"I chose Surrey because of its outstanding reviews and great ranking. University of Surrey has everything you need, good social life, facilities and shops close by and excellent transport. The area itself is also serene and beautiful.
Before applying for this programme, I had just completed my undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences and had immediately started to work within the pathology laboratory at St George's Hospital. During this invaluable experience I realised that I desired direct patient interactions and wanted to further my studies into clinical medicine.
After a lot of research I came across the Physician Associate postgraduate programme, which fit the criteria I was looking for. This included patient contact, and the ability to learn and enhance knowledge of pathologies and develop new skills. Another reason this programme stood out to me was the fact it was two years, although warned it was going to be intensive, a short course that is taught via the medical model seemed to be beneficial. Learning how to diagnose and manage patients was also a bonus of this course.
My past experiences working within the NHS played an essential role in why I wanted to become a physician associate. I have volunteered and aided within many departments such as ENT, maternity, and genetics, where I have also assisted in research studies. Through these roles I was able to see and talk to patients about their conditions and also discuss studies and gain consent. This made me realise that I wanted to work with patients and find a way to help patients in any way possible.
My experience on the Physician Associate programme at Surrey has been incredible so far. Being able to implement skills and knowledge as we progress at the GP surgery aids with our education and consolidates the information we learn.
The University also liaises with consultants and health care professionals who come in to teach us their specialities or let us visit and use specialised equipment, such as The Whitely Clinic. The programme itself is intensive but with staff and peer support it is enjoyable.
I have found that working in a general practice surgery once a week is both captivating and rewarding to learn about the primary care aspect of patient care. I have learnt immense amounts and it has given me the opportunity to practise and perfect skills learnt throughout the programme such as history taking, clinical procedures and examinations. We also see patients according to the cases we are learning, allowing us to gain an insight into the impact conditions have on a patient’s life. The process of learning and implementing information has been extremely beneficial.
This programme has significantly changed my future, I can definitely say I have learnt immense amounts in a small period of time and look forward to the lifetime of learning to come whilst working within the NHS."