Abstract Palliative medicine trainees are currently required to complete 36 months of core and non-core training, including a 6-month oncology module. There are presently few published data from palliative medicine trainees regarding the structure and appropriateness of their curriculum. The aim of this study was to evaluate skills related to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians essential learning objectives and the experiences gained by the individuals during their oncology training. An investigator-designed questionnaire was emailed out to all current Australasian trainees or first year consultants. A 45% response rate was achieved. Women were significantly more negative in their responses to the improvement of communication skills and the understanding of ethics. Chapter trainees rated improved leadership and future management skills lower than other respondents. Fifty-eight per cent of the respondents believed the oncology module should remain mandatory. Although valuable, a more tailored and flexible approach to this part of training should be considered.