Integrated Care Partnership


Physicians Associate

Currently ICP employs a Physicians Associate based at The Old Cottage Hospital Surgery.
During the recent Patient Participation Group focus group meeting, it was mentioned that some patients were unclear about the role of a PA and that perhaps some information about a PA’s qualifications and training would be useful.

Physicians Associates are dependent health care professionals who have been trained in the medical model and work with supervision of a doctor. What are a PA’s responsibilities ?
Physicians Associates can:

Conduct physical examinations
Diagnose and treat illnesses
Order tests and interpret results
Counsel on preventive health care

Currently, PAs are not able to prescribe medication.

In a GP surgery, PAs see patients of all ages for acute and chronic medical care. PAs can refer patients to consultants, the EAU, or to A&E when clinically appropriate. Other duties include home visits, prescription reauthorisation, review of incoming post & laboratory results.

A PA is fully trained in the basic medical sciences such as anatomy, clinical medicine and physical diagnosis. They undertake clinical posts on a rotational basis in:

General medicine
General practice
Surgery
Paediatric medicine
Obstetrics
Gynaecology
Emergency medicine
Elderly Care

They are required to take ongoing continuing medical education classes and be re tested on their clinical skills on a regular basis.
The PA is a representative of the doctor and will treat the patient in a style and manner directed by the supervising doctor. The role of a Physicians Associate has been used as a model for the new role of Medical Practitioner that the NHS will continue to develop in the UK.