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Masters Degrees (Physician Associate)

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This intensive and exciting new programme provides all the essential skills and knowledge necessary to become a Physician Associate in the UK. Read more

About the course

This intensive and exciting new programme provides all the essential skills and knowledge necessary to become a Physician Associate in the UK. In addition, it provides the challenges of enhanced knowledge synthesis and research to produce academic clinicians equipped to lead and develop the profession.

The Department of Health's Competence and Curriculum Framework for the Physician Assistant (now Physician Associate) defines the Physician Associate as:

…a new healthcare professional who, while not a doctor, works to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment within the general medical and/or general practice team under defined levels of supervision.

Physician Associates (PAs) are part of a new and growing profession within the NHS. PAs work alongside doctors in hospitals and GP surgeries to provide safe and quality care to patients. PAs, under supervision of doctors, may obtain medical histories, perform physical examinations, carry out diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, request and interpret test results, diagnose illnesses and develop treatment and management plans.

The Physician Associate MSc programme includes over 1,800 hours of professional practice and will fully prepare you to practise in a wide variety of specialties and settings. Currently PAs work in General Practice, Emergency Medicine, and multiple Adult Medical and Surgical specialties.

Successful completion of the Physician Associate MSc programme provides eligibility to sit for the Physician Associate National Examination and join the Managed Voluntary Register.

If you are considering studying the Physician Associate MSc Programme at Brunel University London then you are committed to working jointly with the NHS to demonstrate the values and beliefs of the constitution.

NHS Values
Patients, public and staff have helped develop this expression of values that inspire passion in the NHS and that should underpin everything it does. Individual organisations will develop and build upon these values, tailoring them to their local needs. The NHS values provide common ground for co-operation to achieve shared aspirations, at all levels of the NHS.

Aims

The aim of the Physician Associate MSc programme is to prepare you as a medical professional who strives for excellence in clinical practice. To achieve this aim, the programme provides you with a strong scientific foundation and encourages the development of excellent practical and clinical reasoning skills. All of this is essential for you to treat patients safely and effectively.

The programme also provides you with the means to critically evaluate your own patient care – a skill which is vital to continuing evidence-based practice. A sound working knowledge of research methodology provides the basis for this evaluation process and also the tools to develop your own research interests at any stage of your professional career.

In addition, it helps develop vital communication skills and soundly embeds the essential core values of professionalism. Indeed, the Master's programme aims to produce highly professional graduates with excellent communication skills. Graduates are able to function as adaptable clinicians and fully interactive members of the multidisciplinary health care team within a changing health and social care setting.

Course Content

Our Physician Associate Master's course is an exciting and innovative modular programme, delivered full-time over two years.
Applicants should be aware that the programme is delivered over a period 45 weeks in Year 1 and 48 weeks in Year 2. In addition the course is intense, with significant contact hours. Students should expect to be studying on campus from 9am - 6pm five days a week. All students must be ready to assume responsibility for their own learning.

Clinical placements will start in the first term of Year 1 with weekly one-day GP placements. In Year 2 the majority of time will be spent on clinical placement in various practice settings. You should broadly expect to adopt the working patterns of the supervising clinician (clinical educator). Generally, you are expected to complete 42 weeks of clinical experience. You should expect to be working roughly a 40-hour week whilst on placement.

Compulsory Modules:

Foundations of Clinical Medicine (Year 1 & 2)
Personal and Professional Development for the Physician Associate (Year 1 & 2)
Applied Pharmacology (Year 1)
Principles and Practice of Evidence-Based Healthcare (Year 1)
Approaches to Research (Year 1)
Dissertation (Year 1 & 2)
PA Applied Clinical Knowledge & Skills (Year 2)

For the award of MSc Physician Associate, students must pass the UK Physician Associate National Certification Examination.

Work Placements

Clinical placements will include rotations in the following areas:

• Accident and Emergency
• Acute Medicine
• General Practice
• Mental Health
• Obstetrics and Gynaecology
• Paediatrics
• Surgery
• Electives

Whilst on placements you will be supervised by doctors and physician associates. You will be assessed on placement by your supervising clinician(s). The assessment score from clinical placement modules will contribute to your final degree classification.

All clinical placement modules are organised on the student's behalf by the clinical co-ordination team. This allows us to provide you with a balanced clinical experience both in terms of the specialties/patient groups you have worked with and the range of health care setting you have worked in. It is important that you are exposed to a variety of health settings, which are reflective of current clinical practice.

We are sympathetic to your needs when we assign clinical placements. However, we are unable to guarantee that any student will be located close to their home or term-time address and you may have to commute or live away from home for the duration of a placement or two. We do try to give special consideration to students whose personal circumstances fall within specified criteria, ie they have young children, are a main carer, or have a declared disability etc.

Teaching

A mix of teaching/learning approaches are used including: classroom based learning, problem/evidence-based learning, peer-assisted learning, clinical practice learning, independent learning, e-learning, assimilated learning in clinical labs, and the use of trained teaching associates for intimate examinations. Emphasis will be placed on active student participation, reflection and learning.

As a Physician Associate MSc student we expect you to come to us with specific academic skills and abilities. Your learning will rapidly become self-directed. We will build upon your ability to perform literature searches and critically appraise the evidence base and so prepare you for your commitment to continued professional development and lifelong learning after qualifying.

Assessment

Assessments will include single best answer/multiple choice questions papers and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) to begin early preparation for the National Examination. Other assessments will include written assignments, oral presentations, reflection papers, and a portfolio of evidence.

All modules must be passed in order to proceed through the course. Normally students will have two attempts at passing each assessment.

Special Features

You’ll study in purpose-built facilities in our multi-million pound health sciences building and you’ll share elements of your course with Master’s students from other health-related disciplines.

You’ll enjoy our campus university, where you’re never more than a ten minute walk from halls of residence, catering, social, sports and study facilities, lecture theatres, the Library and support services.

