MSc Physician Associate

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Medical Sciences

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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Bioscience and Pharmacology for Clinical Medicine and Surgery 1

    In this module you will study a wide range of clinical sciences, including anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology and pharmacology, with a focus on how these are linked to human health and disease. These sciences will then be closely linked to the associated clinical presentations of a range of acute and chronic common medical conditions and injuries, presenting in patients. The scientific basis of these conditions will be described and linked to the symptoms and signs of disease. You will study a range conditions commonly seen both in the community and in hospital.

    You will study the above topics for the following body systems:

    • Respiratory
    • Vascular
    • Cardiac
    • Renal
    • Gastrointestinal
    • Neurological

    You will have both face-to-face and online lectures and tutorials in these subjects, and as you undertake the module you will complete a Case Study.

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    Foundations of Physician Associate Clinical Practice 1

    In this module you will explore and develop the skills of evidence-based clinical practice that form the core of the clinical skills that you will use professionally as a Physician Associate. You will explore the best ways for gathering accurate and appropriate information about your patient and how to perform physical examinations of your patient. You will study the best use of investigations, like blood tests and x-rays to help to diagnose illness and you will also learn basic clinical procedures such as measuring blood pressure, heart rate, taking blood or using oxygen.

    You will learn and demonstrate effective communication skills for working with your patients and the multidisciplinary clinical team that you will work with. You will also learn how to interpret the results of investigations such as blood tests, x-rays, CT and MRI scans so they can be utilised to diagnose your patient and work out a treatment plan.

    You will apply the skills you have learnt to be able carry out basic core procedures such as venepuncture and oxygen therapy. As you become more confident, you will practise your new skills in a safe setting with clinical simulation, using the same procedures and equipment that is used in hospital or in the community. This work will enable you to perfect and extend your range of clinical skills so that when you enter clinical placements you can be safe and confident in your level of knowledge, but know the point at which you need to seek help from senior colleagues.

    At the end of the module you will be assessed and you will need to undertake an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam) practical exam.

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    Bioscience and Pharmacology for Clinical Medicine and Surgery 2

    In this module you will extend your study of a wide range of clinical sciences, including anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, and pharmacology with focus on how these are linked to human health and disease, that you started in Module PA7001. You will then study how these sciences are closely linked to the associated clinical presentations of a range of acute and chronic common medical conditions and injuries, presenting in patients, including paediatric and pregnant patients. The scientific basis of these conditions will be described and linked to the symptoms and signs of these conditions. You will study a range conditions commonly seen both in the community and in hospital.

    You will study the above topics for the following body systems:

    • Musculoskeletal
    • Ophthalmology
    • ENT
    • Endocrine and Metabolic
    • Dermatology
    • Haematological
    • Infections
    • Paediatrics
    • Female Health

    You will have both face-to-face and online lectures and tutorials in these subjects, and as you undertake the module you will complete a Case Study.

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    Foundations of Physician Associate Clinical Practice 2

    This module will enable you to continue to develop and enhance the clinical skills of those evidence-based clinical and professional skills that you first met in Foundations of Physician Associate Clinical Practice 1 and that you will use in practice as a Physician Associate. The module will continue to develop best practice for history taking, clinical examination as well as the use of investigations and basic procedures. In this module you will learn about utilising these skills in paediatric and pregnant patients. In addition, you will explore current guidelines for emergency management and resuscitation.

    The skills you will learn include focused history taking, skills for focused clinical examinations and the reasoned prioritisation and interpretation of findings from investigations such as blood tests, x-ray, CT scans and MRI.

    You will then go on to apply the skills you have learnt to be able carry out basic core procedures such as cannulation, arterial blood gas, infusions, advanced oxygen therapy, suturing and then use your skills and procedures to learn about and practice emergency management guidelines and resuscitation skills.

    To ensure deeper learning in your clinical topics you will undertake clinical simulation scenarios in a multidisciplinary team setting to extend your skills on how to manage adult, paediatric and pregnant patients for a range of acute and chronic conditions. You will also learn the ABCDE approach for managing emergency conditions and also learn how to perform Basic and Intermediate life support.

    At the end of the module you will be assessed and you will need to undertake an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam) practical exam.

