Mrs Karen Roberts became Course Director of the Physician Associate Studies Postgraduate Diploma in 2012. The St George's Physician Associate (PA) course is the longest running physician associate programme in the UK, is seeing rapid expansion and has a 100 per cent pass rate for the Physician Associate National Exam.
Karen joined St George's in 2009 as a part-time Problem-Based Learning Facilitator on the Physician Associate course. She qualified as a physician associate at the highly respected and long-running Child Health Associate and Physician Assistant programme at the University of Colorado in 2004 and earned her MSc in 2006.
Mrs Roberts has worked clinically in Primary Care in the US and since 2007 in the UK. She has been a leader in the development of the physician associate profession in the UK since 2010, serving as Secretary between 2010 and 2012 and as Recertification Director since 2013. She has worked regularly with employers to develop opportunities for physician associate employment.
In 2014 Mrs Roberts was appointed as Chair of the Physician Associate National Examination Subcommittee, part of the UK and Ireland Universities Board for Physician Associate Education. She serves as a key resource for universities developing or considering new physician associate courses.
Mrs Roberts teaches on the Physician Associate course in areas of personal expertise. She supervises and coordinates a team of seven lecturers, who provide much of the course content. She also develops OSCE Examiner pools for both St George's and Physician Associate National examinations. In 2013, she refocused the course to improve students’ expertise in Research Methods and Evidence Based Medicine.
Outside of St George's, she presents lectures for physician associates' continuing professional development events. She educates employers, health policy makers and doctors on the current and future role of physician associates in the UK.
Mrs Roberts has also developed a highly regarded revision course for working physician associates approaching their six-yearly recertification examination.
Mrs Roberts collaborates with other Physician Associate course directors across the UK and in the US. She edits draft journal articles written by other physician associates or physician associate educators. She is involved in reviewing the UK Association of Physician Associates (UKAPA) annual Physician Associates Census instrument.
She has collaborated with faculty and administrators at a number of UK higher education institutions in the development of their physician associate programmes. Karen advises Trusts and GP surgeries on the employment of physician associates and the roles within those environments.
As a UKAPA Director, Karen collaborates with senior physician associates within the UK. She works closely with the executive board members, providing advice and guidance from her perspective as an experienced US-trained physician associate and a physician associate educator.
In 2014, Karen was appointed to the Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Physician Associates Shadow Board, where she acts as Examination Expert.
Mrs Roberts has given presentations at UKAPA annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) conferences. She is a regular attendee at national and international physician associate conferences.
Mrs Roberts is a participant in SW London System: Leading and Managing Change across Boundaries, 2014. She acts as an external examiner for the Plymouth Postgraduate Diploma Physician Associate course.