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Palliative Medicine

Palliative Medicine

Palliative Medicine

Your Pathway into Palliative Medicine training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

  • Completion of Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Basic Physician Training, including successful completion of the RACP written and clinical examinations



  • General medical registration
  • Employment in an accredited Advanced Training position
  • Refer to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians for further information in relation to selection into the training program

Total Training Time

Total: 6 years (full-time)

6 years (full-time) for completion of RACP Basic Physician Training (3 years) and then Advanced Palliative Medicine Training (3 years) or variable if prior training to other college fellowship level.

Advanced Palliative Medicine: 36 months (full-time)

  • Minimum of 24 months core training
  • Maximum of 12 months non-core training

How To Apply

Palliative Medicine Advanced Training positions are managed centrally through the Queensland Palliative Medicine Advanced Training Pathway. Applications to this network must be submitted through the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Campaign. See the application guide for further details on how to preference the network.

Applicants must also apply to the Advanced Training in Palliative Medicine program through the RACP. 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 hospitals within our region accepting applications are: Townsville University Hospital and Cairns 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 Palliative Medicine trainee?

As a palliative medicine trainee, you can expect to gain a broad range of skills and knowledge. You will learn how to assess and manage the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of patients who are suffering terminal illnesses. You will also learn how to communicate effectively with patients and families about difficult topics such as prognosis and end-of-life care.

What is a Palliative Medicine specialist?

Palliative Medicine specialists work with patients and their families provide relief from the symptoms and stress of terminal illness. Palliative Medicine specialists use a variety of treatments, including medication, counselling, and other therapies, to achieve this goal.

Palliative Medicine is a relatively new specialty, and there is currently a great need for trained specialists. If you are interested in working in this field, you will be able to make a real difference in the quality of life for those who are dealing with a terminal illness.

What abilities are important in this specialty?

Palliative Medicine Physicians must have excellent communication skills to effectively communicate with their patients and families about difficult topics such as prognosis and end-of-life care plans. They must also be able to work collaboratively with other members of the health care team to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Palliative Medicine Physicians must be proficient in a variety of medical skills to effectively manage their patients' symptoms. They must also have a strong understanding of the psychological and social aspects of terminal illness, as well as the ethical issues involved in end-of-life care.

Palliative Care physicians must be committed to lifelong learning to keep up with the latest advances in medicine and changes in the health care system.

How many applicants get accepted per year?

The number of applicants selected into Palliative Medicine training varies each year. However, to provide a rough guide, in 2021 there were 10 applications selected from 14 eligible applications received.

In Australia, there are currently 307 active Palliative Medicine specialists. In Queensland, there are 56 specialists and 13 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