A medical graduate has spoken about accelerated training she received to help ease the strain on overstretched hospital staff.

Rosaline Alpine is one of seven Physician Associates (“PAs”) working in Northwick Park Hospital’s A&E department being drawn from the ranks of university graduates with Life Science or health profession degrees.

The graduates undergo a further two years fast-track training before going into hospitals fulfilling crucial roles in high demand areas like A&E and surgery, freeing up doctors to focus on more complex cases.

Rosaline said: “The thought of spending seven years in medical school wasn’t an option but a friend mentioned the role of physician associate and I liked the sound of it.

“It was the hardest two years of my life but well worth it although I felt like a rabbit caught in the headlights during my first day working in A&E.”

Rosaline went on to say a typical ten-hour shift includes taking histories, examinations, ordering and interpreting investigations, performing procedures and diagnosing and discharging patients.

She said: “I see patients myself, but consultants are on hand offering advice and support when needed. I feel like I am doing something worthwhile and making a difference.”