You will learn how to consult effectively with patients, take medical histories, conduct physical examinations, request and interpret tests, diagnose illnesses and injuries, develop treatment and management plans, and counsel on preventative healthcare.
This two-year full-time intensive training programme includes:
-Regular clinical placements
-Teaching by healthcare professionals
-Innovative teaching methods using team-based and problem-based learning
-Regular use of simulation using manikins and simulated patients to develop core competencies
The programme equips students with the skills required for a career area that is in great demand in a changing NHS. The physician associate is a relatively new healthcare role in the UK, developed to meet the demand on front line NHS services and an associated shortage of doctors. Working under the supervision of a doctor, a physician associate works in a clinical setting consulting with patients in person and by telephone.
You will perform:
-Taking medical histories
-Analysing test results
-Counsel on preventive health care
This programme is an intense 90-week programme taught over two years.
Learning and teaching includes 1600 hours of clinical rotations in Hospitals and Community General Medical Practices. There is a strong public health theme to the programme, with students committed to promoting health and wellbeing in order to prevent illness. There is also a technological theme to the programme with students developing skills in digital health and health informatics.
The programme is designed for clinicians, graduate scientists and other medical professionals working in a clinical, industrial or academic research environment. It is of interest to those with a first degree in other Health and Life Science subjects such as Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Medical Sciences, Nursing, Osteopathy and Occupational Therapy, who are interested in a career related to Medicine.
Candidates must pass the national exam before they can practice as a Physician Associate.
We have continued to pioneer high-quality new developments in clinical and biomedical sciences education, and are recognised both nationally and internationally for the excellence of our courses and graduates. Our students will benefit from wide ranging; transdisciplinary teaching experiences, and have access to a variety of cutting-edge equipment and facilities.
The programme offers considerable collaborative learning experiences (e.g. through team-based learning). You will work in small teams and will learn from the experiences of others.
This programme is one of a limited number of dedicated Physician Associate Courses in the UK, this bespoke course has been built specifically to meet the needs of this emerging healthcare professional, and developed in consultation with local doctors in hospital and general practice.
To achieve the qualification required to enter this profession, which is at Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) level, your programme is delivered over two years and you are expected to attend full time for 45 weeks of each year with approximately 50% of this time spent on clinical placement in local hospitals and GP practices.
Students with a PGDip Physician Associate Studies are eligible to sit the national examination to qualify as a physician associate; this programme prepares you to pass that examination.
You can also achieve a higher award of a Master's in Science (MSc) Physician Associate Studies. This would typically be over an additional 12 month period, where you would undertake a clinical, research-focused dissertation based on their practice as a qualified Physician Associate.
-Communication and Clinical Skills for Physician Associates
-Patients and their medicines
-Integrated Medical Sciences and Professional Practice
-Pursuing a Clinical Dissertation
Learning activities and assessment
This is a fully integrated course, by this we mean that our teaching of the biomedical, clinical and pharmacological sciences is always framed around the application to the clinical practice of working as a physician associate. You will be taught by a range of healthcare professionals both in the classroom and on clinical practice, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, and of course on clinical placements there are even further opportunities to work in an interprofessional environment. There are also numerous opportunities to work with patients, service users and carers who are involved in classroom teaching sessions.
The programme includes a variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods. It is learner-centred and uses enquiry-based learning, team based learning and problem based learning. Throughout the course we focus on outcomes (what you will be doing in future roles), using case-based and patient centred learning tasks and incorporating clinical placements from the beginning. We are focused on local healthcare needs, and have integrated public health and digital health technologies themes running throughout the course.
Career support and prospects
The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.
Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.
Physician Associates are a new healthcare workforce in the UK and much needed in a changing NHS. Physician Associates can be found working in GP surgeries, inpatient wards and Emergency Departments. An annual census is carried out by the Faculty of Physician Associates and provides a useful overview of the wide ranging roles currently undertaking.
The number of Physician Associates is likely to grow as the NHS seeks solutions to the workload pressures on A&E Departments and GP Surgeries. In the Yorkshire region, we expect career prospects for Physician Associates to be good as the region is currently experiencing reduced GP and speciality trainee recruitment. The University of Bradford is working with our placement providers to plan for future employment prospects for our students.
Typically, upon qualification Physician Associates can expect a starting salary at Band 6 or 7 in the NHS Agenda for Change pay rates.