European Diploma in Pain Medicine
The European Pain Federation is organising a virtual Examination for Part 1 of the European Diploma in Pain Medicine (EDPM) again in 2023. The virtual examinations will be held using the EFIC Academy Education Platform. All registered participants will be provided access to the platform for the period of the examination. EFIC will provide guidance to first-time users of the platform.
The next virtual sitting of Part 1 will take place on Friday, 17 November 2023. Registration is now open!
Registration deadline: 17 October 2023
The purpose of the EDPM is to improve the standard of pain assessment and treatment through the provision of a qualification for all medical professionals that tests their broad understanding of all types of pain and their treatment.
The EDPM is not designed to replace national qualifications, but to establish a harmonised understanding of pain across Europe through a qualification open to all European doctors, as well as doctors from outside of Europe, and to provide a qualification in those countries where a national equivalent does not exist.
The content of the Examination is based upon the European Pain Federation EFIC® Pain Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine (‘the Curriculum’) and selected accompanying learning materials.
The EDPM is open to all qualified doctors who see and treat pain. Appropriate clinical experience in pain assessment and treatment is essential and shall be documented. Residents and fellows working in inter/multidisciplinary pain centres or multidisciplinary pain clinics are ideal candidates, though the qualification is open to all doctors, specialists or general practitioners, with an interest in pain and its management.
- To be recognised as the reliable standard of quality care in pain assessment and treatment throughout Europe.
- To be acknowledged as the key qualification in pain assessment and treatment in countries for which such a qualification does not exist
The Examination will take place in two parts:
- Part 1 will be a multiple-choice question (MCQ) examination.
- Part 2 will be a series of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) and viva examinations.
The Examination Committee may decide to hold part 1 and part 2 separately or together in one sitting. Completion of part 1 alone, entitles the participant to the EFIC® Certificate in Pain Medicine Knowledge, to reward their possession of a strong level of knowledge on pain types and their treatment.
Please note: As of now and until further notice, part 1 can only be sat virtually whereas part 2 can only be sat in-person.
Candidates who complete part 1 must complete part 2 within 4 years e.g. a candidate who completes part 1 in February 2024 would have until 31st December 2028 inclusive to take part 2. EFIC shall aim to offer 1 full exam sitting per year, to allow a candidate 3-4 options to take part 2 during the validity period of their part 1 completion. If EFIC is unable to offer a part 2 sitting during a calendar year, that year shall not count as part of the 4 years available to the candidate.
The MCQ examination will feature 50 questions. Each question will be composed of a stem followed by five answer statements. Each answer statement will either be true or false. There will be no negative marking.
The time provided for the MCQ examination will be 90 minutes.
The MCQ examination can take one of two forms:
- Paper form – answers will be marked using either a pen or a pencil. Participants should take care to ensure that one choice of either true or false is marked per answer statement.
- Virtual form – the examination will be organised using a virtual examination environment with participants providing their answers remotely from their workspace.
The OSCEs are designed to test the participants’ clinical experience, judgement, interpretation of evidence, attitude and communication skills.
The OSCEs will take place within an examination facility, typically a wing of a teaching hospital or University with an appropriate lay-out and equipment for the conduct of OSCEs.
There will usually be 6 stations, each representing a simple clinical situation. Participants will be provided with a few minutes (typically 7) to complete each station, with a short break in between each station. Each station will be marked using an examination paper, to be completed by the participant, or in some specific cases by an examiner who will attend the station.
Each OSCE will be organised in a way that participants are provided with information which is as objective as possible. Any communication from examiners or actors shall be as objective as possible and based on guidance provided in advance at the Examiner briefing.
Vivas are designed to test the participants’ clinical experience, judgement, attitude and communication skills.
Vivas are oral examinations, in which the participant is asked to engage in a dialogue with an examiner.
There will be two sets of two vivas, each set lasting 20 minutes, and the viva examination as a whole totalling 40 minutes. Vivas will either be based on actual case reports provided by the participants or on the basis of typical clinical situations (vignettes) designated by the Examination Committee. Participants will be expected to demonstrate their familiarity with a wide variety of clinical pain syndromes and should demonstrate the ability to propose a multimodal multiprofessional pain management plan.
Each component of the Examination will receive a mark out of 20. To pass a component, a participant will need to receive at least 10 out 20. All three components need to be passed.
Concerning the marking scheme for each component:
The MCQ paper features 250 questions. If a candidate answers 75% of those question correctly, they receive a score of 10 for this component. If a candidate answers 100% of those questions correctly, they receive a score of 20. If a candidate answers 50% or fewer of the question correctly, they receive a score of 0. Any mark between 50% and 100% will be given a proportionate score.
Each OSCE station will have its own marking scheme depending on the clinical skills being evaluated. The marks for the 6 stations will be pooled, and a participant will receive a score out of 20 based on performance across all stations. A candidate receiving 50% of marks available will receive a score of 10. All score awarded will be proportional based on percentage of marks received; 100% = score of 20.
Examiners will be provided with a descriptive scoring table, with the examiner asked to provide a score reflecting their view on the participants clinical reasoning and skills. The scores of the two examiners in each station will be pooled, and then pooled with the scores identified by the examiners in the second station. Agreement will be found amongst all concerned examiners and any significant disagreement will be mediated by the Exam Director.
Eligibility criteria for participants of the Examination should ensure that participants are likely to have a strong grasp of the Curriculum and experience of treating pain patients.
The following minimum criteria should be used:
- Demonstrable possession of a Medical Degree.
- Curriculum Vitae detailing at least two years’ clinical work in which patients with pain have been assessed and treated. Clinical work during postgraduate training and fellowships in which patients with pain have been assessed and treated can be used as proof of relevant clinical experience.
