Congratulations on securing a place to study at Swansea University
Welcome to Swansea!!
Congratulations on gaining a place on the MSc Physician Associate Studies programme at Swansea University. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Swansea University, Medical School, on Tuesday 30th August.
Now is an exciting time to be training as a PA with the impending regulation of the profession by the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2023. The number of practicing PAs in Wales and the UK is increasing every year and PAs are now widely accepted as important members of the clinical multidisciplinary team.
You will be taught by experienced clinicians and educators from the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science, which incorporates Swansea University Medical School, and local Health Boards. Amongst these will be an increasing number of Physician Associates and we aim to increase the number of PA Educators further with time.
I am sure you have thought long and hard before deciding to become a Physician Associate. It is a very exciting time for this new clinical profession but with the privileges of a professional vocation come responsibilities. These are enshrined in the Faculty of Physician Associates “Code of conduct for Physician Associates ”. The faculty currently manages the Physician associate managed voluntary register (PMVR) as a precursor to statutory registration. You may well have encountered this in your preparation for Physician associate programme interviews, now comes the time when this applies to you!
I would also like to draw your attention to the GMC document “Good Medical Practice: Interim Standards for Physician Associates and Anaesthesia Associates” (https://www.gmc-uk.org/pa-and-aa-regulation-hub). This outlines the standards of professional behaviour expected of physician associates. The purpose of these standards is firstly to protect patients & secondly to maintain the public’s trust in the profession. Although regulation has not started yet, Physician Associate students and Physician Associate programmes, are expected to work within the GMC’s guidance.
You should be aware that these standards of behaviour apply at all times, even outside your studies. I would be grateful if you would take the time to read these documents and reflect on how they apply to you from now on.
At Swansea, we pride ourselves on being a friendly and supportive learning community. The programme is tough but we are here to support you throughout your two years on the programme as we help you become thriving Physician Associates in the future.
We look forward to you joining us.
Well done and good luck!
Dr Sharon Hartwell
Interim Programme Lead for MSc in Physician Associate Studies