Palliative Medicine

Palliative medicine physicians provide specialist end-of-life care to patients who are suffering terminal illnesses and chronic health conditions.

I was drawn to Palliative Medicine whilst living in Borneo where I witnessed suffering in all its dimensions at the end of life. Witnessing also the restoration of quality of life through the provision of palliative care was life changing. Seeking to provide holistic care by understanding the person in the context of their progressive life-limiting illness goes to the very essence of why one chooses to practice medicine.


It is a privilege to be part of a palliative care team where there are great challenges and yet rewarding experiences improving end of life care.

Associate Professor Carol Douglas
Palliative Medicine Physician

Clinical Practice

Palliative medicine physicians work as part of multidisciplinary teams within both public and private health care settings. Palliative medicine physicians provide care for their patients by relieving pain and symptoms of illness, optimising their quality of life. While Palliative medicine physicians treat the physical aspects of illness, they are also required to integrate psychological and spiritual aspects of care.

Palliative Medicine – Information

Number of specialists - QLD (2021)

Number of new fellows - QLD

Number of specialists - AUS (2021)

Number of new fellows - AUS

Average weekly hours

Average Age

% Aged 60+

37% of 2022 workforce intend to retire by 2032

Proportion Female/Male - QLD


Location - QLD

Major cities

Public/Private QLD


Number of trainees - QLD

Number of new trainees - QLD

Number of trainees - AUS

Number of new trainees - AUS

Proportion Female/Male trainees - QLD


2023 QLD Training Program Selections (First Year)

Eligible Applications Received
Applicants Selected

The data on this page compares the number of applicants that were selected to commence their first year of training in Queensland in 2023 to the total number of eligible applications*

The data was sourced from the relevant medical specialist college, or from selection committees coordinated by a Queensland Health pathway/network, or an individual facility.


This data reflects a point in time figure for the selection of applicants commencing the first year of an accredited training program in the 2023 clinical year.

* eligible applications are determined by selection committees according to the eligibility criteria and required documentation prescribed by the relevant medical specialist college.

The data on this page compares the number of applicants that were selected to commence their first year of training in Queensland in 2023 to the total number of eligible applications.

See more.

Length of Training

3 years full-time (adult palliative medicine advanced training) / 18 months full-time (paediatric palliative care advanced training)

Method of Allocation

College-selected trainees may be allocated to a training post by:

  • College
  • Queensland Health pathway/network (centrally coordinated)
  • Queensland Health facility (accredited for training)

Training and assessment summary

The Queensland Palliative Medicine Advanced Training Pathway manages applications for advanced trainee positions from eligible applicants undertaking either palliative medicine advanced training or a Clinical Diploma of Palliative Medicine in Queensland.

Training program overview

Palliative medicine advanced training is overseen by the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine (AChPM). Following completion of requirements for basic training, trainees may choose to focus on either adult or paediatric palliative medicine with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). Training incorporates work-based learning and assessment, with successful trainees attaining the qualification of Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) / Fellowship of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine (FAChPM) with accreditation to practise as a Palliative Care Physician in Australia or New Zealand. AChPM also offers a Clinical Diploma in Palliative Medicine which is a 6 month qualification designed to encourage medical practitioners to spend time in palliative medicine as part of their vocational training and continuing professional development.


Applicants must hold current medical registration, have completed either RACP Basic Training requirements (including Written and Clinical Examinations) or hold a Fellowship of a chapter approved college or faculty and have secured appointment to an appropriate advanced training position.


Minimum 0.2 full-time equivalent commitment. Training program must be completed within 8 years.

Interrupted training

Allowed. Interruptions of more than 12 continuous months may require the development of a Return to Training Plan in collaboration with a supervisor and approval from the relevant training committee.

Click a location to learn more
Regional Training Pathways