Everything you need to know about working as a UK physician associate
Physician associates are collaborative healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education, who work alongside doctors, GPs and surgeons providing medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. Physician associates are dependent practitioners who typically work with a dedicated supervisor, but are also able to work independently with the appropriate support.
The Physician Associate will work collaboratively with the healthcare team to meet the needs of the patients, supporting the delivery of policy and procedures. The Physician Associate will provide a holistic and clinical service, with support from GPs as required, implementing agreed management plans and following approved protocols as appropriate.
Physician associates role and responsibilities:
carry out physical examinations
see patients with long-term chronic conditions
take medical histories from patients
see patients with undifferentiated diagnoses
formulate differential diagnoses and management plans
develop and deliver appropriate treatment and management plans
perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
provide health promotion and disease prevention advice for patients
request and interpret diagnostic studies (except those involving ionising radiation)
However, it should be noted that physician associates are not able to:
request ionising radiation (eg chest X-ray or CT scan)
provide care or treatments to patients in an unsupervised setting.
Where can physician associates work?
As a physician associate, you are likely to work in multiple environments, including:
Acute medical units
In primary and secondary care
What qualifications does a physician associate need?
To practise as a physician associate in the UK, you will need to have:
At least a bachelor’s degree, usually in a life-science field. This can include (biomedical science or a health-related science degree).
At least a 2:1 honour degree for entry into the postgraduate diploma course
Prior health or social care experience
What is a physician associate’s salary?
Band 7: £38,890 - £44,503
Band 8a: £45,753 - £51,668
Band 8b: £53,168 – £62,001
The newly qualified physician associate post has been evaluated under Agenda for Change at band 7. Higher-level physician associates (usually requiring a minimum of 5 years’ experience and a relevant master’s degree) have been banded at 8a.
Working as a locum physician associate
Band 7: £29-33
Band 8A: £33-37
Band 8b: £36-£40
Working as a locum Physician Associate can differ from a full-time role in the following ways:
6-12+ month contracts available
Can work weekends and evenings for enhanced rates
High expectations on a locum to come in and hit the ground running without a huge amount of training and/or supervision
You can pick where you want to work and what area of Physiology you want to work in
Gain experience using different computer systems and settings
Tend to avoid bureaucracy
Greater flexibility with hours
Paid per hour worked
1 weeks’ notice if you wish is to try a different role
How to become a physician associate
To become a physician associate, the first step is to register with Maxxima. Here, you will be asked to send in your CV – and complete the necessary compliance steps in order to finish your application.
If you have any further questions about becoming a physician associate, or what a physician associate does, get in touch today