Education and training

A considerable part of a doctor’s job involves assessing and treating long-term neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. Disability can have considerable impact on individuals and their families. The British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine (BSRM) is a learned society representing doctors who practise in rehabilitation medicine (RM), and encourages its members to be involved in education and training in the management of disability. With medical and technological advances, there are now increasingly high patient and public expectations, which pose a challenge and yet provide great opportunities to the rehabilitation physicians of the future.

There are plenty of educational and research choices for both trainees and consultants in RM. The General Medical Council made specific recommendations that the subject of disability and rehabilitation should be taught to medical undergraduates, and that it should be part of the core curriculum. Specialty training in RM typically consists of a 4-year programme, which encompasses learning in most subspecialty areas. Core skills and competencies are gained in neurorehabilitation, spinal cord injury, amputee and prosthetics, major trauma, musculoskeletal, specialist equipment (including environmental control, assistive communication technologies, wheelchairs and specialist seating, orthotics) and vocational rehabilitation. The training programme is currently accessible to trainees who possess the MRCP(UK) diploma or equivalent – MRCS, MRCGP, MRCPsych – qualifications. Every trainee has a GMC-approved educational supervisor and clinical supervisors, who are also members of the specialty training committees.

The BSRM delivers national training programmes for RM. In most regions and London, these training programmes are delivered through a 2-year cycle of lectures and training days, mirroring the curriculum. Some other regions implement locally organised monthly training and educational programmes, which are usually facilitated by consultants in RM. The curriculum highlights some courses that are considered mandatory for RM. The BSRM runs excellent specialist courses, including the specialist RM course in Derby, the advanced prosthetic and amputee rehabilitation course in Stanmore, the spinal cord medicine course in Sheffield and the environmental control and assistive technology course in Liverpool. Details of these courses are posted on the BSRM website as they become available; details of all BSRM guideline documents are also provided.

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.