RCSI Physician Associate – Ciara Melia

Hi! My name is Ciara Melia and I’m a physician associate. I chose the physician associate programme as I’d previously been working as a medical secretary. I really really enjoyed the patient interaction but I felt like I wanted to be more involved in patient care, so this just seemed like the right option for me. The highlight of my two years was my first exposure into surgery, where I got to scrub in and assist in a hysterectomy. It was one of the best moments of the course for me. Within our first couple of weeks, we were back on our anatomy part of the programme, where we actually got to get involved with using cadavers. It was a very surprising part of the course, hugely valuable to our learning So for somebody thinking about embarking on the physician associate programme, I would definitely advise brushing up on your physiology skills as the course is quite fast-paced and hits the ground running, So that would be a huge advantage to you coming into the course first. You need to be able to communicate effectively and put your patient at ease and also communicate effectively with your team as well. It is intense, so having a lot of determination and passion is vital as well to be happy and succeed in this programme As part of my role, I organise the theatre list, so being organised, liaising with the patients and your team is vital I absolutely love my job as a physician associate My favorite part is seeing patients in clinic and having a chat with them and making them feel at ease and getting to the bottom of their illness or what’s bothering them, also being a friendly face for patients heading down to surgery. It is a scarey place. Providing that continuity of care and being there as a comfort to patients is really really important to me. It’s a fantastic college. I would definitely recommend it for anybody thinking of embarking on this programme. The facilities and hands-on experience that I’ve gained here are second to none. And I’d recommend it to anybody.

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