What does a Physician Associate do?
Physician Associates are practitioners who work with a dedicated Medical Supervisor. They can work independently with appropriate support from Physicians, or as part of a medical team in a hospital, healthcare facility or at a Physician’s surgery. They help with Physicians’ workload by handling patients’ appointments. They also examine and diagnose patients before developing treatment plans to manage the health of the patients.
Physician Associate skills and qualifications
Physician Associates need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills as they work with Physicians and patients. A successful Physician Associate candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:
- Confidence and ability to work independently
- Thorough knowledge of medicine and biology
- Proficiency in the use of computers and popular medical software packages, such as EHR and EMR programs
- Sensitivity and understanding when working with patients
- Outstanding problem-solving and analytical skills to process and interpret information accurately
- The ability to deal with criticism and to perform well under pressure
- The ability and willingness to work hard, as Physician Associates often work long hours mostly on their feet
Physician Associate experience requirements
An entry-level Physician Associate must have prior health experience in a clinical setting. They must also have a licence to practise. Some employers prefer candidates who have two years of experience as a Physician Associate or Nurse. For senior Physician Associate positions, candidates may be required to have a minimum of three to five years of experience.
Physician Associate education and training requirements
Candidates must have an undergraduate degree in sciences, such as biology, biomedical science or chemistry. Employers prefer candidates who have completed a postgraduate Physician Associate diploma or a master’s degree. Candidates must also have a Physician Associate degree apprenticeship resulting in a master’s level postgraduate qualification. Candidates must have passed a national examination and should be members of the Royal College of Physicians and the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register. Physician Associates need to complete 50 hours of continuous professional development annually and pass a renewal examination every six years.
Physician Associate salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Physician Associate in the UK is £25,961 per year. The salary level varies depending on the hospital or healthcare facility, the location and the years of experience required.
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