This article describes the rationale for the creation of pain medicine as a subspecialty in Canada and outlines a brief history of its development.
For pain medicine to be designated a Royal College subspecialty, it had to meet three requirements: offer sufficient scientific breadth and depth, prove a clearly identifiable unique field of practice, and show a societal need. The application process for subspecialty status was initiated in 2007, and it is anticipated that the first trainees in pain medicine will start their training in July 2014. This article outlines the variety of Royal College subspecialty entry routes as well as the proposed training objectives, curriculum, assessment of competency, practice-eligibility route to certification, and accreditation of training programs across Canada.
With the inception of this subspecialty, the treatment of acute pain, cancer pain, and chronic non-cancer pain will be further integrated within the Canadian healthcare system.