You’ll be taught by experts in delivering accredited programmes such as Biosciences, Occupational therapy and Physiotherapy.

You’ll complete 1800 hours of clinical placement during the course.

On successful completion of the Physician Associate MSc programme, you will be eligible to sit for the Physician Associate National Examination and join the Managed Voluntary Register.

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Physician Associates are skilled members of the health care team who are qualified to provide a wide range of medical services in practice with a licensed physician. Read more

Physician Associates are skilled members of the health care team who are qualified to provide a wide range of medical services in practice with a licensed physician. Training as a Physician Associate allows you to develop and direct your healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty. This flexibility is unique to the Physician Associate role and makes it an exciting new career choice. Physician Associate training is based on a ‘fast track’ medical school model that was developed in the U.S in 1965.

UK/EU Physician Associate students may be eligible for a bursary to cover a proportion of their fees. Find out more under 'fees and additional costs'.

Our MSc in Physician Associate Studies is delivered within the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences at the Medway campus where students have the added benefit of training in a specialist facility with qualified medical practitioners engaged in postgraduate education and research.

You will spend a significant portion of the first year in the simulation suite learning hands on skills. The simulation suite is equipped with mock wards as well as a surgical suite with anesthesia and laparoscopic equipment. Highly sophisticated human simulation models will be used in the teaching of hands on skills to prepare you for your second year clinical based modules. 

The Physician Associate role was introduced in the UK in 2003. Physician Associates are now recognised as skilled and valued members of the health care profession. The newly qualified Physician Associate post has been evaluated under the NHS Agenda for change at Band 7 with potential to advance to Band 8 with experience and advanced education.

Physician Associates can perform medical history and physical examinations, screen and interpret results of diagnostic studies, diagnose patients, implement treatment plans, counsel patients regarding illness and preventative medicine and facilitate access to appropriate health care resources.

As with many types of medical providers, duties of a Physician Associate will depend on the medical setting where they work, their level of experience, their specialty and their supervising physician.

Physician Associates may provide care to individuals across the age spectrum in a variety of healthcare settings. More information on the Physician Associate profession and salary may be found on the Royal College of Physicians Physician Associate Faculty web page. 

Suitability

The course is aimed at people interested in pursuing a healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty.

It is designed for people with a strong science background. Please see more details under 'Further entry requirements'.

Content

he Physician Associate curriculum begins with a year of rigorous medical science, pharmacology and clinical reasoning taught by a qualified team of specialist physicians and Physicians Associates. One day per week in the first year is spent in a general practice clinical setting. The second year is comprised of six specialist clinical placements and intensive classroom teaching in advanced skills and concepts.

Upon successful completion of the MSc in Physician Associate Studies*, you are eligible to take the National Exam for Physician Associates and be part of the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Registry (PAMVR) which allows you to be employed by the NHS. The profession is currently working towards regulation in the UK and is overseen by the Royal College of Physicians Physician Associate Faculty.

All modules are taught using a combination of teaching methods, including lectures, problem based learning, short case review and hand on/skills practice.

Lecture, practice based learning, case review and skills application are incorporated in each module to ensure students assimilate clinical knowledge and skills in all areas.

What can I do next?

Physician Associates in the UK work in a wide variety of healthcare settings which include:

• GP surgeries

• Accident and Emergency departments

• Inpatient medical and surgical wards

• Trauma and Orthopaedics

• Mental Health

• Paediatrics

• Hospital Operating Theatres

The MSc in Physician Associate Studies is delivered within the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) at the Medway campus which has a growing reputation for expertise in medical education and research.

The Institute houses a fully equipped clinical simulation suite enabling clinicians to develop skill and expertise using specialised endoscopic surgical equipment, cardiology diagnostics or otorhinolaryngological techniques and procedures.

The teaching team is comprised of specialists in Cardiology, M.H, Endocrinology, Ear Nose and Threat (ENT), Paediatrics, Geriatrics, Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedics, GU, GI, WH, SH, Anaesthesia/Pain, GP, Neurology and Genetics

Attendance

The Physician Associate Studies programme is full time, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm for 45 – 47 weeks per year.

The programme is very challenging and demanding, therefore we caution students who plan to work while enrolled on the course.

Funding

To be confirmed, please enquire



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This programme of study, skills development and placement experience allows you to build upon a first degree in biosciences, life sciences or health sciences in order to function as a qualified physician associate. Read more

This programme of study, skills development and placement experience allows you to build upon a first degree in biosciences, life sciences or health sciences in order to function as a qualified physician associate.

The programme teaches you to assess, diagnose and manage medical problems competently, consulting with patients presenting with a variety of specified conditions on behalf of, and under supervision of, a senior experienced doctor.

By the end of the programme, you will be able to deliver holistic medical care and treatment to a standard defined by the National Examination for Physician Associates, which will enable you to work in either Primary or Secondary Care.

Programme structure

The programme consists of eight taught modules.

On successful completion of the programme, students will receive a Post Graduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies, but will also need to sit a National Examination comprising a written paper and OSCE examination, set by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians, in order to be able to practise in the NHS.

On passing the National Examinations, the graduate can be registered on the National Register (currently a Voluntary Register but awaiting accreditation and appointment of a Regulatory Body). The graduate can only work as a physician associate in the NHS if he/she is on this National Register.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

What is a physician associate?

Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. As a physician associate, you might work in a GP surgery or be based in a hospital, but wherever you work, you'll have direct contact with patients.

You’ll be trained to perform a number of day-to- day tasks including:

  • Taking medical histories
  • Performing examinations
  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Analysing test results
  • Developing management plans

You can find further information on the role through the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians (FPARCP) or the NHS careers website.

To understand what a physician associate does on a day-to- day basis, Health Education England have produced this informative Day in the Life of a Physician Associate video.

Collaboration

This programme will be delivered through collaboration with Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex and engagement with Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), Canterbury and Christchurch University (CCU) and the University of Kent.

