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Masters Degrees (Physician Assistants)

We have 7 Masters Degrees (Physician Assistants)

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Physician Associate (formerly known as Physician Assistant) is a rapidly growing healthcare role in the UK, working alongside doctors in hospitals and in GP surgeries. Read more
Physician Associate (formerly known as Physician Assistant) is a rapidly growing healthcare role in the UK, working alongside doctors in hospitals and in GP surgeries. Physician Associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to perform a number of roles including: taking medical histories, performing examinations, analysing test results, and diagnosing illnesses under the direct supervision of a doctor.

The course leaders regard integration of theory and practice as fundamental to clinical learning.

- This course is two, full time, calendar years in duration, each lasting approximately 48 weeks, plus an additional month. You can expect to be studying 50+ hours per week.
- Theory is learned mostly through case/problem based learning and you will experience medicine in both hospital and community attachments.
- The rich ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the 5.5 million strong West Midlands population offers unrivalled opportunities for clinical learning, with placements seeking to optimise this.
- Right from the beginning, you will have contact with patients, as during the first term, students are placed for up to five days of clinical experience within a General Practice in either the West Midlands or beyond.
- This is followed by a fourteen-week hospital attachment in the second term, and a further few days of General Practice in the third term. Students will use the cases collected during the second term as the basis of their learning within the third term.
- The second year continues the problem-based learning approach and integrates further learning and placements in Acute and Emergency Medicine, Child Health General Practice, Mental Health, Reproductive Health and Surgery.
- Throughout the course, you will receive teaching in a variety of forms, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, group work, and bedside demonstrations.
- Simulation is fundamental to this course, using simulated patients (who will teach you communication and examination skills, including gynaecological and urological examination). Simulation aims both to prepare you for the clinical world and to train you in a safe, non-threatening environment.
- Progression exams are undertaken at the nine months mark, and again at twenty-three months into the course. Students are required to pass both sets of examinations prior to entry into the National Assessment.
- Assessment types will include Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) paper(s), Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), Case Write-Ups, Presentations and Professional Behaviour sign-offs.

The University of Birmingham has been training Physician Associates (formerly Physician Assistants) since January 2008. As one of the longest running programmes in the country, we are delighted to offer this opportunity to graduates to make a valuable contribution to the nation’s health. We work in partnership with hospitals and practices in the Midlands and beyond.

Open Evenings

Interested in studying the programme and want to find out more? Visit us on one of our Physician Associate Studies Open Evenings which take place within the Medical School from 7pm-9pm on the dates below. To register your interest please email us at with Open Evening as the subject:

Tuesday 25 October 2016
Thursday 19 January 2017
Tuesday 21 February 2017
Thursday 06 April 2017
Postgraduate Virtual Open Day - 17 November 2016

About the College of Medical and Dental Sciences

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences is a major international centre for research and education, make huge strides in finding solutions to major health problems including ageing, cancer, cardiovascular, dental, endocrine, inflammatory diseases, infection (including antibiotic resistance), rare diseases and trauma.
We tackle global healthcare problems through excellence in basic and clinical science, and improve human health by delivering tangible real-life benefits in the fight against acute and chronic disease.
Situated in the largest healthcare region in the country, with access to one of the largest and most diverse populations in Europe, we are positioned to address major global issues and diseases affecting today’s society through our eight specialist research institutes.
With over 1,000 academic staff and around £60 million of new research funding per year, the College of Medical and Dental Sciences is dedicated to performing world-leading research.
We care about our research and teaching and are committed to developing outstanding scientists and healthcare professionals of the future. We offer our postgraduate community a unique learning experience taught by academics who lead the way in research in their field.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Summary. A Physician Associate is a healthcare professional trained in the medical model to work with the medical team in order to deliver medical care to patients. Read more

Summary

A Physician Associate is a healthcare professional trained in the medical model to work with the medical team in order to deliver medical care to patients. PAs work under the supervision of a doctor in a range of specialities across medicine in both primary and secondary care. PAs are trained to take medical histories, carry out physical examinations, formulate diagnosis, request and interpret tests and investigations, undertake procedures and develop treatment and management plans.

The PgDip/MSc Physician Associate Studies aims to ensure students receive the required education and training in line with requirements of the Competence and Curriculum Framework, enabling graduates to be successful in completion of the programme and the PA National Exam. It also aims to ensure that graduates are safe and competent clinicians, at the point of qualification.

This intensive programme is delivered over 2 years. Year 1 is mainly theoretical and University based (5 days per week) with 1 day per week in general practice. Year 2 is mainly spent on clinical attachment with one day every 3-4 weeks back in University. Students will develop a sound knowledge base in clinical medicine and develop comprehensive clinical examination skills which form the basis of their generalist medical education enabling them to enter work in any medical speciality. From that point, they develop the specialist knowledge required to progress their careers and care for patients

Students must pass all elements of the programme to be eligible to sit the National PA Exam for entry into professional practice.

About

The course is designed to ensure that graduates have the relevant clinical knowledge and skills in order to be successful in attaining their professional qualification and in their subsequent professional working life as a Physician Associate.

Please note this information is provisional and subject to change.

Year one specifically concentrates on the basic medical sciences that support the teaching and application of clinical medicine. In conjunction with this, a significant of time is spent on communication and clinical examination skills as these form the basis of the skills that the PA will use throughout their clinical working lives. In addition to this, the PA student will spend 1 day per week in clinical attachment (General Practice) to rehearse and fine tune their skills.

