Who are Physician Associates?
Physician associates are healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education, who work alongside doctors providing medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. Physician associates are dependent practitioners who can work autonomously, but always under the supervision of a fully trained and experienced doctor. They bring new talent add to the skill mix within teams, providing a stable, generalist section of the workforce which can help ease the workforce pressures that the NHS currently faces.
Physician Associates in Primary Care
Physician associates (PAs) are a relatively new member of the clinical team, seen as complementary to GPs. Following the announcement of the General Medical Council (GMC) to regulate physician associates. It’s anticipated that regulation could be completed by the end of 2021. Once this is in place, PAs will be able to prescribe and order radiology investigations. The Physician Associate role is in no way a replacement for any other member of the general practice team. They work in conjunction with and are complementary to the existing team. GPs will continue to lead multi-disciplinary teams, adapting to the evolving primary care networks. (PCNs)
Employing a Physician Associate
We strongly recommend that employers only consider recruiting physician associates who are registered on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR). This is a register, managed by the FPA, of fully qualified physician associates who have been declared fit to practice in the UK. It enables supervisors and employers to check whether a physician associate is qualified and safe to work in the UK. Any job description advertising for the role must state that it is essential for applicants to hold a PG Diploma or MSc in Physician Associate Studies from a recognised UK or US programme, and that they have passed the UK Physician Associate National Exam.
Resources & Contact Details for Further Information
The Thames Valley Physician Associates in Primary Care Study Day (due to have taken place on 5 June 2020) has been postponed until further notice. More information on this will be posted once it becomes available.
For more information please contact:
email@example.com – HEETV PA Ambassador
tessa.Candy@hee.nhs.uk – HEE Associate Workforce Transformation Lead, South East