Mardiyyah shares her experience as an MSc Physician Associate Practice student

Over the last two years I’ve been able to develop my knowledge of anatomy, science, the physiology of human medicine, and their clinical applications.

"I’m working towards completing an MSc in Physician Associate Practice and a large part of this course involves placements in primary and secondary care, so there have been lots of opportunities for me to apply my clinical knowledge in a hands-on environment. I enjoy working through clinical cases during teaching, as it’s the ideal way to solidify my knowledge.

During the first year, our teaching took place online (due to the Covid-19 epidemic). The exception to this was our clinical classes where, when appropriate, we used lifelike manikins to practise carrying out physical exams. We also took part in learning exercises over Microsoft Teams where ‘actors’ would assume the role of a patient, simulating a professional clinical setting and challenging us to act as if the situation were real.

We had access to the manikins throughout the course, but from the second year these exercises were supplemented by clinical skills sessions involving actors in simulated scenarios. This transition to interacting with real people enabled us to apply our clinical knowledge and provided the ideal preparation for our front-line placements later in the course."

"I was able to become an integral part of the team and work with real patients under supervision."

"So far I’ve been on a general medicine placement, as part of an acute medical unit. It’s an experience I really enjoyed as I was able to become an integral part of the team and work with real patients under supervision. It really helped to consolidate the knowledge I’d acquired in earlier ‘bootcamp’ learning activities and ensured that I felt comfortable when I was called upon to work in a real healthcare environment.

Where I study, on the Westlakes Campus, our tutors have been an integral part of the experience. They offer face-to-face support wherever needed and constantly provide us with helpful resources relating to our learning, exams and placements. Throughout the second year we’ve benefited from various guest lecturers, including consultants, paediatricians and doctors of various levels. They’ve been invaluable, sharing their experiences, professional knowledge and advice with us. It’s a close-knit course due to the small number of students in our cohort. So the tutors are able to provide lots of support and you feel encouraged to ask questions and speak out."

MSc Physician Associate Practice student Mardiyyah Chowdhury.
MSc Physician Associate Practice student Mardiyyah Chowdhury.

"Studying at Westlakes opens up opportunities to go on placements in rural environments, exposing you to different types of medicine and the ways in which severe conditions are dealt with in remote areas, in contrast to towns and cities. On placements you often find that it’s easier for the staff to remember who you are and you quickly feel part of a team.

Following graduation I intend to pass the Physician Associate National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and become certified. I’m currently leaning towards wanting to work on a general medicine ward in secondary care, where I will hopefully be able to become involved in an Ambassador role for Physician Associates."