Thursday, October 22, 2015

The case for the Physician Associate

The NHS is promoting the development of the new profession of Physican Associate (PA) (see NHS careers webpage). The role has been seen as "doctors on the cheap", but in fact, although Physician Associates are trained in the medical model, they are not doctors. The competition is more with other allied health professionals.

There are advantages in having allied health professionals trained in the patient-centred medical model. A PA is always responsible to a doctor. The Royal College of Physicians has set up a Faculty of Physician Associates (see webpage).

After training, it is important that Trusts support newly qualified PAs in a professional academy, as my own Trust has done for nurses and plans to extend to other disciplines (see webpage).