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Medical Associate Professional

This is a relatively new role and can be found in hospital and community settings.

There are four Medical Associate Professions:

Physician associates

Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. Physician associates work in hospitals, general practices and can also be deployed in mental health settings.

Advanced Critical Care Practitioners (ACCPs)

Advanced Critical Care Practitioners are highly experienced and skilled members working in critical care units. They are qualified clinical professionals who have undertaken further training to enable them to make clinical and critical decisions when working in critical care units. They work with all members of the critical care team and are trained to diagnose and treat patients or refer them to an appropriate specialist. They are empowered to make high-level clinical decisions as part of intensive care consultant-led teams and will often have their own caseload.

Surgical Care Practitioners

Surgical care practitioners are established members of the surgery team within healthcare organisations. Their main responsibilities are to support surgeons and other professionals before, during and after surgical procedures. Surgical care practitioners provide care in an operating theatre, on wards and in clinics. They are trained to undertake some surgical procedures under appropriate supervision and within their allowed scope of practice. They are directly responsible to the consultant surgeon. Surgical care practitioners are regulated to prescribe medications.

Anaesthesia Associates

Anaesthesia associates are part of the multi-disciplinary anaesthesia team, led by a consultant anaesthetist that looks after patients undergoing many aspects of critical care. You’ll be trained to provide anaesthetic services, under supervision, in a variety of environments.

Entry Requirements

The main route into a Medical Associate Profession can vary but for a Physician Associate you usually need a bioscience-related first degree to get onto one of the training programmes available. There is also a level 7 apprenticeship for Physician Associates. To become an ACCP it is likely that you will need to be already trained in a role such as nursing or on one of the allied health professions and have significant clinical experience in that area. Most current ACCP trainees have a background in nursing. Surgery Care Practitioners will need evidence of an ability to study at Level 7 or above eg at Master’s level.

Useful Resources

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (opens in a new window)

Royal College of Surgeons (opens in a new window)

The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (opens in a new window)