Table 1

The general scope of working of physician associates and foundation year 1 doctors in UK ED

Foundation year 1 doctors-in-trainingPhysician associates
4–5 year primary undergraduate or postgraduate medical degree2-year postgraduate MSc or Pgdip in Physician Associate Studies and an undergraduate degree in health or life sciences
Partially registered by the GMCNot yet regulated by the GMC, due end of 2024
Rotating staff members (4 monthly)Permanent members of staff
Restricted prescribing of medication; no chemotherapeutic agent, immunosuppressant, cytotoxic or controlled drugs. Also, must not prescribe on FP10 formsNot currently able to prescribe any medication
Able to order investigations using ionising radiationNot currently able to order investigations using ionising radiation
Must not work in specialised areas of the ED, that is, paediatrics or Resus without supervisionAble to see undifferentiated cases including Paediatric and Resus patients independently (post 6 months supernumerary period), then discuss with a senior
Must not attempt to interpret ECGs independentlyIf comfortable, can sign off ECG’s independently after working in the ED for 1 year
Every patient should be ‘signed off’ by a senior doctor (ST4 or above) before dischargeEvery patient should be ‘signed off’ by a senior doctor (ST4 or above) before discharge
Must not be rostered to shifts overnight or at other times in the ED when consultants are not physically presentAfter working in the ED for 12 months can be rostered to night shifts; can work when consultants are not physically present but ST4 or above doctors are physically present after a month supernumerary period.
  • Supporting information from 12 19.

  • ED, emergency department; FP10, English National Health Service Prescription Form; GMC, General Medical Council; ST4, Specialist registrar in fourth year of training.