UK universities to train physicians assistants
- By: Vittal Katikireddi
Birmingham University and Wolverhampton University have announced plans to start courses to train the first British physician assistants, in a bid to relieve pressure on doctors working in the NHS.
Physician assistants have existed for the last 40 years in the United States and have been employed to take histories, examine patients, diagnose conditions, and initiate treatments, under doctors' supervision.
Hilary Paniagua, a senior lecturer, is developing the course at Wolverhampton University: “We are already devising a training programme; it's being validated this year, and it should run this September.
“I think it's the future really and I think it's very timely in light of the shortage of junior doctors and the problems with GP [general practitioner] recruitment. In Wolverhampton, we particularly want to develop a role of physician assistants in primary care. That's really where we have our acute shortages,” she added.
Tipton Care Organisation was the first general