Welsh Government funds new medical post graduate diploma places

Swansea University post graduate students wishing to study the newly announced Physician Associate post graduate diploma will have their tuition fee costs covered in full by the NHS.

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This exciting news means that students studying for this Masters level qualification will not have to pay the £9,000 per year tuition fee. In addition NHS funding will also be available in the form of a non-means tested grant of £1,000 and a means tested NHS bursary of up to £3,741. Some travel expenses will be provided per student. In addition students can apply for a number of additional means tested supplementary grants if they meet specific criteria.  

The Medical School’s new qualification , starting in September, is one of only two of its kind in Wales. The course has been developed between Swansea University Medical School and College of Human and Health Science through the ARCH partnership.

Although the role is relatively new to the UK, Physician Associates are already seen as a key role in the US and have been in existence for years and are an established part of the American medical workforce.

Physician Associates work to support doctors and will provide a valuable  supplement to the NHS workforce. They are trained clinicians and can undertake initial patient assessments and can carry out a range of procedures under the supervision of a doctor. They are trained generically so they can work in all areas of healthcare such as medicine, surgery, paediatrics and mental health and can also work in primary or secondary care.

Another benefit of this role is Physician Associates tend to work in a particular clinical area for a number of years which provides continuity and consistency, which is difficult to achieve with junior doctors who frequently move departments.

Swansea University Medical School is launching its two-year programme in September and has 15 funded places available. The programme will enable students to develop  the knowledge and clinical skills they require to pass the National Certification Examination and start work as a Physician Associate. 

Although Physician Associates are dependent practitioners, they can also practise independently and make independent decisions. This is enabled by collaboration and supportive working relationships with their clinical supervisors, meaning that there is always someone who can discuss cases, give advice, and review patients if necessary.

The Physician Associate role supplements the role of the  junior doctor, they attend ward rounds, assess patients and organise aspects of the management plan.

Swansea University Physician Associate students will spend the majority of year one undertaking university-based theory and practical sessions with some early clinical exposure to the working environment of the NHS. During their second year, students will mainly take up clinical placements, with students applying their learning in the care of real patients under the supervision of a clinically qualified mentor.

Physician Associates work across a wide range of departments and a particular advantage of this role is maintaining the Physician Associate’s general knowledge which allows flexibility and transferability of skills. They can also work closely with GPs and support chronic disease management as well as carry out urgent same-day appointments. These appointments can be triaged by the GP who then works with the Physician Associate to manage the patients, which will help relieve pressure on our primary care services.

Closing date for applications is June 19. Competition is anticipated to be high for this innovative course with only 15 places available for 2016/17. All applications should be made directly to PA.admissions@swansea.ac.uk.

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  • The College of Human and Health Sciences is the largest provider of health care education in Wales, providing an exciting and dynamic environment in which to study and further an academic or professional career. The College of draws together the disciplines of health, nursing, midwifery, social care, social policy and psychology. Find out more about the College of Human and Health Sciences here: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/humanandhealthsciences/
  • The College of Human and Health Sciences’ mission is to conduct high quality international research that meets the needs of the people of south-west Wales and beyond. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 our researchers in ageing studies, social work and social carework, were the best in Wales for the originality, significance and rigour of their research, while also being ranked 14th in the UK.  Psychology was ranked in the UK top-30 in its field and first in the UK for the impact of its research. Find out more about research at the College of Human and Health Sciences here: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/humanandhealthsciences/research/our-research/

 

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