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    The Faculty of Physician Associates defines the Physician Associate role as:

    ‘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 are trained in the medical model with a generalist knowledge. This allows them to assess and manage patients of all ages with a variety of acute undifferentiated and chronic conditions. With the correct training and support a Physician Associate can also develop more specialist knowledge and undertake more specialist clinics.

    In July 2019 the General Medical Council were announced as the statutory regulators for PAs. Further consultation will be necessary before prescribing is added to the role.


    What can Physician Associates do?

    Physician Associates are trained as generalists following the medical model. They have a wide range of skills and with appropriate supervision and training can be utilised in many different ways to allow practice needs to be met. 

    The Faculty of Physician Associate census highlighted the vast array of clinical tasks and procedures performed by Physician Associates currently working with the UK. Within General Practice a Physician Associate would be expected to be able to:

    • Elicit a comprehensive patient history

    • Elicit a comprehensive patient examination

    • Educate patients

    • Request and interpret appropriate investigations 

    • Act upon investigation findings 

    • Appropriately refer

    • Perform venepuncture

    • Insert a catheter

    • Be involved in clinical audits 

    • Teach and supervise students

    With appropriate training a Physician Associate may also:

    • Perform minor surgery

    • Perform joint injections

    • Carry out IUS/IUD placement and removal

    • Carry out implant placement and removal 

    • Perform cervical screening


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    University of Wolverhampton

    The University of Wolverhampton Physician Associate (PA) programme are excited to be starting their new cohort of (PA) students and are the process of planning the students first placements in Primary Care, which is a 4 week block in community based medicine on the following dates:

    • Week commencing 12th April 2021

    • Week commencing 19th April 2021

    • Week commencing 26th April 2021

    • Week commencing 3rd May 2021

    The purpose of this placement is to give PAs an insight into general practice and the invaluable opportunity to spend time shadowing GPs, nurses, clinical pharmacists, PAs, Practice Managers, Reception Staff etc.  The priority of these placements is to develop an understanding of the PA role, the Primary care setting, and to engage with patients.

    The practices who are able to offer placements will receive support from the University along with funding, which is determined by Health Education England, and is currently £480- £500 per student, per week.

    If you are able to provide any placements on the above dates, or would like any further information, please contact Darren Middleton, Senior Lecturer at University of Wolverhampton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


    University of Birmingham

    The Physician Associate (PA) course at the University of Birmingham is currently looking for GP practices to provide PA placements for their students.

    As well as providing teaching to the students, this is a great opportunity for practices to obtain a greater understanding of the PA role and how this can be integrated into your clinical workforce. Alternatively, if you have a PA currently employed in your PCN, this is a good opportunity for them to be involved in teaching and mentoring.

    There are 3 x GP placements on the University of Birmingham PA course, which are outlined below:

    GP 1 (New cohort of 70 starting in September. Placements in October)

    • This is a 5 day placement over 5 weeks. Each day will have a specific 'theme'. 
      • Day 1 - Cardiovascular
      • Day 2- Respiratory
      • Day 3 - GI
      • Day 4  - Endocrine 
      • Day 5 - Neuro 

    Basic timetable suggestion: 

    • 09:00 – 11:00 Sit in on telephone surgeries.
    • 11:00 – 11:30 Coffee
    • 11:30 – 12:30 Tutorial
    • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
    • 13:30 – 4.00 Sit in on surgeries/any patients being assessed? 
    • 16:00 – 17:00 Tutorial on the current day 'theme'  

    Remuneration for GP1 is £130/student/day

    GP 2

    This is a 3 day placement where students start to begin their PA surgeries. Students usually go to the same practice as their GP 1 placement but this is not always the case. These students are heading towards the end of their first year. They should start consulting under supervision as well as sit in with a GP/PA.

    Basic timetable suggestion:

    • 09:00 – 11:00 Sit in on surgeries.
    • 11:00 – 11:30 Coffee
    • 11:30 – 12:30 Tutorial
    • 12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
    • 13:30 – 15:30 Student surgeries
    • 15:30 – 16.00 sit in on surgeries
    • 16:00 – 17:00 Tutorial

    Remuneration for GP 1 is £130/student/day

    GP 3

    This is a 3 week CBM placement during their specialty block in year 2. They should now be quite confident in the consultation process, formulating management plans as well as ddx. They should be able to start helping you out with your list for the day and be allocated patients to see as well as sitting in on GP consultations and having a daily tutorial.

    Remuneration for GP 3 is £80/student/day

    If you would like to receive more information about hosting Physician Associate students, please contact Kerry Bayliss, GP placement lead and lecturer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    Resources for recruitment

    Primary Care Networks are able to claim 100% funding for Physician Associate posts through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme


    To access an editable Job Description and Person Specification, please click the links below:


    Please see additional useful documents below:

    - Physician Associates working in Primary Care

    - Physician Associate preceptorship funding guidelines

    - Physician Associate preceptorship application for funding


    Find out more about Physician Associates at the Faculty of Physician Associates website:


    To view the minimum role requirements for the Physician Associate role, please click the link below:

    Physician Associate Minimum Role Requirements

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    The Black Country & West Birmingham has a Physician Associate Ambassador who is able to offer support and advice to local PAs and Primary Care Networks:

    Victoria Wilkinson Pawley

    Victoria Wilkinson-Pawley

    I am a qualified Physician Associate (PA) and have worked in primary care for 4 years. Prior to training to be a PA, I completed a BSc Hons Degree in Podiatry. I really enjoy the variety general practice offers, whilst allowing me to provide continuity of care to patients.


    I have been a PA Ambassador for the Black Country and West Birmingham for over 12 months and I am excited to see how the role continues to grow within the area. My role as Ambassador includes offering advice and support to practices looking to incorporate a PA into their workforce, including recruitment aspects, as well as providing mentorship to PAs and arranging monthly PA forums for individuals working within the area.

    Please get in touch if you would like any further information regarding the PA role via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via telephone 07811 714981


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