MSc Physician Associate Studies

MSc Physician Associate Studies


A Physician Associate is a new medical profession. It started some years ago in the States and has now been recognised in the UK as an important development in the healthcare team. So, I worked in surgery back in the States and I had seen how PAs worked over there both in the operating theatre but then also beyond and how they got to see patients before during and after through the whole surgical experience and that was really impressive to me and it was something I wanted to have for myself. My first degree was in Biochemistry during my time as a healthcare assistant, I always wanted to be involved in the management and care of patients because I was always asking questions and wanting to know more, and then I heard about the Physician Associate course and I researched and looked into it and then I said to myself yeah this is definitely something I’d like to do. Physician Associates are highly professional individuals who are trained in the medical model and then work as part of the medical team to assist doctors in diagnosing and expediting patient care. So, basically a day in the life of a PA for me looks like meeting, assessing patients as they present to A&E, both in our majors and our minors unit; ordering investigations and supporting the medical team in the diagnosis and the management of that patient; and we also are involved in supporting the medical team through in our Resus unit as well. The course really helped prepare me for working in A&E, it provided a really good foundation of medical knowledge as well as clinical skills that I’ve been able to build on since working in A&E. The first year of being a PA is all lecture-based where you gain a large knowledge bank of things that are helpful to learn and then the second year is clinical placements where we go around the majority of the specialties in the hospital; get involved on a day-to-day basis with the team and learn how to assess in the appropriate specialities. As a medical student the PAs integrate into our lectures between first and third year and in their second year they move to the hospital which is where we are hundred percent of the time in fourth and fifth year, so we see them a lot and we appreciate that it’s a new healthcare profession and we look forward to working together with them. I think there’s a lot of benefits that PAs can bring to the NHS. So, I chose Aberdeen because there was a lot of really attractive aspects of the programme here so I knew I wanted to have exposure to surgery; I knew I wanted to have exposure to orthopedics and to general medicine and this programme particularly offered a huge breadth of different options that you could work in. This programme essentially allows you to help set up your career so that you have a voice in how that happens for the future, so that I found very exciting.

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