The majority of teaching, however, will be conducted by Surrey staff and local NHS clinicians. The four HEIs (including Surrey) may share facilities in areas of individual specialist expertise, although teaching will be conducted by Surrey staff.

Working with local NHS Trusts (primary and community care, acute, secondary care and mental health) will enable elements including work-based assessments and summative assessments (the clinical OSCEs).

Surrey Health Partners

The University of Surrey is part of the Surrey Health Partners Alliance, bringing together NHS Trusts in Surrey with the University to enhance learning and teaching, research and clinical practice.

The local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs, covering GP practices) and NHS Health Trusts (covering hospitals, community care and psychiatric care) are all represented fully within Surrey Health Partners.

Career opportunities

Following successful graduation from this Diploma course, you will need to sit the National Assessment for Physician Associates, set by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians, London.

Passing the National Assessment will allow you to be put onto the National Register for Physician Associates, so that you can practise clinically in the UK.

Career prospects

The predicted growth of the physician associate role across the NHS to fill an important resource gap indicates strong continued employment prospects for graduates. Physician associates will pursue a profession that is supported by the NHS and the Department of Health: over 30 hospitals currently employ PAs across the UK and the numbers are growing fast.

Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex aims to produce PAs who can work in primary as well as secondary care.

Educational aims of the programme

The overarching educational aim of the programme is to train graduates with a first degree in Biosciences, Life Sciences or Health Sciences, or suitable approved programme, to Post Graduate Diploma level, to function as a qualified physician associate (on passing the National Examination).

Physician associates will be able to:

  • Deliver holistic medical care and treatment under defined levels of supervision, in acute and primary care settings in the National Health Service.
  • Work effectively with patients and multi-disciplinary healthcare teams from diverse backgrounds.
  • Use a patient-centred approach, and be expert communicators, ensuring patient safety at all times
  • Promote health and wellbeing on an individual and population basis
  • Engage in reflective practice, work within the limits of their competence and engage actively in lifelong learning and professional development

This training includes the necessary knowledge, skills and professional attitudes needed to work to the medical model, demonstrating safe medical practice, medical competence, compassion, reflective and critical thinking in diagnostic reasoning and clinical management.

Graduates will be able to assess, diagnose and manage medical problems competently, consulting with patients presenting with a variety of specified conditions on behalf of, and under supervision of a senior experienced doctor.

They will be able to understand and demonstrate the principles of safe and effective prescribing.

Graduates will be trained to a standard defined by the National Examination for Physician Associates that will enable them to work as physician associates in the National Health Service, with appropriate accreditation and regulation once these have been decided and implemented.



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Physician Associates are healthcare professionals that support doctors in diagnosing and managing patient treatment. The PG Dip in Physician Associate Studies in Swansea is one of the first courses of its kind in Wales. Read more
Physician Associates are healthcare professionals that support doctors in diagnosing and managing patient treatment. The PG Dip in Physician Associate Studies in Swansea is one of the first courses of its kind in Wales. Developed as a collaborative venture between Swansea University Medical School and the College of Human and Health Science this integrated two year course will teach students the knowledge and clinical skills they require to pass the National Certification Examination and start work as a Physician Associate.

Key Features of the Physician Associate Studies Programme

Students will spend the majority of Year 1 of the Physician Associate Studies course undertaking university based theory and practical sessions with some early clinical exposure to the working environment . Teaching will be divided into four week blocks according to body systems and Anatomy and Clinical Skills teaching will be integrated into this structure. Teaching will be case based and will involve a combination of lectures, seminars, project work and small group learning.

Year 2 of the Physician Associate Studies course is largely spent on clinical placements, with students applying their learning in the care of real patients under the supervision of a clinically qualified mentor. Students will have to work towards an agreed level of competence at a range of clinical skills and must be assessed as safe and competent in those skills. The “Competence and Curriculum Framework for the Physician Assistant (2012)” prescribes, to a large extent, the range of clinical environments in which students will spend their placements.

Physician Associate Studies students will be provided with the opportunities to:

1. seek out and recognise the clinical applications of their theoretical learning
2. apply learning within the practice setting
3. reflect on practice to identify their individual learning needs
4. develop clinical reasoning skills
5. develop a range of practical skills
6. recognise, in practice, those principles, assumptions, beliefs and theories which shape that practice
7. work effectively with patients and where appropriate with carers
8. work within a clear understanding of the limitations of their knowledge and skills

The modular structure for Year 1 comprises two 40 credit modules delivered by Swansea University Medical School ( SUMS) and three modules delivered by the College of Human and Health Science (CHHS) with a combined value of 40 credits. The knowledge based module (Foundations in Clinical Medicine for Physician Associates) will be assessed by two summative Progress Tests. The “Physician Associate Clinical Skills” module will be assessed by Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE's). The CHHS modules are “An introduction to Sociology and Psychology for Physician Associates” ( 10 credits), “An introduction to Health Care Law and Ethics for Physician Associates” ( 10 credits) and “An introduction to Research, Evidence based practice and Reflection for Physician Associates” ( 20 credits) The CHHS modules will be assessed by a combination of essays, a research presentation and a reflective portfolio.

The modular structure for Year 2 contains two 40 credit modules delivered by SUMS. The “Foundations in Clinical Medicine” module will be assessed by two summative Progress Tests. The “Clinical Skills” module will be assessed by two OSCE's as well as workplace based assessments (Mini-CEX) and satisfactory completion of the learning log. The CHHS modules are” Public Health and Epidemiology for Physician Associates” ( 10 credits), “Learning,Teaching and Assessing for Physician Associates” (10 credits) and “Critical reflection for Physician Associates” (20 credits) The CHHS modules will be assessed by a combination of an essay, a presentation, a written narrative and completion of a reflective portfolio.

The Physician Associate Studies course is designed so that all examinations and assessments, including supplementaries, will be concluded by the end of August allowing students to be ready to sit the National Certification Examination for Physician Associates in early September.

