This Physician Associates job description will be helpful for any general practice looking to recruit a Physician Associate to work as part of a multidisciplinary primary care team.
Download Physician Associate job description
There is no limit to the roles that Physician Associates can have in primary care. Upon qualifying they will be able to manage most of the on the day cases that present to primary care and with time they can expand their experience to manage chronic conditions, undertake home visits, manage paperwork and other clinical administrative tasks. Within the UK there are already examples of Physician Associates being a partner in a GP surgery – which demonstrates their potential for progression and the value they can add to the practice clinical team.
The only current limitation is that Physician Associates cannot currently prescribe or request ionising radiation and this is because the role is currently non-regulated. This is currently being reviewed by the Royal College of General Practitioners with a view to becoming regulated.
Physician Associates will generally need to work under the supervision of a GP whilst they are in primary care, although they will be able to see patients and do home visits unaccompanied, they will need access to a doctor to discuss challenging cases. Experience of Physician Associates in primary care to date is that they learn very fast and can quickly manage a very impressive portfolio of cases and some very challenging situations.
The career path chosen by people who train to be Physician Associates is one that prioritises patient facing services, and to this end Physician Associates tend to want to remain loyal to a population and develop excellent professional relationships.
When a practice needs someone who cares about people and will deal with the clinical demands put on the practice, a Physician Associate may just be the person they’re looking for.