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Physician associates in primary care

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. 

With the support of funding from Health Education England, there are around 34 Higher Education Institutions offering physician associate programmes. This means the number of qualified physician associates is increasing - in February 2018, there were 1,358 student physician associates registered in England, with an estimated 2,855 graduating by the end of 2020.


Our activity 

We are implementing a number of initiatives to help increase the number of physician associates choosing to work in general practice including:

·       Educational support allowance for students

·       Increase in the number of hours of clinical placement in primary care

·       Additional preceptorship funding for employers who take on a physician associates.


Targeted awareness raising - #AssociateYourself campaign

We’re also running a campaign to raise awareness of the opportunities available to physician associates in general practice. 

Physician associates can find out more on the Health Careers website.

If you’re a GP or practice manager, there’s a dedicated general practice employers page with access to contacts and free resources on the Faculty of Physician Associates website

To get involved in the campaign as a champion, email our team.  



Get in touch

For more information email our team.