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In partnership with the University of Kent. *subject to validation. Physician Associates are skilled members of the health care team who are qualified to provide a wide range of medical services in practice with a licensed physician. Read more

In partnership with the University of Kent

*subject to validation

Physician Associates are skilled members of the health care team who are qualified to provide a wide range of medical services in practice with a licensed physician. Training as a Physician Associate allows you to develop and direct your healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty. This flexibility is unique to the Physician Associate role and makes it an exciting new career choice. Physician Associate training is based on a ‘fast track’ medical school model that was developed in the U.S in 1965.

UK/EU Physician Associate students may be eligible for a bursary to cover a proportion of their fees. Find out more.

Our Masters in Physician Associate Studies is delivered within the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences at the Medway campus where students have the added benefit of training in a specialist facility with qualified medical practitioners engaged in postgraduate education and research. The programme is in partnership with University of Kent.

You will spend a significant portion of the first year in the simulation suite learning hands on skills. The simulation suite is equipped with mock wards as well as a surgical suite with anesthesia and laparoscopic equipment. Highly sophisticated human simulation models will be used in the teaching of hands on skills to prepare you for your second year clinical based modules.

Visit the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/physician-associate-studies.aspx

Course detail

The Physician Associate curriculum begins with a year of rigorous medical science, pharmacology and clinical reasoning taught by a qualified team of specialist physicians and Physicians Associates. One day per week in the first year is spent in a general practice clinical setting. The second year is comprised of six specialist clinical placements and intensive classroom teaching in advanced skills and concepts.

Upon successful completion of the Postgraduate diploma in Physician Associate Studies, you are eligible to take the National Exam for Physician Associates and be part of the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Registry (PAMVR) which allows you to be employed by the NHS. The profession is currently working towards regulation in the UK and is overseen by the Royal College of Physicians Physician Associate Faculty.

All modules are taught using a combination of teaching methods, including lectures, problem based learning, short case review and hand on/skills practice.

Lecture, practice based learning, case review and skills application are incorporated in each module to ensure students assimilate clinical knowledge and skills in all areas.

Suitability

The course is aimed at people interested in pursuing a healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty.

It is designed for people with a strong science background. Please see more details under 'Further entry requirements'.

Content

Year one

Students complete all modules

• Clinical Medicine (1) (20 credits)

• Clinical Medicine (2) (20 credits)

• Clinical Medicine (3) (20 credits)

• Clinical Skills and Professional Development (20 credits)

If you are unsuccessful in completing all modules in Year One you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Studies (providing that you successfully complete 3 out of 4 modules).

Year two

Students complete all modules

• Advanced Clinical Medicine (20 credits)

• Advanced Clinical Skills and Professional Development (20 credits)

Total = 120 credits

What can I do next?

Physician Associates in the UK work in a wide variety of healthcare settings which include:

• GP surgeries

• Accident and Emergency departments

• Inpatient medical and surgical wards

• Trauma and Orthopaedics

• Mental Health

• Paediatrics

• Hospital Operating Theatres

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx

Funding

-Masters Loans-

From 2016/17 government loans of up to £10,000 are available for postgraduate Masters study. The loans will be paid directly to students by the Student Loans Company and will be subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

For more information available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/funding-your-postgraduate-degree.aspx

-2017/18 Entry Financial Support-

Information on alternative funding sources is available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/2017-18-entry-financial-support.aspx



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This Postgraduate Diploma has been designed to enable you to develop the skills required to become a competent and confident Physician Associate (PA). Read more

This Postgraduate Diploma has been designed to enable you to develop the skills required to become a competent and confident Physician Associate (PA). The programme of study provides an opportunity for you to develop mastery in a range of core PA qualities for example; holistic assessment techniques and appropriate therapeutic interventions, with the ability to diagnose and or manage an agreed range of clinical problems.

The programme aims to develop you to be a flexible and adaptable practitioner, enabling you to engage in new ways of working in relation to health care priorities and to lead and develop practice to ensure high quality patient care delivery. Physician Associates are pivotal to the provision of optimal, higher level care delivery in current and future health arenas; to contribute to this agenda the programme has been designed to develop your core PA characteristics as a critical enquirer and a professional with confidence and competence to challenge, lead and innovate at different levels of care delivery, within a dynamic, inter-professional health care context.

You may go on to specialise in a range of areas including surgery, emergency medicine or primary care.

The programme has been developed in response to identified and anticipated demands for increasing the number PA’s with advanced skills and critical understanding. For the award of the Postgraduate Diploma you will study six 20 credit modules which will include an option module for study in an area of your choice.

What happens on the course?

  • Foundations of Clinical Practice for the Physician Associate
  • Foundations of Clinical Medicine
  • Clinical Reasoning and Decision Making for the Physician Associate
  • Personal and Professional Development of the Physician Associate
  • Foundations of Primary Care for the Physician Associate
  • Applied Pharmacology

You will also be able to select an elective module form a range of topics. You will have an opportunity to develop your practice skills in a range of clinical settings.

Placements

Physician Associate’s are required to work mainly 9.00 am -5.00 pm Monday – Friday, however on occasions they may work outside of these hours including evenings, nights, weekends and Bank Holidays if required. You will be working alongside medical staffing and the shift patterns they work too.

Why Wolverhampton?

This course aims to meet professional development needs in the field of Physician Associate Studies. The programme has been designed in collaboration with clinical stakeholders, service users and carers and members of the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing academic team, which has over many years provided Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes for a range of healthcare staff.

It is envisaged that medical colleagues will work in partnership with academic staff who have achieved advanced professional qualifications and who are now subject specialists involved in advisory and research roles; locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

There will be contributions in modules from the Medical Professoriate who are actively involved in research that is influencing care in local, regional, national and international arenas.

Use of the new and highly innovative Physician Associate Laboratory featuring some world-leading technology to help explore anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. This includes an 'Anatomage Table’ which allows digital dissection of gross anatomy and human (and animal) body system specific images.

The Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing series of seminars and lectures spans education, sport, care, psychology health and wellbeing, bringing you a variety of engaging speakers and experts from the University of Wolverhampton and many other UK universities, visit http://www.wlv.ac.uk/fehw/lectures

Career path

Following graduation form the course you may be able to apply for an internship at one of the local, regional or national healthcare providers which are designed as a period of employment following qualification within which the Physician Associate receives a higher level than normal of supervision and clinical experience. It provides an opportunity to consolidate your learning from initial training and demonstrate its translation into competence in practice.

Physician Associates have been employed locally in the Midlands as follows:

Dudley Group of Hospitals Russells Hall Hospital

  • Emergency department, vascular Surgery.

George Eliot Hospital

  • Acute medical unit
  • General medicine

Sandwell and West Birmingham/ City Hospital

  • Emergency department

Solihull and Birmingham Mental Health

  • Various sites
  • Mental health, including subspecialties: mother and baby,
  • Liaison psychiatry and female forensic psychiatry

Mid Staffordshire Stafford

  • Emergency department
  • Cardiology

University Hospitals Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital

  • Neurosurgery
  • Clinical decision unit
  • Cardiology
  • Acute medicine

Birmingham Children’s Hospital

  • Liver transplant Unit

Education Opportunities

Following completion of the Postgraduate Diploma you would be able to progress to one of our Top-up Masters Awards such as MSc Health and Social Care or a Professional Doctorate programmes



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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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Physician associates are increasingly important in the health care workforce, supporting doctors and medical teams to diagnose and manage a wide range of common and complex diseases. Read more

Physician associates are increasingly important in the health care workforce, supporting doctors and medical teams to diagnose and manage a wide range of common and complex diseases. This stimulating master’s course offers you the clinical skills and knowledge required to provide high quality care under the direct supervision of a doctor.

What the course offers

The physician associate (PA) is one of the newest allied medical professions and presents a unique and exciting route to clinical care for graduates. Physician associates play a key role working as part of a multi-disciplinary team alongside doctors, nurses and the wider health care team to deliver care to patients of all ages. As a physician associate you’ll take medical histories, perform clinical examinations, order and interpret test results, take part in clinical reasoning and diagnosis, and develop evidence-based patient management plans.

Working in partnership with local NHS Trusts, our experienced and dedicated academic staff will support you to achieve clinical learning and skills development. We’ll guide you as you gain the theoretical knowledge that underpins the physician associate role, and integrate this knowledge into your practice during your clinical placements.

Initially, you’ll focus on developing a thorough understanding of the academic knowledge that underpins the physician associate role. We’ll also support you to gain core clinical skills, developing your confidence and practical knowledge in the safe confines of our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites, before you’re exposed to primary and secondary care environments and practice through short placements.

In the second year, you’ll have longer clinical placements in these areas, as well as gain experience in emergency care, paediatrics, mental health, and obstetrics. As a graduate, you’ll have competence in the core clinical skills of the physician associate, and possess practical experience of health care procedures ready for a career in this demanding and rewarding profession.

Course Highlights:

  • This course offers the high-level of clinical knowledge and skills needed to achieve certification as a physician associate (PA) in the UK. To qualify to practice you’ll need to pass the National Certification Examination run by the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians (FPARCP) and enrol on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR).
  • Developed in response to employer-led demand for the physician associate role in the Greater Manchester area, this course offers you the opportunity of qualify to work in medicine as part of a multi-professional team in just two years.
  • You don’t need prior experience in health care or health and social care qualifications to join this course – we also welcome applications from graduates in areas such as biology, chemistry, engineering, psychology and other social sciences so long as you have some prior higher education knowledge of human biology, and areas such as infectious disease, public health, molecular science or cell biology.
  • You’ll have access to facilities in the flagship £31 million Bolton One building, including our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites where you’ll be able to practice skills and develop knowledge using clinical equipment and simulators.

Key Features:

  • Our teaching team includes expert clinicians who are working in current practice in addition to supporting and teaching students on the course. This ensures your clinical learning is at the cutting edge of practice.
  • As well as in-class learning, simulated clinical experience and real-life clinical practice, this course includes time dedicated to supporting and preparing you for your first National Certification Examination.
  • Your highly-structured academic studies will be complemented by personalised work-based learning offered through placements in various clinical areas in primary and secondary care facilities.
  • Your Clinical Tutor will act as an advocate during your work-based placements, supporting you, your mentor and your assessors to agree on appropriate workplace activities that support your learning goals.
  • You’ll gain first hand clinical experience and have the opportunity to develop an invaluable network of professional contacts during your extensive time on clinical practice placements in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.


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Train to be a Physician Associate – an innovative, professional healthcare role, that is growing within the NHS, with a starting salary from £30,000. Read more

Train to be a Physician Associate – an innovative, professional healthcare role, that is growing within the NHS, with a starting salary from £30,000.

A Physician Associate is a medical professional providing patient care under the supervision of a Consultant or General Practitioner. Their main focus is diagnosis and management. Consequently, their daily activities include interviewing and examining patients, ordering tests and making decisions about patient management.

This postgraduate programme is taught at either our Preston city campus or our Westlakes campus near the Lake District. See below for more details.

We teach in small groups offering unrivalled student support and direct contact hours with staff; over 25 hours per week of direct, interactive teaching by staff experienced in the clinical sector.

The Masters dissertation is completed incrementally over the two years rather than as an additional module to at the end of the programme.

Approx. 50% of the programme is spent on clinical placement across a full spectrum of opportunities: urban, rural, specialised hospital and general practice. The geographical locations of UCLan campuses provide students with a rare opportunity to experience such a wide range clinical disciplines.

All of our course content is in line with the requirements of the Physician Associate Competence and Curriculum framework (2012) laid out by the Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians.

INDUSTRY LINKS

Close relationship with the local NHS including East Lancashire Hospitals Trust; Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust; Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust; Morecombe Bay Trust; Lancashire Care Foundation Trust.

