06 Feb 2018 Successful career’s gathering for Physician Associate students at Medical School

Swansea University Medical School has held a successful careers day for Physician Associate students.

The Physician Associates qualification was introduced last year and  is one of only two of its kind in Wales. The course has been developed between Swansea University Medical School and College of Human and Health Science through the ARCH partnership. Although the role is relatively new to the UK, Physician Associates are already seen as a key role in the US and have been in existence for years and are an established part of the American medical workforce.

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Physician Associates work to support doctors and will provide a valuable  supplement to the NHS workforce. They are trained clinicians and can undertake initial patient assessments and can carry out a range of procedures under the supervision of a doctor. They are trained generically so they can work in all areas of healthcare such as medicine, surgery, paediatrics and mental health and can also work in primary or secondary care.

Another benefit of this role is Physician Associates tend to work in a particular clinical area for a number of years which provides continuity and consistency, which is difficult to achieve with junior doctors who frequently move departments.

Dr Chris Jones, Chair of Health Education Improvement Wales opened the event which was attended by students from the programme, along with representatives from local Health Boards and GP practices including; ABMU, Hywel Dda, Aneurin Bevan, Cardiff and Vale, Cwm Taf and Powys Teaching Health Boards. It was an opportunity for our students to meet with potential employers.

Dr Wyn Harris, Programme Director said: “There was a real buzz about this event. Health Boards and GP practices in South Wales are clearly embracing the Physician Associate role and our students proved great ambassadors today. One of the aims of the course is to provide well trained Physician Associates for our local workforce and this meeting was a big step forward in turning that aspiration into reality. I`m very grateful to everyone who attended.”

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