How to become a physician associate
You can get into this career through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
To become a physician associate you need an undergraduate degree in a health or life science subject, for example:
- biomedical science
- physician associate studies
- medical therapies
After your degree you can study a 2-year, full-time, postgraduate physician associate diploma or master's course that is recognised by the Faculty of Physician Associates.
Courses combine the scientific study of general medicine and practical clinical experience. You'll study:
- general and community medicine
- emergency medicine
- mental health
- obstetrics and gynaecology
You'll usually need:
- 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You may be able to do a physician associate degree apprenticeship, leading to a master's postgraduate level qualification. It will take around 30 to 36 months to complete.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
If you're a qualified and experienced healthcare professional, like a nurse or midwife, you may be able to apply to become a physician associate. You'll need to take a postgraduate qualification in physician associate studies to do this.
You can find vacancies on NHS Jobs and BMJ jobs.
When applying for courses and jobs, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.
Professional and industry bodies
At the end of your course you will 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) which proves to employers that you are a fully qualified physician associate.
You can find out more about training and working as a physician associate from the Royal College of Physicians and Health Careers.