31 March

How to Progress as a Physician Associate within General Practice

All the answers you need, to further your career in General Practice

By Rohan Fletcher

With the Physician Associate role increasing in popularity within Primary Care, partly as a result of the ARRS funding that is available to PCNs to help recruit other clinicians into their practice team, more is being asked about how a Physician Associate can progress within their role and develop their career in General Practice.

What opportunities are on offer?

It’s safe to say that there are a lot of opportunities for Physician Associates to develop and expand their scope of not just clinical expertise but also managerial roles. Whether a PA is based at an individual practice or expected to work across multiple locations as part of a PCN role, there are great opportunities available and practices are very open to supporting any areas of specialism that you may have, such as diabetes, COPD, asthma, women’s health, minor illness and injury, just to name a few.

It is also common among practices that we, as a consultancy, have worked with for them to offer Physician Associates the opportunities to lead in certain areas and become the ‘go to’ person at their practice to deal with certain conditions, for example, Mental Health Lead or Contraception Lead just to name a couple that we have come across.

Often, when these interests in specialising in certain areas are outlined at the interview stage, plans and processes can be put in place to allow a smooth development plan to allow you as a Physician Associate to benefit from all the relevant training and development needed to specialise in your area of interest.

Five white doors on one wall

There are lots of options to choose from – if you want help with your career choices, call us today

Working your way up to managerial roles

I also recently spoke to an experienced Physician Associate with about 4 years of experience within Primary Care who had worked her way up to being an Associate Partner within her practice, assisting with recruitment, onboarding, acquisitions of new practice locations, QOF, finances, etc alongside her clinical role within the surgery.

There is not a lot of awareness regarding more managerial roles for Physician Associates working within Primary Care but I think as things do progress and there is a continued increase in Physician Associates working within Primary Care then we will see an increase in the managerial/directorship opportunities for PAs.

One key factor that also needs to be addressed is that of Physician Associates currently not being able to prescribe. This is, in most Practice Manager’s and Partner’s opinion, the only main downside for Physician Associates. Hopefully, between the GMC and the Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) we will see some changes in the next couple of years to allow Physician Associates to become prescribers.

The majority of PAs that I have worked with and spoken to who are working in Primary Care have said that they would jump at the chance to become a prescriber and to offer more to not only the practices that they are employed by but to the patients, they work with as well.

Feet on a pavement with the words passion led us here

We can help you find your next role

Physician Associate podcast

My colleague Jasmine and I recently recorded a podcast discussing everything you need to know about being a PA within Primary Care, from what the average day looks like to how to make yourself stand out when applying for Physician Associate roles.

Make sure to check it out by clicking the link below:

Looking for your next role?

We would love to help you find your next perfect role in Primary Care. You can view all our Physician Associate roles here: Physician Associate roles.

If you would like to arrange a call with Rohan or Jasmine, we would be happy to chat!  We can discuss the type of role you are looking for and where in the country you want to work (we have roles across the whole of the UK). Also, your salary expectations and help you to find the role you’re looking for. Our service is completely free of charge, no obligation and fully confidential, so contact us today! Complete our contact form and we can arrange a time to call you. Complete our contact form here. 

We look forward to speaking with you!



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