Who are Physician Associates?

This leaflet published by the Royal College of Physicians explains the role of Physician Associates, how they work, where they fit into general practice and their scope of practice.

Physician Associates are collaborative healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education, who work alongside doctors, GPs and surgeons providing medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team.

Download Who are Physician Associates?

Physician associates are dependent practitioners working with a dedicated supervisor, but are able to work independently with appropriate support.

Physician associates can:

  • take medical histories from patients
  • arry out physical examinations
  • see patients with undifferentiated diagnoses
  • see patients with long-term chronic conditions
  • formulate differential diagnoses and management plans
  • perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • develop and deliver appropriate treatment and management plans
  • request and interpret diagnostic studies
  • provide health promotion and disease prevention advice for patients.

Currently, physician associates are not able to:

  • prescribe
  • request ionising radiation (eg chest X-ray or CT scan).