Who are physician associates and anaesthesia associates?

PAs work alongside doctors and form part of the multidisciplinary team. They work across a range of specialties in general practice, community and hospital settings. AAs, sometimes also known as physicians’ assistants (anaesthesia), work as part of the anaesthetic team. They provide care for patients before, during and after their operation or procedure.

PAs and AAs are two of the four groups known collectively as medical associate professions (MAPs). The other two, who we will not be regulating, are advanced critical care practitioners and surgical care practitioners.

There are around 2,000 PAs and 180 AAs working in the UK. Although the numbers are relatively small at the moment, we expect them to grow steadily in the next few years. 36 UK universities currently run PA courses, and one university offers the AA course.