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School of Medicine celebrates first graduates

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The School of Medicine has celebrated seeing its first cohort of students graduate.

First cohorts of physician associates and medical sciences graduate

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) School of Medicine has celebrated seeing its first cohort of students graduate.

Twenty-two postgraduates from the two-year physician associates studies (PA) course and eight undergraduates from the three-year medical sciences degree are the first students to graduate from the University’s newest School.

While not a doctor, the newly qualified PAs will work to the medical model and deliver care and treatment within a hospital setting or in GP practices. They are now working throughout the region, bringing new medical skills to Lancashire and Cumbria to boost the local healthcare economy.

These new graduates have secured jobs at a wide variety of hospitals, including Royal Preston Hospital, Royal Blackburn Hospital, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Burnley General Hospital, Carlisle Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital, as well as GP practices throughout the region, to ensure additional frontline resources for the NHS.

The first cohort of students have completed the Postgraduate Diploma Physician Associate Studies, a programme initiated, funded and overseen by Health Education England North West.

The BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences degree prepares students for further study on professional programmes; such as graduate entry medicine, dentistry or PAs, as well as creating opportunities for students to competitively apply for careers in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries or academia.

This has been a very special day for the medical school and one we will all remember as our first full-time graduates leave to start their professional lives.

Professor Cathy Jackson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences and Head of UCLan’s School of Medicine, said: “This has been a very special day for the medical school and one we will all remember as our first full-time graduates leave to start their professional lives.

“It’s been a really exciting time for all involved. The hard work and positive attitude of the students has been exemplary and they have left a legacy that the others will have to follow. They are a credit, it’s a job well done and it is testament to the sterling job all the staff have done that they leave to take up employment mainly within the North West.”

Following their ceremony in Preston’s Guild Hall the new graduates joined together with their families and School of Medicine staff at a celebratory event.

The first cohort of students from the School of Medicine’s flagship course, the five-year medical degree, will graduate in summer 2020.

The postgraduate physician associate course is supported by funding from Health Education England.

Rachel Atkinson | 23 July 2018