New Physician Associates welcomed to the Trust

Some of the new Physician Associates at the Education Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to be hosting a group of 1st and 2nd Year Physician Associate students studying at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

The Trust is pleased to welcome back the Physician Associates who are now in their second year of speciality placements in Surgery, Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics and A+E.

We now welcome the next cohort of First Year students undertaking placements in Stroke, Cardiology, Care of the Elderly, AMU, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Respiratory Medicine and Surgery.

Group members are currently undertaking speciality placements in Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology over a six-week period.

The Physician Associate role is a relatively new post in healthcare and offers an alternative study to medicine.

Students are able to work as part of a medical team under a Consultant or a registered GP. They develop clinical skills to diagnose patients, retrieve medical histories and support junior doctors as they take workload pressure away from the team.

The need for Physician Associates is constantly growing in the NHS and the students are in demand in areas with shortages of doctors in particular specialities. For example, in Emergency Medicine, Care of the Older Person and involvement in General Practice.

Training to become a Physician Associate is a two-year post-graduate diploma or Master’s degree with a fifty/fifty split between classroom and clinical placement. It is available to students with a science-related first degree.

The Department of Health 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.”

We will soon be catching up with some of our students to see how they are getting on.

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