This course is run in partnership with Health Education England North West (HEENW) as part of the North West Physician Associate programme.

These organisations provide the clinical placement training which represent approx. 50% of the whole programme. They also offer the main employment opportunities in the NW. Hence graduates receive a training which is both nationally accredited and locally relevant. The latter ensures a smooth transition from student to graduate PA.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Our programme makes use of case-based learning, clinical and communication skills, role play and applied anatomy/physiology/pathophysiology teaching.

This course is offered at either Preston city campus or Westlakes campus near Whitehaven, close to the Lake District. Each applicant has the option to nominate their chosen campus. Both campuses offer affordable and attractive living compared to other city campuses. .

We teach in small groups offering unrivalled student support and direct contact hours with staff in state-of-the-art facilities. Our clinical skills laboratories have a vast range of equipment, to help develop clinical skills in hospital, home and GP surgery environments.

A comprehensive understanding of applied human anatomy is enhanced with our Human Anatomy Resource and Learning Centres (HARLCs) which provide a focal point for students to engage in learning about the human body. You will also have access to our Anatomage tables and a range of diagnostic imaging modalities.

Knowledge and understanding of the full range of applied biological sciences is taught through a range of lectures and practical activities by our experts in the full spectrum of disciplines required for the PA curriculum.

Approx. 50% of the course will be spent on clinical placements with our NHS clinical education partners across Lancashire and/or Cumbria. This will include rotations in General Practice and a variety of hospital specialties. All students will gain experience in the care of both adults and children. It follows therefore that you must be prepared to travel to clinical placement sites throughout Lancashire and Cumbria with travel of up to 90 minutes both ways.

Assessment is by a variety of methods including written assignments, practical and theoretical examinations, workplace-based clinical activity and portfolio content.

On completion of the course, students will be well prepared to take the National Exam and successful completion of this will allow them to refer to themselves as a Physician Associate and apply to join the profession’s managed voluntary register.

OPPORTUNITIES

There is currently around 100% employment of UK graduates of Physician Associate programmes.

Upon completion of the National Exam, Physician Associates have a wide range of choice of careers in both primary and secondary care.

PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

The course prepares the candidate for the Faculty of Physician Associates, Royal College of Surgeons examination which is required to practice as a PA in the NHS. Successful completion of the MSc Physician Associate Practice (MPAP) enables the student to sit this national examination.



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The 2-year PG Diploma program uses a multi-disciplinary, research-informed approach to teach clinical and basic science related to the human systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, female reproductive, renal and genitourinary, the eyes, and skin) and diagnostics & therapeutics. Read more

The 2-year PG Diploma program uses a multi-disciplinary, research-informed approach to teach clinical and basic science related to the human systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, female reproductive, renal and genitourinary, the eyes, and skin) and diagnostics & therapeutics.

The scientific background is taught in the context of clinical placements in Community Medicine, General Hospital Medicine, Front Door Medicine, Mental Health, General Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Paediatrics.

Successful completion of the 2 year PG Diploma enables graduates to take the national certification exam, which is mandatory to register and work as a Physician Associate.

Students benefit from a strong exposure to clinicians and scientists with active research in medically related subjects.

Course Structure

The program is delivered by the Physician Associate Faculty that brings together clinicians and other experts from across the disciplines of primary and secondary medical care. The course content reflects the curriculum and learning requirements for the Physician Associate framework (PA CC 2012).

The Physician Associate programme at Bangor includes an integrated placement programme of work-based learning that will provide progressive experiential learning in a range of clinical settings to allow students to attain the standards of knowledge and understanding in clinical practice, including regulatory structures, professionalism and clinical competences expected of a Physician Associate. Placements will be grouped according to the following clinical subject headings and minimum periods:

  • Community Medicine (180h)
  • General Hospital Medicine (350 h)
  • Front Door Medicine (180 h)
  • Mental Health (90 h)
  • General Surgery (90h)
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology (90 h)
  • Paediatrics (acute setting) (90h) 

During the course you will learn how to recognise and manage common and complex medical conditions as part of multi-professional team, to make independent and informed judgements on clinical problems and be trained to integrate knowledge and clinical practice. As a Physician Associate graduate you’ll be able to demonstrate outstanding interpersonal and professional skills when working with patients, carers and clinical multi-disciplinary teams in a multicultural environment. You will also have a comprehensive understating of I.T., record keeping and communication using a diverse range of media in evidence based practice and understand the importance of health promotion, disease prevention and inequalities in society and local communities.

The programme aims to give students a comprehensive knowledge of the concepts, principles and technologies used in clinical practice in the following areas:

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Respiratory system
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Eyes
  • Female reproductive system
  • Renal and genitourinary system
  • Skin
  • Diagnostics and therapeutics.
  • Neurology

On successful completion of the course, you’ll have gained the key knowledge related to practice as a physician associate, including major concepts related to the principles and theories associated with human anatomy and physiology, cell biology, body/system-drug actions and interactions, mechanisms underlying human pathological conditions and the basis of the clinical and technological methods used to diagnose and monitor these conditions. You be able to demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment in the medical domain including history taking and consultation skills, and physical examinations tailored to the needs of the patient and the demands of the clinical situation. You’ll also be able to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the needs of patients/clients, and decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching occurs via lectures, clinical placements, practical classes and group work including case centred discussions often delivered by academic clinicians who hold joint University and Health board contracts. Students benefit from a high number of contact hours that includes utilisation of our state-of-the art teaching laboratories and simulation suite at the hospital. Academic assessment includes placement reports, observed clinical skills, MCQ and written exams.



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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.

To understand what a Physician Associate does on a day-to-day basis, Health Education England have produced this informative Day in the Life of a Physician Associate video.

We also run a flexible MSc Physician Associate programme for those who already have their Postgraduate Diploma from a UK or Irish institution.

Please note: the British Physician Associate programme does not qualify you to work in the USA.

Course details

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.