To exit with the PgDip in Physician Associate Studies, students will be required to pass assignments relating to the modules in Foundations of Clinical Medicine 1, Applied Pharmacology for Physician Associate Studies, Research Methods for Physician Associate Studies and Evidence-Informed Decision Making for Physician Associate Studies in Year 1. Students must also pass the assessments associated with the GP placement and an objective structured clinical examination for the Personal & Professional Development 1 module in order to progress to year 2. In year 2 students will be required to pass the Foundations of Clinical Medicine 2 and Personal & Professional Development 2 modules. The Clinical Competence in Physician Associate Skills module will assess the core competencies and core procedural skills in the Competence and Curriculum Framework for Physician Assistants and has been designated Pass/Fail, rather than having credit value. This competency assessment will be undertaken prior to taking the UK Physician Associate National Certification Examination at the end of Year 2. A pass in all taught modules of the programme and in the UK PA National Certification Examination will be required for the award of the PgDip in PA Studies.

This is a complex and very intensive programme and involves the establishment of a new suite of student placements and assessments, therefore, in the first instance, the course team do not intend to offer the masters programme and only intend to offer the PgDip. Once the programme has been established then the team will roll in the possibility to complete the masters by completion of the 60 credit Service Improvement Project module. This 60 credit module can either be taken alongside the second year of the full-time taught modules that comprise the PgDip or it can be taken part time over 3 semesters of a third year as a top-up.

Students who fail the assessment associated with the Personal & Professional Development 1 module but who have passed the module Foundations in Clinical Medicine 1 and passed other modules totalling at least 30 academic credits may exit with the lower award of Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Sciences (noting that students must pass all modules in year 1 to progress to year 2). A student who fails the Clinical Competency assessment/UK PA National Examination but who has passed all of the other elements of the programme can exit with a PgDip in Medical Sciences or if they have successfully completed the Service Improvement Project, an MSc in Medical Sciences.

Career options

Whilst the PA profession is established and growing rapidly in the UK with a variety of jobs across a range of primary and secondary care specialities, this is the first PA programme in Northern Ireland. As such it presents its own challenges in the form of employment opportunities. However there have already been jobs advertised in Northern Ireland for PAs and in preparation for the programme the University have been working with the local Trusts seeking clinical attachments and scoping the potential for employment of PAs. The evidence from early PA programmes in England indicates that all of their students secured employment as PAs with many offered jobs before qualification. This continues to be the trend in the UK and the University are confident that this will be the same in Northern Ireland.

Once qualified, PAs can work across a range of specialities throughout medicine. There are also opportunities to work in education and as potential future leaders of the PA profession.

The qualification is not recognised in the USA and currently graduates who train in the UK may only be able to work in the UK. This may change in time.



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The aim of the Advanced Critical Care Practitioner programme is to develop a new professional able to safely fulfill a proportion of those roles currently only undertaken by medically qualified intensive care trainees in the National Health Service. Read more
The aim of the Advanced Critical Care Practitioner programme is to develop a new professional able to safely fulfill a proportion of those roles currently only undertaken by medically qualified intensive care trainees in the National Health Service

This new role is seen to be important in pioneering the shift of work, traditionally done only by doctors, to new, non-medically trained grades of staff. It also addresses the current workforce planning problems in critical care.

This programme allows students to extend their studies beyond the qualification required for registration (PG Diploma: Advanced Critical Care Practitioner) to an MSc, by satisfactorily completing a dissertation.

The programme is 27 months full-time which includes 24 months of academic study and clinical training, followed by 3 months of supervised practice.

About the College of Medical and Dental Sciences

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences is a major international centre for research and education, make huge strides in finding solutions to major health problems including ageing, cancer, cardiovascular, dental, endocrine, inflammatory diseases, infection (including antibiotic resistance), rare diseases and trauma.
We tackle global healthcare problems through excellence in basic and clinical science, and improve human health by delivering tangible real-life benefits in the fight against acute and chronic disease.
Situated in the largest healthcare region in the country, with access to one of the largest and most diverse populations in Europe, we are positioned to address major global issues and diseases affecting today’s society through our eight specialist research institutes.
With over 1,000 academic staff and around £60 million of new research funding per year, the College of Medical and Dental Sciences is dedicated to performing world-leading research.
We care about our research and teaching and are committed to developing outstanding scientists and healthcare professionals of the future. We offer our postgraduate community a unique learning experience taught by academics who lead the way in research in their field.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk


If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Read less
Pathologists’ Assistants (PAs) are “physician extenders” for anatomic pathologists. PAs perform delegated medical tasks under the supervision of a medically qualified pathologist. Read more
Pathologists’ Assistants (PAs) are “physician extenders” for anatomic pathologists. PAs perform delegated medical tasks under the supervision of a medically qualified pathologist. They perform initial examination, dissection, and gross description of surgically removed tissues, assist in dissection of bodies during autopsies, and perform intraoperative frozen sections. They possess highly standardized skills related to each of these procedures which allow pathologists to spend more of their time looking at slides.

The Master of Pathologists' Assistant (MDPA) program is a two year continuous course-based masters program that will include both in class work along side practicum components.

All students are considered full-time. Part-time status may be considered and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

History

The University of Calgary has launched a new Pathologists' Assistant (PA) M.Sc. training program as a specialization within the Medical Sciences Graduate Program starting July 2012. In 2015 the Master of Pathologists' Assistant program was fully approved through the University of Calgary and Alberta Government to start taking students in September 2016.

Career Prospects

After graduation, students are eligible to sit the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) PA board-certification examination.

The job market for board-certified PAs is excellent, with jobs available in Alberta and throughout North America.

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