Edge Hill University’s first cohort of MSc Physician Associate graduates are celebrating their achievements, having made it through the pandemic and securing jobs in the NHS.  

The students are the first to graduate from Edge Hill’s new MSc Physician Associate Studies course, which is part of its growing Medical School programme offering. 

Tutors have praised them for having overcome the challenges of working on the NHS frontline during the pandemic.  

Senior Lecturer in Medical Education Sarah Lyon said: “Our Physician Associates have been faced with challenges no one could have predicted. We’ve supported them along the way, but their success is all their own. They’ve all worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic, providing treatment and support in the NHS.  

“I’m proud that our graduates have had amazing job offers, some of them have had more than one, it’s so exciting to see them all succeed.” 

The first cohort was made up of a diverse group of people looking to retrain and learn new skills so they could start a new career in the NHS.  

Debbie Sonaike, from Newton-le-Willows, is one of the successful graduates, she said: “Doing the course was a great decision for myself. Although it was hard during the pandemic, the support from classmates and staff was great. There’s so much in store for the role, I feel like I have so many opportunities now and I intend on going into surgery in the future.” 

The Covid-19 pandemic began halfway through the two-year programme meaning huge changes had to be made to their work schedule and placements, but the students were just keen to get started. 

Sarah said: “I was so impressed by all our students; they really wanted to go and help during the pandemic and weren’t afraid to get stuck into treating Covid-19 patients. I’m sure many people recovered as a result of their care. The students had a really good attitude and kept going throughout the pandemic.” 

The course equips students with the clinical skills and knowledge to assist in the diagnosis, management and care of patients, undertaking extensive clinical training across the full range of medical specialities. 

She added: “The future is bright for our graduates. The Physician Associate is a relatively new role, and our first cohort are now medically trained and can offer a huge range of support as part of the NHS workforce.” 

Edge Hill’s Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine is one of the largest providers of health and social care education in the North West of England.  

They offer a wide range of undergraduate courses, from nursing and operating department practice to nutrition,  child health and counselling. Whatever your subject of interest, they aim to support you through all stages of your career from undergraduate study and gaining workplace experience, through to continuing professional development and postgraduate study.