Students on Brunel’s first Physician Associate Master’s course were welcomed to a reception with local health professionals and Brunel staff.
The two-year programme will give students a year of medical training, interspersed with visits to hospitals and other medical practices, before continuing their education working full-time in the public health sector.
These opportunities are being provided through local links with GPs, a developing partnership with The Hillingdon Hospital Foundation Trust and Brunel’s membership of the Imperial College Health Partners group.
Working alongside doctors, Physician Associates (PA) perform key medical tasks in the diagnosis and management of patients. Programme Lead Dr David Leonard, who has been a Physician Associate for more than 25 years, said that one issue with traditional medical courses was that as someone moved up the ladder they became increasingly specialised, whereas PAs have the flexibility to easily move between different areas of medicine, or move into research or teaching later on.
During the event, students were able to talk to some of the medical partners offering placement opportunities on the course. Guests included Chad Eventide, a Physician Associate working at Hillingdon Hospital. He will also be acting as a mentor to students on the course.
Dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences, Professor Paul Hellewell, said he was delighted to welcome the first intake of students: “It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to set up this course so quickly and recruit so many keen students onto it. This is a new pathway for us that will naturally complement other courses within the college, and provide a new route into the world of medicine for many students.
"I am very grateful to many colleagues for making this happen, but specific thanks go to Dr David Leonard, Dr Ketan Patel (Consultant Haematologist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust who is seconded to Brunel as the Medical Director of the programme) and Esther Bray (Project Manager in CHLS) who oversaw the whole project.”