In an idle moment this morning I found myself skimming through the BBC News’s website’s section on health. The BBC it seems have closed down is more generic health section. Does anyone know why?
Anyhow my beady eyes spotted the following article entitled “NHS plans rapid expansion of ‘doctor’s assistant’ jobs”. Now my first reaction was – “How many job titles does a healthcare system need?” as ‘doctor’s assistant’ is a new one for me.
In fact it turns out that the name ‘doctor’s assistant’ may come as a surprise to the NHS as well because they call it on their website “Physician associate”. They also mention it was previously called physician assistants.
Now in that context I have heard of them but don’t live in an area where they operate so have never spotted one in the flesh. According to the NHS Career’s website “Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to perform a number of roles including:
taking medical histories
analysing test results
developing management plans.
They work under the direct supervision of a doctor.”
Furthermore they are normally science graduates and them undergo two years training.
My initial thought was that this job function may well prove to be a “good thing” given the long waiting times to actually see a doctor. But on further reflection it occurred to me that the job could be seem as have trained doctors on the cheap.
As I say I’m in two minds so I thought I would through the discussion over to our readers. My question is simple (perhaps too simple). Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?
I’ve set up up a poll below for you to share you view. But please do feel free to add any thing else to the comments section below on the subject of this any any other healthcare reform!