Physician Associates are healthcare professionals who support doctors with the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to have the attitudes, skills and knowledge base to deliver holistic care and treatment within general practice, hospitals (e.g. accident and emergency, general surgery, paediatrics) and community healthcare, under defined levels of supervision. The role is therefore designed to create a new workforce, which will improve patient access to care.
Roles performed by Physician Associates include; performing physical examinations, formulating differential diagnoses, interpreting diagnostic tests, and recommending treatment plans.
Designed and delivered in collaboration with practitioners from local healthcare providers, through taught sessions, self-directed study and a clinical placement, this course will equip you with the specific knowledge and skills required to practice as a Physician Associate, alongside the development of many transferable skills.
Reasons to study Physician Associate Studies at DMU:
- Developed in conjunction with local health trusts ensuring that you are taught the skills relevant to PAs in the workplace
- Develop your practical skills in our clinical skills suite at DMU
- Improve your critical thinking skills as well as your ability to design, execute and present findings of practice-based research
- We ensure that your learning is relevant to current practice by having direct input and teaching from experienced clinical colleagues
- Inter-professional learning opportunities will develop your ability to work as part of a multi-professional team
- There is currently a high demand for PAs in the East Midlands NHS workforce
Structure and assessment
Anatomy & Physiology (15 credits): This module will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Clinical anatomy will be taught using a combination of lectures and hands-on workshops using 3D anatomical models. The knowledge gained on anatomical structure will be complemented with functional knowledge through teaching on medical physiology topics.
Community Health (15 credits): This module provides an in-depth view of community health, with a focus on populations and communities rather than individual patients. Content includes primary care, mental health and public health, with discussion on the impact of significant health issues upon local and national health services.
Clinical & Professional Skills (30 credits): In this module, you will develop key clinical and professional skills related to working as a Physician Associate. For example; research methods, clinical skills, history taking, physical examination, ethics, communication skills, professional guidelines and regulation, evidence-based medicine, inter-professional education.
General Medicine 1 (30 credits): This module provides a systemic approach to learning about organ systems and clinical pharmacology. Content will include diseases and health conditions associated with major organ systems (e.g. muscular, skeletal, nervous, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, endocrine, urinary/excretory, reproductive and digestive), and how they are treated. The role of the Physician Associate in therapeutics and prescribing will also be discussed.
General Medicine 2 (30 credits): This module will equip you with a sound knowledge of different areas in the clinical setting, and the role of such specialisms in primary and secondary care. Content includes: paediatrics, orthopaedics, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, emergency medicine, critical care and rehabilitation medicine.
Practice-Related Project (60 credits): This module involves completion of an independent (but supervised) evidence-based, practice-related project. The project will develop your ability to relate research concepts and topics to a clinical setting.
You, in conjunction with a clinical supervisor, will identify a research question or area for development and then design an original project to highlight potential solutions.
You will also complete a clinical portfolio and sit the Physician Associate National Exam – these are not credit-bearing, but are essential for the qualification of MSc in Physician Associate Studies.
All modules are compulsory, and all modules must be passed in order to complete the qualification of MSc.
Facilities and features
Health and Life Sciences facilities
Investment of £12 million in Health and Life Sciences has developed our first-class teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.
The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.
Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff, to ensure that your practical ability in the clinical skills suites is accurate.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.
There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.
You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.