Physician Associate Career Pathways

Thames Valley Physician Associates in Primary Care

Who are Physician Associates?

Physician associates are healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education, who work alongside doctors providing medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. Physician associates are dependent practitioners who can work autonomously, but always under the supervision of a fully trained and experienced doctor. They bring new talent to add to the skill mix within practice teams, providing a stable, generalist section of the workforce which can help ease the workforce pressures that the NHS currently faces.

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Physician Associates in Primary Care

Physician associates (PAs) are a relatively new member of the clinical team, seen as complementary to GPs. Following the announcement of the General Medical Council (GMC) to regulate physician associates. It’s anticipated that regulation could be completed by the beginning of 2022. Once this is in place, PAs will be able to prescribe and order radiology investigations. The Physician Associate role is in no way a replacement for any other member of the general practice team. They work in conjunction with and are complementary to the existing team. GPs will continue to lead multi-disciplinary teams, adapting to the evolving primary care networks. (PCNs)

Professional Development for Physician Associates

Oxfordshire Training Hub are passionate about not only employing Physician Associates, but we are invested in the interests and development of each individual employee. We have a variety of training courses and CPD events aimed at nurturing the profession beyond clinical work and offering networking opportunities. Please visit here to view our events calendar:

Employing a Physician Associate

We strongly recommend that employers only consider recruiting physician associates who are registered on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR). This is a register, managed by the FPA, of fully qualified physician associates who have been declared fit to practice in the UK. It enables supervisors and employers to check whether a physician associate is qualified and safe to work in the UK.  Please click here for more information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements are usually requires a background in life sciences first degree to get onto one of the training programmes available. Undergraduate integrated Master of Physician Associate Studies programmes are also now available and these courses require A-levels or equivalent for entry. Link to follow…

Training and development 

Physician associate training usually lasts two years, this is Masters or Diploma Post-Graduate Programme offered by more than 38 universities currently. The training focuses principally on a generalist approach to medicine and this covers adult medicine and paediatric medicine both within Primary Care. In addition there are Physician Associates in surgical specialities and departments such as dermatology, urology and ophthalmology.

Resources & Contact Details for Further Information


Employers Guide

First Year Post-Qualification Guidance

The Thames Valley Physician Associates in Primary Care Study Day (due to have taken place on 5 June 2020) has been postponed until further notice. More information on this will be posted once it becomes available.

Website Links:

Thames Valley Physician Associate Website

For more information please contact: or – HEETV PA Ambassadors – HEE Associate Workforce Transformation Lead, South East

PA Supervision Support Programme For GPs

A programme of nationwide support for GP practices and Supervisors of newly qualified and new to GP Physician Associates.

This new programme is aimed at any resource limited practices or health centres.

For more information email them at: or

The Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Physician Associates has some valuable resources, local contacts and videos, all of which can be viewed here.