The development of the profession has been led by the Department of Health and has involved the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of General Practitioners as well as the profession itself through the former UK Association of Physician Associates (UKAPA) which is now the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians. University of Birmingham staff have taken a key role in the development of the programme at a national as well as a regional level in response to need identified by local healthcare providers. Successful completion of the programme will qualify you to practise as a Physician Associate in the UK.

Please note: the UK PA training programme does not qualify you to work in the USA.

The course 

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. 

Regulation

All students will be registered with the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians. Graduates currently join a Managed Voluntary Register.

Learning and teaching

This is a very intense course with a large amount of knowledge and skills to acquire in a relatively short time. You will need to dedicate at least 50 hours each week to learning, much of it by yourself and with your learning set.

At the University of Birmingham we believe in very close integration between the theory learning (‘the hip is a ball and socket joints and the femur anatomy is as follows’ and clinical learning (‘when people fracture their hips it happens like this, they present like this, and your understanding of the hip anatomy enables you to understand why and how hips fracture’). You will also link theory and practice by learning, say, how to examine a hip on each other, on a simulated patient and (often) on a real patient before you see such a patient in a clinical environment.

Employability

Birmingham-trained Physician Associates have been very successful in the NHS jobs market with most of our graduates on NHS Agenda for Change Band 7 (starting at £31,383 p,a.) or higher.

Our graduates are working all across the UK (although about half have stayed in the West Midlands) and in a wide range of specialties including: general medicine, acute medicine, cardiology, paediatrics, breast surgery, trauma and orthopaedics, mental health, emergency medicine and General Practice. Many have also chosen to go into teaching and research (part-time while maintaining clinical duties), with five of our graduates currently teaching here at Birmingham.

The number of NHS Trusts and Practices seeking Physician Associates (and the average number working for each Trust/Practice) has increased rapidly throughout the last few years, and we would expect that number to continue to increase at a similar pace over the next few years.



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Our course will prepare you for the National Physician Associate entrance exam. Successful completion of the exam allows you to work as a physician associate within the NHS. Read more
Our course will prepare you for the National Physician Associate entrance exam. Successful completion of the exam allows you to work as a physician associate within the NHS. You will gain skills in history taking, physical examination and diagnosis. You will also study clinical theory and undertake clinical placements.

This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to qualify as a physician associate. Physician associates provide patient care within the National Health Service (NHS). They work under the supervision of doctors and health care professionals. The course will suit graduates of a bioscience discipline.

You will learn how to work to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base needed to deliver holistic care and treatment. You will develop your understanding of clinical practice through a combination of:
-Case based self-directed learning
-Clinical skills laboratory teaching
-Hands on experience in clinical settings

Additionally, you will develop core knowledge in preparation for the clinical workplace. This will include appropriate knowledge of:
-Anatomy
-Biochemistry
-Physiology
-Pharmacology
-Immunology
-Microbiology
-Neurology

On completion of the course you will be able to take the national physician associate qualifying exam. Satisfactory performance allows you to begin work as a physician associate within the NHS. The exam is overseen by the Faculty of Physician Associates within the Royal College of Physicians.

The course draws on Newcastle University’s considerable excellence in medical training. It was developed in association with Health Education North East.

Delivery

Year one runs over 46 weeks and includes:
-Six week training in clinical, communication and diagnostic skills using mannequin-based and role play simulations
-A 27 week team-based learning course introducing core clinical knowledge through clinical case studies
-One day a week in a primary care setting developing history taking skills
-A six week apprenticeship in a hospital based setting to introduce the role of the physician associate

Year two comprises rotations in the following areas followed by a two week assessment period:
-Eight weeks of emergency medicine
-Three weeks of mental health
-Six weeks of community medicine/primary care
-Three weeks of obstetrics and gynaecology
-Three weeks of paediatrics
-Eight weeks of general medicine
-Three weeks of general surgery

You will then undertake a ten week senior apprenticeship. Trainees will work as physician associates under clinical supervision.

Placements

Alongside learning basic clinical theory you will undertake clinical placements. You will spend at least 1600 hours in clinical placements within NHS trusts and primary care providers in the North East.

Facilities

Students benefit from a:
-Clinical skills laboratory for acquisition of clinical/procedural skills in a safe, monitored environment
-Simulation laboratory to practice emergency care scenarios on our simulation mannequins
-Unique virtual learning environment for access to high-quality online learning resources and pre-recorded lecture material

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Be part of a new and exciting role in healthcare in the UK, learning advanced assessment, diagnostic and clinical skills for a diverse group of patients in range of clinical settings. Read more
Be part of a new and exciting role in healthcare in the UK, learning advanced assessment, diagnostic and clinical skills for a diverse group of patients in range of clinical settings.

What is the Physician Associate?

The Physician Associate is a new role in the UK but is well established in North America. Physician Associates are not doctors, but adopt the medical model in the assessment and management of patient. They work in a team context with delegated autonomy and medical oversight.

Physician Associates are currently working in the UK in a variety of clinical settings such as:

• medicine for the elderly
• emergency departments
• mental health services
• trauma and orthopaedic surgery
• general practice
• medical and surgical assessment units
• clinical decision units

Overview

The programme is offered once per year commencing in September, with the first intake in September 2014 (subject to validation). This is a highly intensive course delivered over 27 months full time.
Year 1 is university based with a minimum of 1,610 hours of student effort. Year 2 is based in practice undertaking a variety of placements amounting to 1,610 hours. Followed by 12 weeks completing the dissertation.
All components of the programme are mandatory and a total of 180 level 7 credits being required to gain the award of MSc Physician Associate.

Employability

The Physician Associate is a relatively new role in the UK, but UK PA graduates are practising in a diverse range of clinical settings in many parts of the UK and in clinical areas including, but not limited to: general practice, urgent care, emergency care, medical specialities and surgical specialities. The difficulties in recruiting doctors in acute and primary care to meet emergency and urgent care needs makes the Physician Associate a highly sought after clinical professional in the health care sector. Local intelligence suggests that current employment opportunities outstrip the supply of Physician Associate graduates seeking these roles.

