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Medical Associate Professionals

Medical Associate Profession (MAP) roles – which include roles growing in prominence such as Physician Associates and Advanced Clinical Practitioners and others – have emerged within the health and care sector over the last few years, based within multi-professional teams providing a high level of accessible care for all patients. People can progress into these roles from other healthcare professions, with the right background, once having completed the necessary qualifications, but these are also career paths in their own right.

These roles support, and are supervised by, doctors and include a high level of training to cover tasks typically associated with doctors in training – bridging skills gaps with responsibilities such as examinations, taking medical histories, diagnosis and more.

Explore MAP roles of interest, including information about entry requirements, below:

Advanced Clinical Practitioner

Also referred to as Advanced Clinical Care Practitioners (ACCPs), this is a highly skilled role based within critical care units in hospitals. People in this role are part of a team of healthcare professionals helping to monitor and treat patients with a range of life-threatening conditions and who need specialist treatment. ACCPs usually hold a master’s degree but may also have significant experience in a range of backgrounds such as paramedics, nursing, pharmacy or occupational therapy.

Typical entry requirements:

  • To undertake ACCP training you will at least need:
    • To be a registered healthcare professional, and able to demonstrate appropriate continuing professional development
    • Recent experience of work within critical care
    • To hold a bachelor’s degree
  • Trainees must be entered in a programme that leads to a post-graduate diploma or master’s degree with a higher education institution – they are also employed by a health and care organisation throughout the training duration

Anaesthesia Associate

Part of a team, usually led by a Consultant Anaesthetist, an Anaesthesia Associate is trained to provide supervised anaesthetic care within a variety of environments. Duties could include assessing patients before their operation, collecting patient information (such as medical history), implementing their anaesthesia care plan, helping to administer drugs, record keeping, risk management and much more. 

As an Anaesthesia Associate, you’ll provide services to patients requiring anaesthesia, respiratory care, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and/or other emergency, life-sustaining services within the anaesthesia and wider theatre and critical care environments.

Entry roles can vary from organisation to organisation, and some training will usually be provided when you start the job. If you’re looking at a specific role and have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

PHYSICIAN ASSOCIATE

Physician Associates may be based either within a hospital or a GP surgery, working directly with patients and helping to support (and under the supervision of) doctors. This is a highly trained, post-graduate role which might include tasks such as taking medical histories, physical examinations, performing diagnostic procedures, analysing test results, helping patients manage their long-term or chronic conditions, health promotion and more.

Typical entry requirements:

  • Completion of a bioscience-related first degree (requiring relevant A-Level and GSCE qualifications) is required for Physician Associate training (itself usually lasting 2 years)
    • Undergraduate integrated Master of Physician Associate Studies programmes are available (themselves requiring A-Levels)
  • Registered healthcare professionals can also apply for Physician Associate roles (e.g. nurses, AHP, midwife)
  • Apprenticeships are also available in this area (Level 7)
  • Demonstrable experience of working with the public in a health and social care setting is advantageous

SURGICAL CARE PRACTITIONER

People in this role, based within operating theatres, on wards and within clinics, are primarily responsible for supporting surgeons (and other professionals) before, during and after patients undergo operations and other surgical procedures. They are trained to complete some minor surgical procedures themselves (such as wound closure or harvesting veins) under the supervision of the Consultant Surgeon, to whom they also report.

Tasks might include assessing and preparing patients ahead of surgery, generally assisting throughout procedures, planning post-operative care, prescribing medication, making ward rounds and so on.

Typical entry requirements:

  • For joining a recognised training programme, you will at least need:
    • Evidence of study at Level 7 or above (such as a master’s)
    • To be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (if from a nursing background) or the Health and Care Professionals (if an AHP)
    • At least 18 months of post-registration experience as a qualified, registered healthcare professional