PAs are medically trained, generalist healthcare professionals, who work alongside doctors and provide medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. PA’s work across every medical and surgical specialty in secondary care and in general practice.
Although the PA profession is still considered relatively ‘new’ in the UK, the first physician associates were formally introduced in 2003. The role of physician assistant first developed in the US in the 1960. Summer 2019 the Department of Health and Social Care announced that the GMC would be the regulator body for PAs and that currently regulation will begin no earlier than Summer 2023. Regulation will be followed by prescribing rights.
Experienced PAs in general practice can see unfiltered patients, perform home/care home visits, complete clinical support work such as clinical results/ post and provide enhanced services for practices/ PCNs.
The majority of PAs complete a Post graduate MSc PA Programme at one of ~35 UK Universities these consist of 48 weeks of Teaching and 48 weeks of Clinical placements delivered over two years. A four year undergraduate integrated Masters programme has recently been developed.
After passing their University programmes all PAs have to pass a National Qualifying exam run by Faculty of PAs at the Royal College of Physicians and a recertification exam every 6 years.
Training Hub Offers
- Shropshire and Staffordshire PA internship Programme (Newly Qualified PAs)
- Potential Advanced Clinical Development Programmed (Experienced PAs)
- An employer’s guide to PA's: https://www.fparcp.co.uk/webapp/data/media/59fc48cfaa576_PA_employers_guide_WEB_REVISE_21SEPT.pdf
- Staffordshire PA Internship Programme: https://stwics.org.uk/training-hub/documents/344-final-staffordshire-physician-associate-communication-december-2021/file
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcgTTFQ0QP4 (The Role of Physician Associates)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE71PobTj1Y (A career as a Physician Associate)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_czaiQoyjI HEE-WM: A Day in the Life of a Physician Associate Documentary (2014)