The specialties of Acute Internal Medicine (AIM) and Emergency Medicine work closely together in providing care to patients with acute medical presentations. The doctors trained in these two specialties have clearly defined and specific competencies which although complementary are not interchangeable. The Colleges believe that doctors should only practise in the areas in which they have been trained and have acquired the full range of necessary competencies. Cross coverage between the specialties, therefore, can not be achieved without increasing clinical risk and would not be in the best interests of the patients served.
For doctors to practise in both specialties additional training would be required to provide the opportunity to gain all the relevant competencies. This would have to be assessed by relevant workplace based assessments and examinations to confirm that those competencies have been gained. The colleges would recommend that such doctors would be eligible for entry to the specialty register in both specialties but it would be anticipated that typically two or more additional years of training (first year during core training and second year during higher specialist training) to achieve the requisite level of recognition that would be needed in addition to completion of the relevant examinations (MRCP, Specialty Certificate examination, MCEM and FCEM).
The standards of training as defined within the relevant curricula for both Emergency Medicine and AIM have been approved by the statutory body (GMC) and the Colleges firmly believe that the employment of doctors who do not have the requisite and relevant competencies for senior roles within NHS organisations should be discouraged.
This statement has been shared with the GMC who have been pleased to note that it reaffirms the GMC requirements in relation to dual CCTs in Acute Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine.