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Pain Med. 2015 Jun;16(6):1038-44. doi: 10.1111/pme.12645. Epub 2014 Dec 28.

Pain medicine--a new credential in Canada.

Author information

Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Western University, London, Canada.
Associate Director, Specialties Unit, Office of Specialty Education.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Associate Professor, Division of Nephrology, University of Ottawa.



In 2010, Pain Medicine was formally recognized as a subspecialty in Canada by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, a national organization with oversight of the medical education of specialists in Canada. The first trainees began their training at the Western University, London, Canada in July, 2014. This article traces the process of Pain Medicine's development as a discipline in Canada and outlines its multiple entry routes, 2-year curriculum, and assessment procedures.


The application for specialty status was initiated in 2007 with the understanding that while Anesthesiology would be the parent specialty, the curriculum would train clinicians in a multidisciplinary setting. To receive recognition as a Royal College subspecialty, Pain Medicine had to successfully pass through three phases, each stage requiring formal approval by the Committee on Specialties. The multiple entry routes to this 2-year subspecialty program are described in this article as are the objectives of training, the curriculum, assessment of competency and the practice-eligibility route to certification. The process of accreditation of new training programs across Canada is also discussed.


The new Pain Medicine training program in Canada will train experts in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the spectrum of acute pain, cancer pain and non-cancer pain problems. These physicians will become leaders in education, research, advocacy and administration of this emerging field.


Education; Pain Medicine; Pain Training Programs

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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