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    Public Health, Behavioural Medicine and Mental Health (Mental Wealth)

    In this module you will study the 'causes of the causes' and the many drivers behind illness and health in our society and their contribution to major global health issues. You will explore three key healthcare areas, public health and the psychosociology of health and mental health.

    Public health will start with a consideration of wellbeing and definitions of health progressing to looking at how people try to keep healthy. Moving on you will consider the important topics surrounding why people seek healthcare input, looking at economic and behavioural aspects of healthcare access, barriers and inequalities. Then you will look at the principles of illness prevention and the epidemiological definitions of population health. As part of your study of epidemiology you will study some real life local examples of epidemiology and learn to recognise and assess the statistical methods employed. This module will extend the professional skills that you will use in practice as a Physician Associate. In addition, you will also consider some current topics in global healthcare discussing the variations in access and delivery.

    Research has shown that there is a powerful role for psychosocial factors in determining the pattern of illness and health in any population. This module will foster a deeper understanding of those sociological factors that contribute to levels of health and illness in a population and relating these to health inequalities. You will then take a further look at health seeking behaviour, looking this time specifically at sociological determinants and linking this to the issue of achieving behavioural changes, including the difference between concordance and compliance for patients.

    You will also study common mental health presentations and learn about assessment and patient management in mental health. You will then study those medicolegal aspects that are important in mental health, including learning about mental capacity and its role in patient health.

    You will be assessed through a group video presentation on behavioural or mental health and a case study on an issue that particularly interested you and how it has impacted your studies.

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    Communication and Clinical Reasoning in Clinical Assessment Practice

    In this module you will explore and develop the communication and clinical reasoning skills that you will use in clinical practice as a Physician Associate. You will study what is meant by patient safety, understanding and managing clinical risk. You will explore what is best practice in patient-centred communication and shared-decision making in patient assessment and management. Then the process of clinical decision making will be explored and your skills will be extended so that you are able to work successfully in complex, time sensitive and uncertain environments focusing on how to work safely, within your abilities and responsibilities and how to recognise and avoid clinical error.

    You will study how to work with children and vulnerable people safely and with empathy and you will develop skills to enable you to work successfully with more challenging patients who are either anxious, upset or angry.

    You will then go on to apply the skills you have learnt using best practice to become more confident when working in dynamic, complex clinical environments, also learning how to avoid clinical error through good multidisciplinary teamworking. You will study human factors, which is concerned with situational awareness, cognitive and affective biases, coping well with authority and reducing errors due to system and organisational causes. Furthermore, you will be able to practice your good communication and clinical reasoning skills by learning to assess and manage more complex cases in simulation enabling you to become a safe, capable and patient-centred clinician.

    You will be assessed by means of a group video project and a case study that you will complete during the module.

  • Core Modules
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    Research Methods and Evidence Based Medicine

    In this module you will study how to design a research question and then search clinical and scientific databases to find an appropriate range of literature on a chosen topic. You will be able to explore differing research methodologies and learn how to decide which type will be most relevant for a particular project. You will also learn how to critically evaluate literature, choose an appropriate research methodology, including ethical considerations, and how to undertake your Research Dissertation. You will also learn how to analyse, evaluate, describe and present your findings at levels appropriate for clinical professionals.

    You will be introduced to the elements of research methodology, including statistics, qualitative and quantitative methods, ethics, developing a research idea and analysing and presenting data. In addition, it will also give you the skills to undertake clinically-based audit and research when you are a qualified Physician Associate. In this module you will be assessed on the production of a competent dissertation proposal that draws together the material covered in the module. You will also be required to prepare a poster presentation on research methods, which will be assessed. Completion of this module helps to prepare you to undertake your research dissertation and this module must be passed before you can commence your research.

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    Clinical Placements

    In this module your clinical placements will be in primary and secondary care and in this module you will receive your teaching in your clinical placement. You will be going out into full-time work-based clinical placements either in the community and primary care environment or in the hospital, in secondary care. This will enable you to translate the knowledge and skills that you have gained from both a theoretical and simulation perspective, into real-life clinical practice. This module will also prepare you to be eligible to undertake the Physician Associate National Certification examination which you must pass to be able to practice clinically.

