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Physician Associates

Physician Associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. As a physician Associate, you will work  in a GP surgery and have direct contact with patients. You’ll be trained to perform a number of day-to-day tasks including:

  • taking medical histories from patients
  • performing physical examinations
  • diagnosing illnesses
  • seeing patients with long-term chronic conditions
  • performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • analysing test results
  • developing management plans
  • provide health promotion and disease prevention advice for patients.

Entry requirements – Physician Associates are trained at Masters level, to become one you will normally need 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science for a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study. If you're a qualified and experienced healthcare professional, like a nurse or midwife, you may be able to apply to become a Physician Associate. You'll need to take a postgraduate qualification in physician associate studies to do this.

Masters degree is a full time, 2 year post graduate degree, you will need a minimum of a 2:1 BSc Hons, or equivalent, in a life sciences or health-related subject (anatomy, biology, biochemistry, biomedical science, healthcare science, medical science, medical engineering, nursing, paramedic, pharmacy, physiology, etc.)

Sometimes you may be able to access an apprenticeship to support you through the courses, these normally last for 30-36 months.

At the end of your course you will sit a national exam and apply for Physician Associate membership of the Royal College of Physicians. This allows you to join the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR) which proves to employers that you are a fully qualified physician associate.

Career progression - Once you're qualified you will have to complete 50 hours of continuous professional development each year and sit a renewal exam every 6 years. As an experienced Physician Associate you may be able to move into management, medical teaching or research. Many Physician Associates work in general practice or emergency care, though it could be possible to specialise in a specific clinical area like paediatric care or mental health.


HED  currently offer trainee Physician associates  placements in practices  from De Montfort University in Leicester

To find out more about the course please click on the photo where you will be directed to De Montfort PA page 

Physician Associate's in General Practice

Please see below a recording from the recent PA webinar hosted by Health Education Derbyshire's Physician Associate Ambassador, Tom Camwell to find out more about:

  • What a PA’s role is within General Practice.
  • What a PA can and can’t do at the moment.
  • What a day looks like as a PA.
  • How PA's differ from other roles.
  • What the future of a PA role looks like within General Practice
  • Supporting newly qualified Pas and getting them up to speed.
  •  HED PA Preceptorship programme.

Click HERE to see HED Flyer 


PA Expression of interest Download pdf (133.71 KB)

What skills do you need?

  • knowledge of medicine
  • knowledge of biology
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • active listening skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer​​​​​​​