- Letter of support or endorsement from at least one referee. For example, a head of department, clinical director or senior colleague. The endorsement letter should state that the candidate is in good standing in their country, and in their department, and is involved in seeing and managing patients with pain on a regular basis. The letter should also attest to the candidate’s level of English.
- Completion of application form
- Strong working knowledge of English (oral and written)
- Payment of fees ahead of the requested deadline
- Submission of all supporting documents required for vivas and any other presentations
All supporting documents (e.g. CV, scan of medical degree) should be provided in English. If the original versions are not written in English, both the original version and a translation in English should be provided.
Candidates will be provided with pens and pencils. No additional materials can be taken into the Examination venues. Electronic devices such as phones, tablets, computers, smart watches or similar are strictly prohibited.
Communication between participants during the Examination is strictly prohibited.
Any participant found to be breaching these rules, or to be jeopardising the fair conduct of the Examination in any other way will be excluded. Any participant found to have passed any part of the Examination through fraudulent means will have their qualification rescinded.
When organised via virtual means (e.g. in the case of virtual MCQ papers), additional steps will be taken to prevent infringements, such as question and answer order randomisation. Nevertheless, the Exam Committee may rescind the qualification of any participant thought to have committed an infringement.
In general, the following conduct policy will apply for virtual examinations:
- Each participant must take the examination alone. Any conferring, either orally or via text/messaging will be considered a violation of this policy.
- You must take the exam in a quiet room without disturbance. If other people are visible or audible via your webcam or microphone, this may be considered a violation of the conduct policy, even if they are not directly assisting you.
- You must be at your desk at all times. Please use the bathroom before the exam starts. If there is an emergency that means you must leave your desk briefly, it is at the examiner’s discretion whether this is considered a violation of the conduct policy.
- The examination must be taken without the assistance of learning materials (e.g. textbooks, web browser, visual aids etc.).
- Following the technical requirements concerning proctoring is considered part of the exam conduct policy. Your webcam and microphone need to be on and working throughout the examination.
- If your webcam is not visible for reasons beyond your control (e.g. bandwidth limitations), it is at the examiner’s discretion to allow you to continue to sit the examination.
- You are not permitted to seek additional clarification concerning the content of the examination. However, if you believe you have spotted an error that needs to be addressed, please direct a question at the exam organiser directly. Necessary clarifications will be communicated to all participants.
- Any participant found to be violating any of the policies above may be excluded from the examination and will receive a mark of 0 for the MCQ.
- It is at the discretion of the examiner and exam organiser to take steps to ensure the smooth conduct of the examination and to avoid distractions and possible violations.
The Examination content, both written and oral, will be in English. Participants are advised that a high-level of spoken and written English is required. Translation or interpretation services are not possible for this Examination.
The Examination Committee shall ensure that a reasonable level of flexibility is provided for medical and other technical terminology. However, participants should be familiar with such terminology in English.
Virtual examinations and IT skills
Part 1 of the Examination may be offered virtually via an examination platform. Candidates are expected to follow all guidance provided by EFIC, and to follow all tutorials and preparatory sessions to ensure that they are comfortable with the examination platform on the day of the Examination. EFIC will use a proctoring tool to ensure that exam conduct rules are followed by all candidates. Candidates acknowledge that such tools require recordings to be taken, including of their webcam and desktop. Candidates are expected to have a reasonably strong level of IT literacy, including adjusting hardware settings (webcam, microphone) in order to ensure they can follow the instruction of the examination platform.
Any participant wishing to appeal should write to the Examination Committee via the Federation Secretariat within four weeks off receiving their results. Appeals will be responded to by the Examination Committee within six weeks of the initial communication of results.
Jeshnu Tople: “The EDPM by EFIC is one of the very few examinations which assesses the Pain Physician in a 360-degree holistic approach, and it does not just focus on one area such as only conservative approach or only interventional approach. Preparing for the EDPM enhances your understanding and knowledge of the subject.”
Roshan Adappa: “I would highly recommend any pain physician to undertake the EDPM exam conducted by EFIC where they assess your knowledge, skills and attitude towards Pain Management which are all vital in a biopsychosocial approach. Moreover, this qualification is well recognised all over the world and will help any pain physician advance their career.”
Ifthikar Younis: “I commend the curriculum, structure and the high standards of knowledge and skills required to pass this pain diploma examination. I highly encourage my colleagues who want to make pain medicine their career to take the exam which will provide an advanced level of knowledge and skills to prepare for any fellowship in pain medicine.”
Matthew Tay: “I found that the EDPM provided an all-rounded and rigorous assessment on the holistic management of pain. Those with an interest in inter–/multidisciplinary pain treatment should consider sitting for the EDPM to evaluate their pain knowledge and clinical skills.”
Nikos Sorras: “I strongly recommend any doctor interested in pain management to take part in the EDPM exam. Personally, the EFIC Diploma in Pain Medicine provided me with confidence in my everyday clinical practice and opened up new opportunities in my medical career.”
Fees are excluding VAT and non-refundable. To sit the Examination in full, a registration fee of 770 Euros is required for participation. Where the Examination is available in two separate parts, the following registration fees are applied:
- Part 1: 275 euros
- Part 2: 495 euros
25% discount for #EFICAcademy members
- If you are already a member, you have been sent the discount code via email already. If you have not received it yet, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are not yet a member, feel free to sign up for #EFICAcademy membership while registering for the exam at the same time; a 25% discount (before VAT) will be applied to the exam fee automatically.
Please look out for future updates on whether EFIC are offering financial support for their upcoming examinations.
The European Pain Federation EFIC is not responsible for personal visa applications to take the exam. EFIC can assist with supporting letters, but if any candidates experiences difficulties obtaining their visa, they are liable for their own costs.