Within expanding multi-disciplinary teams, the Physician Associate can be very beneficial.
As well as being a source of continuity for patients, for whom they can monitor physical as well as mental health requirements, Physician Associates can be a vital link in your team, as capable inducting new junior and foundation doctors as liaising with other departments and specialties, ensuring any reports are acted upon.
As well as this, Physician Associates can be trained to work at a high level within the team, developing knowledge of assessing and managing mental disorders, undertaking clinical Audit, gaining knowledge about psychotropic medication and taking a lead role in the physical health of mental health patients.
Guidance on employing Physician Associates
If you’re keen to grow your team, we recommend reading the information on recruiting and deploying Physician Associates in the HEE Physician Associate Toolkit. This not only provides a wealth of information on recruitment, but also suggests ways in which Physician Associates can be appropriately trained within their first year to ensure that they are using and developing all their skills to work to a high level within the multidisciplinary team.
How can Physician Associates support your team?
- take medical and psychiatric histories from patients
- carry out physical and mental state examinations
- see patients with undifferentiated diagnoses
- see patients with long-term chronic conditions
- formulate differential diagnoses and management plans
- perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- develop and deliver appropriate treatment and management plans
- request and interpret diagnostic studies
- provide health promotion and disease prevention advice for patients.
- undertaking full psychiatric (and risk) assessments
- carrying out physical assessments and procedures
- liaising with other services
- carrying caseloads under supervision
- preparing reports and discharge summaries
- undertaking basic psycho-therapeutic interventions
- performing service QI and audit activities
- delivering education of service users and other staff
- assisting the managing consultant by writing letters, chasing referrals/treatments, and preparing medical notes.