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York and Scarborough hospitals welcome new physician associate role

A new role that supports hospital doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients is set to free up more time for senior doctors to deal with complex cases.

The Trust, which manages York and Scarborough hospitals, has welcomed 12 new physician associates to its workforce.  The new recruits have graduated from Hull York Medical School, University of Bradford and University of Leeds after completing their MSc in Physician Associate Studies.

Physician associates are medically trained, generalist healthcare professionals who work alongside doctors and provide medical care.  The role allows them to take a patient's history, make a simple diagnosis, carry out some physical examinations, formulate diagnosis and develop treatment plans.

The new physician associates will practice across a range of medical specialties, freeing up senior doctors to deal with complex cases, as well as providing cover so that trainee doctors and surgeons can attend training, clinics or theatre.

Karen Cowley, Directorate Manager Specialist Medicine/General Medicine, explained:  “Physician associates are unique in that they are trained in a medical model unlike the other professionals - so they develop skill sets and attitudes to deliver healthcare to patients in multiple settings very much like a doctor.

“Still a relatively new role to the NHS, the introduction of the physician associate role is great news for the Trust as it complements the numbers of the medical workforce, and increases access to quality care for patients.”

The physician associates will complete four six-month rotations as part of a two-year preceptorship programme.  Their ability to practise medicine will be supported by clinical and educational supervisors - meaning that there is always someone who can discuss cases, give advice and attend to patients if necessary.

23 October 2018

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