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Trainee Physician Associates

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Each year Luton and Dunstable University Hospital welcomes a new group of Year 1 Trainee Physician Associates (TPA) for their 12-week clinical placement which starts in April.  The trainees are students at the University of Hertfordshire (UH) and their hospital placement forms part of their two-year clinically focused MSc Physician Associate Studies course.  During their time at the Trust, the trainees rotate through various specialties where there are a range of opportunities to develop skills, grow in confidence and gain experience in a variety of clinical areas.

Year 1 and Year 2 Placements

Following a comprehensive induction, the TPAs commence their Year 1 rotations through the Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU), General Medicine Ward, General Surgery and Emergency Medicine departments, spending four weeks in each specialty area.  On completion of their Year 1 placement in July, the trainees return to University to continue their studies until we welcome them back for their Year 2 placement which starts in October.  The second year rotations provide further opportunities for learning and skills development and the trainees spend three weeks in each of the following timetabled areas: Respiratory, Gastroenterology, Elderly Medicine, Cardiology, Stroke, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Emergency Medicine.

Whilst on placement the trainees are required to maintain a portfolio of evidence and to complete a reflective log as they gain experience in history taking, consultation and assessment; developing clinical skills; performing procedures and carrying out patient examinations.

They also benefit from weekly teaching sessions delivered by our Foundation Programme Doctors and qualified Physician Associates who work within the hospital.   The teaching covers a range of topics and helps the trainees to prepare for their National Examination which includes a knowledge-based assessment and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).  Each TPA is allocated an Educational Supervisor who provides support, guidance and supervision throughout their placement.