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Physician Associate first in Scotland to scoop national award

March 10, 2022

A member of the Orthopaedic team at NHS Golden Jubilee has become the first in Scotland to win the prestigious Physician Associate of the Year award for going above and beyond to provide patients with high quality care.

Rebekah Meen has worked in the Orthopaedics department since graduating from university 3 years ago.

Physician Associates (PA) are a new and pioneering role within the NHS with only 1 University in Scotland currently running the course.

PAs are medically trained healthcare professionals who work alongside doctors to perform various duties such as taking medical histories, performing examinations, diagnosing illnesses, analysing test results and developing management plans for patients.

Having previously studied anatomy for her undergraduate degree, Rebekah decided to go on and study an MSc in Physician Associate Studies.

Rebekah from Renfrew said: “It’s a shock to get the award. To be the first person in Scotland named Physician Associate of the Year is a big honour.

“I’m not sure anyone expects to be awarded for their work but it’s wonderful and humbling and it’s really nice to know that your colleagues value your contribution. It was an amazing pick-me-up at the end of what has been a tough year for everyone.”

Paired with a Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon, Rebekah’s role is a general one, which allows her to work in any department.

In March of 2020, all planned orthopaedic surgery was postponed and Rebekah offered to work within the hospital’s Cardiothoracic (heart and lung) department.

Rebekah continued: “Taking the opportunity to learn a new discipline meant training on respirators and ventilators and helping during a very important time for the NHS.

“This was a really uncertain time for everyone, and there were a lot of new skills to get up to speed with, but ultimately it was a very rewarding experience, and I’m just glad I was able to help.”

It was this ‘can do’ attitude that led colleagues to nominate Rebekah for the award.

The Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) awards are designed to showcase and celebrate PAs and their colleagues who excel in the profession.

The award was announced at the FPA virtual conference in November 2021, which was attended by over 800 delegates.

Helen Mackie, Associate Medical Director for National Elective Services at NHS Golden Jubilee, said: “Physician Associates are a committed and caring group of professionals who, during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, have gone above and beyond to carry out their duties to keep patients safe.

“Rebekah is a much-appreciated and hugely valued member of our team and to be the first in Scotland to win this award is a huge achievement.

“Her dedication to healthcare is an inspiration and this is a well-deserved award which recognises the important role she plays in helping us care for the people of Scotland.”

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