Physician Associates: A working solution in primary carePublished: 9th April 2020
This booklet published by the Royal College of Physicians will support general practices to understand the role of Physician Associates, where they fit into general practice and their scope of practice.
Physician Associates work to complement GPs and the practice team. They are dependent practitioners who remain under the supervision of a named GP, to add extra capacity and exibility. Like all clinicians, they are committed to on-going learning and development.
Physician Associates have been around for over 50 years in America and the role is widely established in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Ghana, India, and more recently in Afghanistan, Australia, New Zealand. There is strong evidence for the cost effectiveness of Physician Associates working in general practice.
Recruiting a Physician Associates could be useful for any general practice that has:
- An increasing workload of routine patient presentations
- Difficulty recruiting clinicians – for example GPs and nurses
- A lack of appointment slots and cover for extended hours
- A flexible approach to your workforce for long term and urgent patient care
- A need for a clinician who can undertake residential, nursing and home visits