Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Staff and student profile

01 January 2005


Student Profile - Alexandra  


Alex is a first year Physician Associate student. Alex achieved her BSc in Athletic Training-Sports Medicine at Weber State University in the US. Prior to this she gained a qualification in Exercise and Health Fitness from the University of Limerick. During her time at Weber State, Alex had the opportunity to shadow athletic trainers working across a range of sports disciplines. Alex is currently an athletic trainer and therapist with Killester Basketball Club. Here, Alex describes why she chose to pursue an MSc in Physician Associate Studies.  

"Originally from Dublin, I had an opportunity to complete my BSc in Athletic Training and Therapy (sports medicine) in the US. While studying there, I first learned about the PA profession. I was truly ecstatic when I heard RCSI was pioneering this new programme because now I could pursue my preferred career path - in Ireland.

"People often ask why I want to do this course and I think the answer is quite personal. I like that PAs can work in several different specialities. My training will be quite general and not as specific as say, an NP or Physician. I consider myself a lifetime learner and really love growing and trying a variety of things. Being a PA will be perfect for me since I am interested in so many areas of medicine. Lastly, I love working as part of a team and believe that, as a PA, I can help support the other healthcare professionals and deliver a continuity of care to the patient."

PA Tutor Profile – Dan Meehan 

Dan Meehan

Dan's primary degree is in Biomedical Science (Physiology) which gave him a thorough grounding in theory and practice relating to anatomy, molecular biology and physiology. On graduation he undertook a post graduate diploma in Physician Associate Studies at the University of Aberdeen.

Here Daniel shares his personal experience of being a PA: "The chance to be a part of the first cohort of PAs to be trained in Scotland and be a pioneer in developing this exciting new profession was a fantastic opportunity. After achieving the two year post graduate diploma, I completed an internship year with NHS Grampian working for six months in Orthopaedic Surgery and six months in Emergency Medicine. Following this, I worked in Trauma and Elective Orthopaedic Surgery in Aberdeen.

"The role is rapidly expanding across the UK and is a really attractive and rewarding career choice. A trained PA will have the skills and knowledge to be safe practitioners in a wide variety of clinical settings whilst working as in integral member of the clinical team. PAs practice medicine under defined levels of supervision as well as having an awareness of the limits of their competence. The PA will be able to help deliver safe and effective continuity of care within the multidisciplinary team. The reason I became a PA was to practice medicine and make a difference to the quality of care that was being delivered to patients. Across the UK and Ireland there are similar demands on the health service. With an aging population and economic pressures, the PA role could help deliver holistic care whilst working to a medical model."