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Stroke Medicine (sub-specialty)

About the specialty

This page will be updated shortly to reflect the new curriculum.

The primary purpose of sub-specialty training in stroke medicine is to promote the development of physicians with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to function as an expert consultant resource within specialist stroke services. The detailed role of a stroke physician will vary depending on the type of service within which they are practising. The training programme recognises this, but expects all stroke specialists to have core knowledge and skills in all areas of diagnosis, investigation and treatment relevant to the care of stroke patients. Stroke physicians require skills in service development, team working, teaching, critical appraisal and service evaluation. They should be familiar with stroke research methods and keep up to date with relevant research findings.

The programme is open to all trainees holding MRCP(UK) and an NTN in one of the following medical specialty:

  • Acute Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • General Internal Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Rehabilitation Medicine

Entry into stroke medicine training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are two core training programmes for stroke medicine training: 

  • Core Medical Training (CMT)
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine (ACCS-AM)

Guidance to trainees undertaking stroke medicine with a parent specialty

It is recommended that trainees who are interested in stroke medicine accreditation should discuss this with a stroke medicine training programme director as soon as possible. The training programme director for the trainee's parent specialty will also be able to offer advice. This will ensure that the stroke medicine competencies acquired in the parent specialty during the ‘basic year' of stroke medicine training will be reviewed at an appropriate parent specialty ARCP.



The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment.

A new curriculum for Stroke Medicine was implemented in 2022 and can be found below.

Stroke Medicine (2022) Curriculum

The previous version of the curriculum can be found below.

Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from

ARCP Decision Aids

The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. The ARCP decision aid for stroke medicine has been updated for August 2015 and replaces all previous versions.

Forms and guidance

OOPR and CCT guidance for those trainees undertaking a higher research degree related to stroke medicine (June 2015)

This guidance is for trainees undertaking a stroke-related higher research degree during a period of OOP-R and where there is additional participation in regular clinical training relevant to stroke medicine, and its contribution to sub-specialty accreditation and the stroke medicine CCT. Clinical training recognised during OOP-R can only contribute towards stroke medicine or the trainee’s parent specialty and cannot be ‘double counted’ to both.

  • The clinical training component should be undertaken in posts and programmes already recognised and approved for stroke medicine sub-specialty training.
  • The clinical training component of Stroke Medicine should be prospectively recorded in the trainee’s ePortfolio in the same way as a trainee undertaking an advanced training year - see the stroke medicine curriculum and ARCP Decision Aid..
  • A maximum of 3 months may contribute to the award of a CCT based upon whole time equivalents (WTE); an additional 9 months may contribute to the parent specialty CCT after consultation with the relevant SAC/ TPD.
  • Please also refer to the Gold Guide (sixth edition) 6.86 with regard to OOP-r and retaining clinical elements.

Pilot DOPS: Thrombolysis (Neurology & Stroke Medicine) August 2015

A DOPS form has been developed to allow assessment of a single encounter of a trainee’s ability to undertake intravenuous thrombolysis and will be piloted with trainees in stroke medicine and neurology from August 2015 for a period of 12 months. Please see the document below for further information and guidance (updated March 2016).

A Logbook for cerebral reperfusion including thrombolysis is available for trainees in the pilot and should be uploaded to the personal library in the ePortfolio.