    In this module you will work under the supervision and guidance of a clinical supervisor in a range of community or primary care environments. In clinical placement you will work through and complete a signed off skills passport and a placement assessment document. You will be assessed by clinical supervisors in each clinical placement, throughout the year to develop as competent practitioner.

    Clinical Placements in primary care will include general practice, hospice care, sexual health and residential and care homes. Whereas clinical placements in secondary care could be in any of these areas:

    • Acute medicine
    • Emergency medicine
    • General Surgery
    • Obstetrics & gynaecology
    • Paediatric medicine
    • Mental health

    In secondary care you could be in follow-up clinics, outpatient clinics, surgical theatre, ward rounds or multidisciplinary meetings. You will be learning with, from and about patients in a clinical setting under supervision. You will be taking patient histories, examining patients, following a patient journey. You will also need to understand patient medications, how to take and record patient observations and interpret patient investigations, carry out clinical skills as appropriate. This module will also prepare you to be eligible to undertake the Physician Associate National Certification examination which you must pass to be able to practice clinically.

    In this module you will learn patient assessment, examination and diagnosis in a primary care or secondary care. You will be able to use those clinical skills and procedures that you learnt previously in simulation, in the management of real patients under direct supervision. You will experience working in a multi-disciplinary team and be able to put your patient-centred approach into practice, including emergency management guidelines and resuscitation skills. You will work under the supervision and guidance of a clinical supervisor in a range of healthcare environments where you will work through and complete a signed off skills passport. During this period you will be assessed by clinical supervisors in each clinical placement, throughout the year to develop as a competent practitioner.

    You need to pass every clinical placement within this module. If you fail a placement you will have the opportunity to resit. You will be assessed by completing both a Placement Assessment Document and a Practical Skills Passport, these documents will be continuously assessed and are both Pass/Fail. The documents will contain entries by yourself and your various clinical advisers.

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    Research Dissertation -Service Improvement Project

    In this module you will apply those skills that you have learnt in the Research Methods and Evidence-Based Medicine Module to devise and implement a community-based research project (dissertation).

    The research project is an extended piece of work that explores an aspect of one of the following:

    • Service improvement policy
    • Community practice
    • Healthcare policy
    • Public health
    • Psychosocial issues applied to healthcare

    You will work under the guidance of a project supervisor to identify a suitable topic for exploration and to develop your research methodology. Along with a critical evaluation and analysis of a range of relevant literature you will need to audit and evaluate an aspect of the role of the Physician Associate in clinical practice. You will also need to assess the potential impact of your findings on healthcare improvement within a clinical setting. Exploring and appraising the conceptual, analytical and ethical processes which underpin your project will allow you to consolidate and enhance your skills in research and evaluation as you complete this considerable piece of work. Ethical aspects and considerations necessary during all phases of planning and data collection will also be a major focus for your reflection and this module and your project will provide an opportunity for you to collaborate with clinical colleagues to extend your knowledge with reference service improvement and also to assess the potential of Physician Associates as a new healthcare profession.

    You will be assessed on your completed research dissertation. Also as part of your assessment ,along with the final dissertation, you will need to produce a mid-term presentation outlining the major themes, aims, objectives and planning that you have undertaken when scoping your project.

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    Advanced Clinical Practice

    This module will enable you to consolidate and undertake further practice, demonstrating the clinical knowledge and skills that you have acquired in earlier modules and applying these in the context of patient assessment and management in a clinical setting, including emergency management and resuscitation. Through a blended mixture of online lectures and simulation learning, with low fidelity, hybrid and high-fidelity simulation mannikins and deliberate practice, you will gradually extend and integrate your theoretical clinical knowledge and practical clinical skills. You will apply and demonstrate these skills to assess and clinically manage patients safely and competently.

    In addition you will practice skills in referring and handing over patients safely and competently to other medical practitioners. You will be able to demonstrate your patient-centred approach and you level of teamworking skills, your knowledge of working in a multi-disciplinary team and approach to reducing clinical error through a sound understanding of human factors. This module will be taught on academic in-days throughout your second year when you are off clinical placement and at university.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Stratford Campus

Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

YOUR FUTURE CAREER