RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences has announced a pilot hybrid version of its Physician Associate Studies course. It is to commence in January 2023. The aim of the pilot is to encourage a wider distribution of physician associates nationally.
Previously, enrolment in Physician Associate Studies at RCSI required students to be based in the Dublin area. With the new hybrid programme, students have the option of training in local communities. This can be anywhere in Ireland and attending lectures online. On-campus attendance would only be required for certain activities. This is such as the induction programme and 2 days per month for skills training sessions.
The MSc in Physician Associate Studies was launched by RCSI in 2016. It is the only programme of its kind in Ireland. Highly-skilled healthcare professionals, physician associates provide a broad range of medical services in a wide variety of workplaces. (including all types of hospital and surgical care, GP practices in addition to community health services).
Working collaboratively with the entire medical team, physician associates are trained to perform history and physical exams, order and interpret appropriate investigations, establish diagnoses and propose treatment plans. There are now 46 physician associates working in Irish healthcare.
While all physician associate students hold a foundation degree in health science or a science-related area, they come from a diverse range of backgrounds from healthcare to academia.
Professor Lisa Alexander, Director of Physician Associate Studies at RCSI, welcomed the new learning model
She said: “In designing the new remote/hybrid model for Physician Associate Studies, our priority is to ensure the equivalent educational experience as our Dublin based course, while also providing flexibility for prospective students.
“This new format will therefore allow eligible students to remain in their home communities to complete the programme. Thus making it more accessible, while also promoting a new philosophy of partnering with local communities to grow their health workforce locally.”
Joining the hybrid programme is subject to successful completion of the admissions process. Commitment and confirmation from clinical partners of local placements in hospitals and GP settings.
To learn more about Physician Associate Studies and the new remote learning option, visit the RCSI website.
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