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Master of Physician Associate Studies (MPAS)

Hanna graduated from the Physician Associate Studies course in 2019.

She's currently working as a Physician Associate at the Bingley Medical Practice and Wilsden Medical Practice, as part of the Bingley Bubble Primary Care Network, after receiving a job offer while on placement as part of the course.

Tell us about your role as a Physician Associate

"My role as a Physician Associate is multifaceted. It includes supporting the Doctors, working autonomously to run my own clinics, which involves taking medical histories, examining patients, requesting investigations, and diagnosing, treating and managing my patients, with guidance from my supervising Doctor. In addition, I am also involved in conducting home visits and teaching Physician Associate students and Medical Students."

What was your experience of the Physician Associate course?

"The Physician Associate programme here at the University of Bradford was intense, however, it was structured well so that we were covering the theory and given the opportunity to put that into practice when on placement.

"The regular testing and assessments also gave us the opportunity to consolidate our learning. The teaching was conducted by staff and guest speakers from different health professions, such as Doctors, Nurses, Physician Associates and Pharmacists to name but a few.

"As part of the Physician Associate programme we also had to complete a digital portfolio known as ‘pebble pad’ which we could access through computers or as an app on our mobiles.

"This was a convenient and impressive way to register our clinical hours, to sign off for mandatory competencies and procedures, in addition to registering many other requirements for the Royal College of Physicians, Faculty of Physician Associates.

"Whilst sitting the national exams and subsequently on qualifying, it became quite clear to me when speaking to other Physician Associates who came from other University programmes that they were not given the same support, structure or access to experts as we were and they really struggled."

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The programme leads are incredibly supportive and willing to help the students whenever needed.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

"I thoroughly enjoyed being on placement and gaining all my skills and knowledge through meeting patients and medical staff. It was truly an honour to be given the opportunity to be involved in the care of patients and allowed to be privy to some difficult and life changing moments in a person’s life.

"I experienced a multitude of emotions and was involved in and witnessed an array of procedures, from emergency caesarean sections to being part of the crash team during the cardiac arrest of a patient."

"The relationships I forged with the staff on the Physician Associate programme are something that I carry forward. Even today in my professional life, I am often in contact with the University.

"What I deeply hold dear is the lifelong friendships and the camaraderie of my fellow students. As a cohort we pushed each other, studied together and practiced our OSCE’s together. Most importantly, we supported each other and worked as a team. In fact our results as a cohort were one of the best in the UK National Exams for the Royal College of Physicians."

Has studying the course helped your career progression?

"Gaining my Diploma in Physician Associate Studies has most definitely been integral to my career change and progression. Without the Diploma I would not qualify for sitting the national exams and hence practice as a Physician Associate.

"When I was on my elective placement in General Practice, it was during this time that the Practice actually offered me a job and this was prior to sitting the national exams. I was truly lucky to secure a job this way and my employer held on to my post until I got my results."

I received my results on the 1st November and started work on the 4th November. I cannot emphasise enough the opportunities that can arise from being on such a course.

What were your doing before you started the course?

"Prior to joining the Physician Associate programme, I had been practising as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist for 16 years within the NHS, my first degree being that in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Bradford.

"The clinical knowledge that I gained as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist was valuable. To the surprise of many, I had decided to leave one career to embark on another that would allow me to fulfil my passion of working in the frontline services and be directly involved in the holistic care of patients."

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Coming back to the University to start and complete my Postgraduate Diploma was special

What are your career plans?

"I aim to continue to gain more knowledge and expertise. I look forward to getting more involved in women’s health.

"I have come to learn that Local Primary Care Networks will be making it possible for Physician Associates to undertake relevant training to specialise in varying disciplines which I am looking forward to.  This will undoubtedly broaden our expertise, scope and demand."

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Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about taking the MPAS course?

"I would highly recommend joining the course at the University of Bradford. I would strongly advise the cohort to work and support each other as a team. The course is intense at times but sharing the workload, practicing OSCE’s and forming study groups is fundamental to success."

"Most importantly, being on placement is the best environment to consolidate your learning and to become confident in practicing as a Physician Associate."


"You will be involved in the care of patients which is a real privilege. There are so many opportunities that will arise whilst on placement and it is essential that you get involved and show your enthusiasm. It was through placement that some of us gained links and job offers."

Interested in the Master of Physician Associate Studies?

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