About the FPA

The Faculty of Physician Associates provides professional support to physician associates across the UK. Members of the faculty are part of a professional membership body campaigning for progress and change in the profession, advising government, and taking part in national debates on medical, clinical and public health issues. The FPA reviews and sets standards for:

  • the education and training of physician associates
  • physician associate national certification and recertification examinations.

The faculty provides support to both qualified and student physician associates in their education, training and professional development, giving members access to a benefits package that includes a CPD diary, publications, library resources, and discounts on professional development courses and events.

The FPA oversees and administers the running of the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR) and is campaigning to achieve statutory registration of the profession.

For information on how to become a member of the FPA, visit our membership pages.

FPA - About FPA - Our Board - Kate Straughton

Kate Straughton, President

Term: August 2019 - August 2022

Kate is a qualified PA, graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2009 and completing her MsC in 2017 from the University of Worcester. She has over ten years experience including working in acute medicine and neurosurgery. She has been working in PA education since 2014, with a focus on work-based learning and clinical placements. Kate is currently the placement lead for the University of Birmingham PA course, and also oversees the MsC ‘top up’ for PAs who wish to carry out some further research.

FPA - About FPA - Our Board - Michelle Chapman

Michelle Chapman, vice-president

Term: August 2019 - August 2022

Michelle graduated from St. Georges, University of London’s PA programme in 2014 and initially began working within elderly care medicine at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust. She has since gone on to specialise in acute medicine. Michelle is also the Lead PA for KSS School of PAs, an HEE funded programme that was developed to support and provide advice to PAs, PA students, the new university programmes and employers across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Michelle has also been appointed as the HEE KSS PA Ambassador, a role that was established in May 2019.

Mikaela Carey, secretary

Mikaela Carey, secretary

Term: October 2018 - October 2021

Mikaela completed her physician associate training at St George’s, University of London in September 2017. Upon successfully completing her National exams she obtained her first position as a PA working in urology at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She will soon be seconded to a position in mental health at Springfield University Hospital. This position also includes a Health Education England PA ambassador role. She runs an independent clinic in urodynamics and has a telephone clinic for intravesical Botox. She is currently training in flexible cystoscopy and robotic assisting in theatre. She was previously the FPA board national student representative.

FPA - About FPA - Our Board - Jamie Saunders

Jamie Saunders, qualified PA

Term: August 2019 - August 2023

Jamie undertook his physician associate training in Essex, graduating and sitting his national exam in September 2017. His first position as a PA was working in clinical haematology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. He is currently on a three year training rotation in haematology, devised locally by the consultants of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Jamie was also elected to both the communications and education committees at the British Society for Haematology, representing PAs working in haematology and providing guidance and advice in relation to the society’s activities. He also lectures, predominantly on haematology, at several PA schools across the country and is currently completing his postgraduate certificate in medical education at Newcastle University.

FPA - About FPA - Our Board - Pauline Weir

Pauline Weir, qualified PA

Interim appointment

Pauline graduated as a PA from St George's medical school in 2016. Prior to this she was a diabetes dietitian for over 10 years.​  She has worked as a PA in primary care in Essex for the last 4 years.  Pauline has also been working with Health Education England as a PA ambassador since 2018 - this has given her protected time to promote the role of the PA and to try to increase job opportunities for PAs both in primary and secondary care.  

FPA - About FPA - Our Board - Donal O’Donoghue

Professor Donal O’Donoghue, RCP registrar

Professor Donal O’Donoghue is the registrar of the RCP, consultant renal physician at Salford Royal Hospital and professor of renal medicine at the University of Manchester. Donal qualified in physiology and medicine from Manchester and trained in internal medicine and nephrology in the east Midlands, north-west, Paris (as a Medical Research Council travelling fellow) and in Edinburgh. Donal is passionate about professionalism in medicine, innovation and quality improvement in health and care. At the RCP Donal’s responsibilities include clinical and professional affairs and he takes a lead role in matters relating to membership, governance, regional activity, global programmes and relationships with the NHS.

FPA - About FPA - Our Board - Matthew Foster

Matthew Foster, Executive Director, RCP Membership Support and Global Engagement (MSGE)

Matthew is director of the Membership Support and Global Engagement (MSGE) directorate. He is responsible for supporting the membership (including the FPA), professional and global aspects of the RCP, working with the registrar. Matthew has built his career at the RCP over 15+ years, having previously held roles including head of international and director of membership. 

FPA - About FPA - Our Board - Jim Parle

Jim Parle, senior clinical examiner

Term: October 2017 - September 2021

Jim Parle worked in general practice from 1982, initially full-time then part-time. He is now Emeritus Professor of Primary Care at Birmingham University medical school. He has spent most of his academic career in education and has published on thyroid dysfunction in older people, on medical  education and on PAs. He has been involved with Physician Associates for over 15 years and was a member of the DH committee which wrote the Competence and Curriculum Framework for PAs in 2006. His experience includes being the past chair of the UK and Ireland Board for PA Education (now the PA Schools Council), was formerly Chair of the exam subcommittee (which ran the national PA certification examination on behalf of the UK Board), represents the RCGP on the PA Faculty Board at the RCP, and is a member of the Health Education England PA development group. He is currently advising the Isle of Man government on PA development.

Board meetings also have Stakeholder representation from:

  • Patient Carers Network
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • PA Schools Council
  • Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • Royal College of General Practitioners

Meet the FPA team

  • Pia Sykes
  • Madison Monk

For more information on the governance and workings of the Faculty, please read the Standing Orders document.