A physician associate is a healthcare professional who is an extension of the medical team. We are supervised clinicians, which means that we work under the supervision of a doctor and we are patient facing.
We are post graduates who have learnt the most common and important medical conditions within the United Kingdom. We work alongside other clinicians with the aims to alleviate the pressure from the doctors and allow them to focus on the more complex cases and further training/teaching. We help to diagnose, treat and manage patients within the field that we are working in if it is within our competency.
We are generalist clinicians who do not specialise, which also means that we can work in any speciality throughout our career without further training. We can further develop our skill set by taking any opportunities presented to us within the fields we are working in, for example; minor surgeries in GP, colonoscopies in GI/general surgery and so on….There is scope for PAs to prescribe and order imaging with ionising radiation in the future, however, at present we are not yet regulated to do so.
The career path is ever changing and improving, with more and more PAs graduating and entering the field every year!