Education and training

Education and training for pharmaceutical physicians is offered through the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK (FPM) and the Pharmaceutical Medicine Virtual Deanery. PharmaTrain is the European platform for postgraduate training in drug development science. The Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine (DPM) is a stand-alone diploma of the FPM assessed by an examination covering the 14-section PharmaTrain syllabus (European Training Syllabus for Pharmaceutical Medicine/Integrated Drug Development Sciences).

Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST) is the postgraduate certification (CCT and CESR-CP) programme – a workplace-centred, individualised education and training programme comprising the DPM examination and competencies in seven areas: 

  • medicines regulation
  • clinical pharmacology
  • statistics and data management
  • clinical development
  • healthcare marketplace
  • drug safety surveillance
  • common module: interpersonal, management and leadership skills.

Participants in this 4-year mentored programme progress within a framework of workplace assessment, appraisal and annual review of competence progression (ARCP), and on completion, receive a place on the GMC’s Specialist Register in pharmaceutical medicine.

Other education and training programmes within the specialty offered by the FPM include the Diploma and Certificate in Human Pharmacology. Education and training in pharmaceutical medicine can also be acquired through academic centres, including Clinical Pharmacology at King’s College London, Clinical Trials at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Pharmacovigilance at the University of Portsmouth. A complete list can be found at on-course, a searchable database of over 7,000 biomedical courses.

Medical practitioners in pharmaceutical medicine remain up to date and fit to practise through annual appraisal and 5-yearly revalidation of their licence.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) has produced a cost of training document setting out the mandatory costs of training involved in college enrolment fees, examination costs and GMC fees. Published in October 2017, it has been compiled to help pre-specialty doctors make fully informed career selections, with a clear understanding of the mandatory costs of their future training pathway.