quote HEE facebook linkedin twitter bracketDetail search file-download keyboard-arrow-down keyboard-arrow-right close event-note

You are here

Physician associates in primary care

The 2016 General Practice Forward View committed to strengthening the workforce. This included an aim to recruit 1000 physician associates into general practice.

Physician associates are clinical graduates trained in the medical model. They must pass an intensive 2 year university course at diploma or masters level to learn clinical knowledge and skills after completing a 3 year biomedical or healthcare related degree. They train in both the acute sector and primary care to gain a rounded patient centred clinical experience. 

There are 34 Higher Education Institutions offering physician associate (PA) training programmes. This means the number of qualified physician associates is increasing.  

We have implemented initiatives to help increase the number of physician associates choosing to work in general practice including:

  • Educational support allowance for students
  • Increased clinical placement hours in primary care
  • Additional preceptorship funding for Primary care employers who employ a  physician associate

There’s more information about the role on the Health Careers website.

If you’re a GP or practice manager, you’ll find a dedicated general practice employers page with access to local contacts and FAQs and free resources on the Faculty of Physician Associates

James Catton is a qualified and experienced PA with his own channel called ‘The Physician Associate podcast.’  You can hear a variety of news and contributor views covering topics such as GMC regulation, supervision of PAs in primary care and preceptorship years.

Promotional resources for social media can also be accessed via our toolkit.

Get in touch

To get in touch email primarycare@hee.nhs.uk


Return to the top of the page.