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Physician associate

Alternative titles for this job include

Physician associates support doctors to diagnose and manage patients in hospitals and GP surgeries.

Average salary (a year)

£44,000 Starter


£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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 to complete a postgraduate diploma or master's qualification that is recognised by the Faculty of Physician Associates.

For this, you'll usually need a first undergraduate degree in a health or life sciences subject like:

  • biochemistry
  • medical science
  • healthcare science
  • nursing

The postgraduate qualification takes 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.

If you're already a qualified medical professional, contact universities offering the postgraduate course about their entry requirements.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


Depending on your qualifications and experience, you could do a Physician Associate Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship. This will take around 3 years to complete.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More Information


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.

More Information

Career tips

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.

Further information

You can find out more about training and working as a physician associate from the Royal College of Physicians and Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine
  • knowledge of biology
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • active listening skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

Once you're qualified you have to complete 50 hours of continuous professional development each year and sit a renewal exam every 6 years.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You'll support the work of the medical team to provide care for patients with a range of medical conditions.

You'll do many of the day-to-day tasks of doctors, like:

  • examine patients and take medical histories
  • diagnose and make referrals
  • create a healthcare management plan
  • perform medical procedures
  • give advice on keeping healthy and promote wellbeing

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or at a health centre.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

As an experienced physician associate you might be able to move into management, medical teaching or research. 

You might move from general or emergency care into a specialism like paediatric care or mental health.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a physician associate right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Applied Science

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: London

Applied Science

  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Leeds

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

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