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The MSc in Physician Associate Studies offers you the opportunity to train as a Physician Associate, a new, rapidly-evolving role within the NHS that opens up a diverse range of health-based work opportunities. Read more
The MSc in Physician Associate Studies offers you the opportunity to train as a Physician Associate, a new, rapidly-evolving role within the NHS that opens up a diverse range of health-based work opportunities.

A Physician Associate (PA) is defined as someone who is: a new healthcare professional who, while not a doctor, works to the medical model, with the attitudes, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment within the general medical and/or general practice team under defined levels of supervision. The role is therefore designed to supplement the medical workforce, thereby improving patient access.

As a PA, you will work under a supervising doctor or surgeon, and be equipped to provide holistic care and treatment within the medical model. This a versatile role, that can cover the primary care setting such as general practice or the acute settings.

Course detail

This two-year course is intensive and clinically focused, and involves many aspects of an undergraduate or postgraduate medical degree, focusing on general adult medicine, rather than speciality care. You will learn to perform a number of roles, including taking medical histories, performing examinations, diagnosing illnesses, analysing test results and developing management plans.

Being based within UWE's specialist campus environment means you will get to study as part of a wider healthcare community and have access to state-of-the-art simulation facilities, where you can practise your skills in a realistic yet controlled medical environment.

The course also includes extensive placement opportunities, with the chance to gain experience across a range of acute and primary care settings.

Modules

• Clinical Sciences (30 credits)
• Applied Pharmacology (15 credits)
• Foundations in Clinical Medicine 1 (15 credits)
• Foundations in Clinical Medicine 2 (30 credits)
• Public Health and Health Promotion for Physician Associates (15 credits)
• Evidencing Contemporary Physician Associate Practice (15 credits)
• Health and Social Care Research: Methods and Methodolgy (15 credits)
• Dissertation (45 credits)

Format

This is a clinically focused course, delivered through a variety of taught lectures, small group sessions, problem-based learning, practical clinical skills, and simulated learning, with an underpinning clinical practice element that runs throughout the two years in both primary and secondary care.

The course will be led by an experienced Physician Associate and a team of healthcare lecturers and GPs. This ensures the strong 'real world' focus of this course and means you can expect the highest quality of teaching and learning.

Assessment

We will make use of a range of types of assessment on the course, including structured clinical exams, essays based on problem-based learning, presentations and a clinical portfolio of evidence.

Careers / Further study

On successful completion of the course, you will need to pass an additional national professional exam, to practise as a Physician Associate.

Healthcare courses at UWE have a very strong record of producing students who are quickly successful in gaining relevant work. Undertaking placements will mean you will have plenty of links into potential sources of local work when you finish.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx

Funding

- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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The UCLan PGDip in Physician Associate Studies provides an exciting opportunity for graduates to become healthcare professionals and receive a salary whilst training. Read more
The UCLan PGDip in Physician Associate Studies provides an exciting opportunity for graduates to become healthcare professionals and receive a salary whilst training.

Physician Associates provide care to patients under the supervision of a Consultant or General Practitioner. Their role includes interviewing and examining patients, ordering tests and making decisions about patient management.

Our course will provide you with a foundation of scientific and clinical skills, and the opportunity to build on and use these through a variety of clinical placements in Lancashire and/or Cumbria.

Our programme makes use of case based learning, clinical and communication skills role play and focussed anatomy/physiology/pathophysiology teaching. All of our course content is in line with the requirements of the Physician Associate Competence and Curriculum framework (2012) laid out by the Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Physician Associates.

Outside of the classroom environment, the provision of clinical placements includes a full spectrum of opportunities: urban & rural, specialised hospital & general practice; single-handed or multi-disciplinary. Teamwork is essential for every PA and these placements will enable working with a variety of groups whilst under the supervision of medical colleagues. The geographical location of UCLan is ideal to enable this amazing combination of clinical opportunities, of which we are very proud.

DBS CHECKS

This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.

INDUSTRY LINKS

This course is provided in partnership with Health Education England North West (HEENW) as part of the North West Physician Associate Pilot programme.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

You will be taught using our state-of-the-art facilities within the School of Medicine. The University’s campus-based clinical skills laboratories have a vast range of equipment - including a number of high fidelity clinical human simulators - to help develop clinical skills in realistic hospital, home and GP surgery environments.

A comprehensive understanding of human anatomy is enhanced with our Human Anatomy Resource and Learning Centres (HARLCs) which provide a focal point for students to engage in learning about the human body. You will also have access to our Anatomage table; similar to a body sized touch screen computer. This allows for virtual sectioning of the human body, which is particularly useful when considering medical imaging.

Knowledge and understanding of the full range of applied biological sciences is taught through a range of lectures and practical activities by our experts in a range of disciplines within the medical science field.

Here at UCLan your learning will be enriched by our patient volunteer group who are involved in clinical and communication skills training.

50% of the course will be spent on clinical placements with our NHS clinical education partners across Lancashire and/or Cumbria. This will include rotations in General Practice and a variety of hospital specialties. All students will gain experience in the care of both adults and children.

The course is taught by a variety of clinical and academic staff so that students benefit from a wide range of medical knowledge and expertise.

Assessment is by a variety of methods including written assignments, practical and theoretical examinations and workplace based assessments. The students are expected to keep an E-portfolio to evidence their progression throughout their clinical placements.

On completion of the course, students will be well prepared to take the National Exam and successful completion of this will allow them to refer to themselves as a physician associate and apply to join the profession’s managed voluntary register.

You must be prepared to travel to clinical placement sites throughout Lancashire and Cumbria. This survival guide will be useful.

OPPORTUNITIES

There is currently around 100% employment of UK graduates of Physician Associate programs.

Upon completion of the National Exam, Physician Associates have a wide range of choice of careers in both primary and secondary care.

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