Pain medicine

Pain medicine is the biopsychosocial assessment and management of persons with complex pain, especially when an underlying condition is not directly treatable. The scope of pain medicine supplements that of other medical disciplines, and utilises interdisciplinary skills to promote improved quality-of-life through improved physical, psychological and social function.

Vocational training in New Zealand

Vocational training in pain medicine is undertaken as a post-specialisation qualification through the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA). To be awarded the Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FFPMANZCA) a doctor must complete the FPM training programme and hold a primary specialist qualification relevant to pain medicine that is acceptable to the board of the Faculty.

Am I able to apply to work as a recognised specialist in New Zealand?

To apply for vocational registration in pain medicine, you need to hold either:

  • the FFPMANZCA qualification; or
  • an international postgraduate medical qualification in pain medicine, where your combination of qualifications, training and experience is assessed by the board of the Faculty against the standard of the FFPMANZCA.

What standard will my training, qualifications and experience be compared against?

Recognised specialists in New Zealand must hold a primary specialist qualification relevant to pain medicine (and acceptable to the board of the Faculty), and complete the 2 year Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) training programme. The training programme requirements are set out below:

  • before beginning the FPM training programme the trainee must complete the Foundations of Pain Medicine examination
  • the training programme includes a minimum of 2 years (88 weeks) full-time equivalent (FTE) of approved clinical experience directly related to pain medicine, distributed over two mandatory stages.
  • regular workplace-based and in-training assessments
  • during each training stage the trainee must complete a long case assessment
  • complete the FPM Fellowship examination
  • complete a clinical case study.

If a trainee holds a primary specialist qualification (acceptable to the board of the Faculty) and successfully completes the training programme, they will be awarded the FFPMANZCA.

I want to make a vocational registration application

To make a vocational registration application, please refer to the Vocational Registration Homepage and select the option appropriate for you.

Am I able to apply for other types of registration?

You may be able to apply for more than one type of registration. To find out which is the best fit for you, please use our self assessment tool.