I first heard about the course when I attended an RCSI Open Day back in 2016. I was so intrigued by all the PA course had to offer after I heard from qualified PAs about how rewarding their jobs were, how vast their scope of practice has become and how centrally involved they were to patient care.
I studied Science in UCD and majored in Physiology. I took some time out to work after I graduated and it was from here I knew I wanted to have a career that allowed me patient interaction and involvement in care and diagnostics. I felt this MSc had so much to offer as I am a person who loves the broad diverse scope of the PA role and the ability to change from one speciality to the other for the rest of my career.
I think the biggest surprise I’ve encountered is how much I’ve learned and grown as a clinician in such a short space of time. My development as a competent healthcare professional has surprised me so much. You get very caught up in studying, learning and exams that when you actually take a step back and look at how much you have achieved, it’s amazing.
There are many things about the programme that I enjoy from the state-of-the-art learning facilities at RCSI, to the diverse clinical placements.
I would encourage anyone considering this course to really understand what the physician associate role is. You have to be 100% clear on the role and how it differs from a doctor.
The hardest part of the course for me is the huge amount of work and time you have to commit. It can get overwhelming at times but you adapt quickly and learn to appreciate times with friends, relaxing and unwinding.
I particularly enjoy the close-knit nature of my class and having a support system of classmates from varied backgrounds, using what we have learned either in our primary degrees or work environments, to aid our learning. It makes a huge difference when you’re in such a high intensity course to have classmates that are so supportive and willing to help. I look forward to having them as my PA colleagues in the future.
Kellie Nwaokorie, Physician Associate Studies, Class of 2019