.

What is a Pain Medicine specialist?

A Pain Medicine specialist is a medical doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of pain. Pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including injuries, diseases, and disorders. Treatment may involve medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

Pain medicine specialists can work in a consultant role to other physicians and often as the principal treating physician. Pain medicine specialists provide a diverse spectrum of care in the areas of:

  • Providing empirical advice and practices that consider known medication and procedural interventions.
  • Education to relevant groups.
  • Co-ordinating rehabilitation with other support physicians.
  • Working as a team with other health care professionals and agencies.
  • Counselling with patients and their families

What abilities are important in this specialty?

  • Communication- Pain Medicine specialists need to collaborate effectively within a multi-disciplinary team to coordinate patient management plans. They need to be able to listen and communicate with their patients taking into consideration an individual’s cultural and personal beliefs in their pain management plan.
  • Leadership- a Pain Medicine specialist uses their expertise and influence in the education of patients and the public, in the effective treatment of serious pain.
  • Adaptability- Pain Medicine Specialists must have the ability work effectively within often unpredictable and complex situations.

How many applicants get accepted per year?

The number of applicants selected into pain medicine training per year varies each year. However, to provide a rough guide, in 2021 there were 23 eligible applications received, with 8 applicants selected.

In Australia, there are currently 163 active Pain Medication specialists. In Queensland, there are 36 specialists and 19 active trainees.

What is it like living in North Queensland? 

There are countless reasons why North Queensland is one of the best places on the planet to work, live, and study. No matter what stage or age you are in, Northern Queensland offers a great balance between work and leisure. 

Visitors and residents find the North Queensland lifestyle relaxed and laid-back. The people are friendly and welcoming. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as swimming, surfing, fishing, and hiking, and when the sun goes down, there are also many bars, restaurants, and cafes to enjoy. 

North Queensland has the convenience of cities close by, all of which have reasonable housing costs and expansive landscapes to explore nearby. The region combines quality education and the chance to pursue a relaxed or adventurous lifestyle, depending on your preference. The area has a warm climate all year round, beautiful beaches and rainforests, and is home to a diverse range of cultures and lifestyles, making Northern Queensland hard to beat. 

Each regional centre in North Queensland is small enough to escape the crowded nature of big city living, but they still have enough going on for you to socialise and entertain yourself. And with short commute times putting more hours back into your workday, you’ll have plenty of time to explore when offered the chance. 

Networking and industry social opportunities frequently happen due to the tight-knit and collaborative nature of the health and hospital communities here. The vision to improve the health of the communities throughout the region, unites the students, interns, junior doctors, and specialists training and working here. Together we hope to address the shortage of doctors in North Queensland. 

Our training region ensures trainees have access to a wide range of hospital and health settings of varying sizes and capabilities offering a diverse case load and case mix. These training areas include the following health service areas: Cairns, Central West, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this website aims to assist medical students and doctors in training with medical career planning. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is current and accurate, all details should be verified through the relevant Specialist College.

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424