How to become a physician associate
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
To become a physician associate you'll need a postgraduate diploma or master's that is recognised by the Faculty of Physician Associates.
You'll usually need an undergraduate degree first, in a health or life sciences subject like:
- medical science
- healthcare science
The postgraduate qualification then takes about 2 years to complete. It combines study with practical clinical experience in general, community and emergency medicine.
Some universities now offer an undergraduate degree that includes an integrated Master of physician associate studies (MPAS). These courses take 4 years to complete.
You'll usually need:
- 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
Depending on your qualifications and experience, you could do a Physician Associate Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship. This will take around 3 years to complete.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
If you're a registered healthcare professional, like a nurse or midwife, you might be able to apply to become a physician associate.
You'll need to take a postgraduate qualification in physician associate studies to do this.
When applying for courses and jobs, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how the NHS values apply in your work.
Professional and industry bodies
At the end of your course you'll sit a national exam and apply for physician associate membership of the Royal College of Physicians.
This allows you to join the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR). This shows employers that you're a fully qualified physician associate.