Skip to main content

Emergency medicine

Emergency Medicine (EM) is a six-year programme. The first two years are comprised of the Acute Common Care Stem (ACCS) rotation, spending six months in each of the ACCS specialties; Emergency Medicine, Acute Internal Medicine, Anaesthesia, and Intensive Care Medicine.

The third year of training focusses on paediatric and adult emergency medicine, with this year becoming ‘registrar ready’ to undertake Higher Specialist Training (HST) in years ST4-6, with HST years including six to twelve-months in a Major Trauma Centre.

Sub-specialty training opportunities exist in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM), Paediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM), Intensive Care Medicine (ICM), Research, Leadership, and Medical Education.


Training in Wales

Wales has seven EM training sites: Ysbyty Gwynedd (YG, Bangor) and Wrexham in north Wales, and Morriston (Swansea), Princess of Wales (POW, Bridgend), University Hospital of Wales (UHW, Cardiff), Prince Charles Hospital (PCH, Merthyr Tydfil), and Grange University Hospital (GUH, Cwmbran) in south Wales.

Over the last few years, it has been possible to spend entire EM rotations in south Wales, and in and around north Wales. University Hospital of Wales acts as the Major Trauma Centre (MTC) for south Wales, and is also the tertiary paediatric centre, where some trainees spend their ST3 paediatric focussed rotation.

All hospitals, except for POW have ST3 rotations with all these departments having PEM trained consultants and / or designated paediatric areas within the Emergency Department (ED).

North Wales trainees additionally spend some of their ST3 training in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (AHCH) ED in Liverpool.

All trainees rotate through UHW MTC whilst in South Wales, with north Wales trainees spending one year in either University Hospital Aintree MTC in Liverpool or Royal Stoke University Hospital MTC.

Numerous opportunities exist for EM trainees in Wales from both a clinical and non-clinical training point of view, with all aspects of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) 2021 curriculum adequately covered.

A robust regional teaching programme exists for EM trainees (some face to face, and some virtual) with difficult to evidence aspects of the curriculum covered, as well as focus and attention paid towards simulation, difficult communication skills, ‘registrar ready’ study days, management training, ultrasound, Quality Improvement training as well as emergency and surgical skills.

A new bespoke Advanced Skills and Procedures (ASAP) course has been developed focused on the HALO (High Acuity Low Opportunity) skills required of an EM specialist. Unique collaborations exist with Cardiff University and Medical School as well as the South Wales Major Trauma Network and Emergency Medical and Retrieval Service (EMRTS) Cymru which help in the delivery of this training.

In addition to the regional teaching programme, twice yearly mock MRCEM & FRCEM Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)s are run in order to maximise trainee’s chances of success at these examinations.

Finally, an annual All Wales School of Emergency Medicine (AWSEM) trainees’ conference is held in May, with an opportunity for annual Continued Professional Development (CPD) as well as trainee and trainer social activities. This is held in collaboration with Cardiff University Emergency Pre-Hospital & Immediate Care (EPIC) intercalated BSc. Students.


Hear from our current trainees

"Emergency medicine in Wales is great and I would highly recommend training here.”

“I have found Wales to be a very welcoming place for my family and I since moving here for training. Wales has a lot to offer, with plenty to explore from the mountains down to the beaches, as well as a strong cultural identity I had never fully appreciated prior to moving here.”

'Wales EM offers a flexible and supportive training experience, with consultants whom you enjoy working alongside on the shop floor and socialising with after-hours!'

“The deanery is very supportive and listen to both your wellbeing and training needs with flexibility being a large part of this.”

“The School of Emergency Medicine works hard to support its trainees, with those in charge working hard to engage, involve and support trainees both professionally and personally.”

“Despite the pressures on emergency care there is an open, supportive and collegiate atmosphere”

Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS)

Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) is a three year multi-disciplinary training programme.

Pre-hospital emergency medicine

PHEM posts in Wales provide an opportunity for senior training grade doctors (ST 5-7) in Emergency Medicine, Anaesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine or Acute Internal Medicine to undertake sub-specialty training in Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine within professionally supported and well-governed clinical services.

Paediatric emergency medicine

Some emergency medicine trainees find that they would like to gain further skills in paediatric emergency medicine, and choose to dual accredit