Lucy Pascoe, a Physician Associate (PA) at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust has become the first in the UK to achieve a Diploma in Geriatric Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians.
The Diploma in Geriatric Medicine is a credential that recognises the in-depth critical understanding, clinical knowledge and skills required in the field of geriatric medicine to provide expert care for older people.
Dr Jane Stribley, Consultant in Health Care of the Elderly, said: “Lucy is the first Physician Associate to undertake and successfully achieve the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine which is a fantastic achievement.”
Donna Clewer, Service Line Cluster Manager, at UHP said: “We’re so proud of Lucy and her achievements should inspire other Physician Associates about the training and educational opportunities that are available to them.
“The Physician Associate role in Health Care of the Elderly has been a hugely valuable addition to the multidisciplinary team and we expect to be advertising for another substantive position in the next few weeks, so we’d be keen for others to follow in Lucy’s footsteps.”
Lucy said: “It was important to me to undertake this qualification so that I could demonstrate my knowledge and experience within Healthcare of the Elderly, and I hope to progress within my current role.”
Physician Associates provide a critical role in continuity of care for patients and to provide stability to the medical workforce. Find out more about a career as a physician associate
About working in Geriatric medicine
Geriatric medicine is concerned with all aspects of health and illness in older adults, across a range of care settings. It is the largest medical specialty. It involves intellectually stimulating work, frequent multidisciplinary collaboration, and the potential to make an enormous impact on the lives of older people. Geriatricians treat a wide variety of general medical conditions, but also possess the specialist skills that are needed to diagnose and manage conditions in patients with multiple comorbidities and in those living with frailty, a syndrome characterised by low physiological reserve.
Older people may have different patterns of disease presentation compared to younger adults, and they respond to treatments and therapies in different ways. They frequently have complex social and care needs that are intricately related to their acute and chronic medical conditions. The ability to take a holistic, multidisciplinary view rather than focusing on a single problem or organ is a vital skill for geriatricians.