The first year of the Physician Associate programme begins with a four-month period of intensive study where students develop their understanding of the essential basic and clinical sciences. The curriculum is built around a core of common clinical situations organised according to their relative complexity and biomedical interdependence.
The content of each taught block is delivered using a mixed method of teaching and learning. There are independent lectures on anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, immunology, haematology, medical therapeutics and prescribing which are all brought together by the weekly clinical case. This case is loosely delivered and solved around the principles of PBL with some modifications. Adjunct to the lectures and the weekly case, students also receive 4 hours a week on clinical skills development and a further 2 hours on communication skills. A body systems approach is used to the teaching week, commencing with the respiratory system, with the clinical case of pneumonia. Another example is during the GI week, the case was an upper GI presentation.
This structure is strong from an educational point of view because it enables students to recognise the integrated nature of clinical practice from knowledge and skills relating to basic biological and behavioural sciences, public health, epidemiology, ethics and law, through to clinical teaching and learning, clinical skills development and professionalism.
The first year core academic block is followed by a single primary care placement and two secondary care placements (in no specific order). Second year placements are between three and four weeks in duration and cover a range of other specialities.
Follow the links below to find your timetables.