Survival Guide

Study Tips

  • Organisation – use a diary!
  • Maintain work / life balance
  • Know when to ask for help
  • Work in teams

Placement Survival Guide

Don’t expect to be able to run a marathon before you can crawl – build yourself some strong foundations and the rest will come to you.


  • Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine/General Practice
  • Stethoscope
  • Penlight
  • Black pen
  • Notebook
  • DOPS forms ready to be signed


  • Comfortable shoes – especially on wards!
  • Dress smart

Be prepared:

  • To answer the inevitable – “What is a Physician Associate”?

Download "Who are physician associates?" (PDF)

Capitalise on your placement:

  • Write objectives, learning outcomes & further work after learning a skill
  • Print out test results, remember to anonymise – create a table about components of the test, why we test, what it means if its too high or low
  • Carry out written reflective practice as part of your portfolio
  • Be observed clerking patients and examining – ask for feedback!
  • Present patients on ward round
  • Ask to observe – echos, exercise ECG’s, USS, pleural tap, lumbar puncture – anything!
  • Spend time with OT’s and Nurses
  • Attend all available courses e.g. ILS, child protection, catheterisation, cannulation and venopuncture, ABG
  • Take the time to assess a critically ill patient – go round with critical care team if possible.

Above all:

  • Enjoy!