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Pre-PA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 2017-08-27T20:18:30+00:00

Pre-PA Frequently Asked Questions

Are most commonly asked questions regarding Physician Assistants in Canada. Have a question that isn’t answered here? Pop on over to the Canadian Pre-PA Group and post your question, or use the form on the right to submit a question, which we will answer here on the blog.

Most popular Pre-PA FAQ

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All Pre-PA FAQ

  • Canadian Physician Assistant in Emergency Medicine

Q&A with a Canadian Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant

From Anne: Sahand is a McMaster PA grad graduating from Class of 2013. He served as the McMaster PA Student Association (MPASA) President for his class, and has been an advocate for the PA Profession. He now works in Emergency Medicine at University Hospital Network (UHN)  in Toronto, Ontario.  Sahand teaches at the McMaster PA Program covering Interview Examination and Reasoning Skills

How to become a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant

The Canadian Association of Physician Assistants has a wonderful flow chart you can use to help navigate becoming a PA in Canada. I also strongly recommend reviewing each of the PA program websites for the most accurate, up to date information on their admissions process. This is simply a rough guideline. Step 1: Take the pre-requisite courses & fulfill admission criteria

How to shadow a Physician Assistant in Canada

I really recommend reading Trust Me, I’m a PA Student’s – Guide to Shadowing a PA to learn how to make the most of these opportunities. Shadowing is a great way: to learn about how PAs practice. the nature of the PA/MD relationship how a PA is incorporated in a certain practice setting (e.g. Family medicine, vs. ER, vs. specialty practice

What can I do to strengthen my PA application?

In the long term: Work on developing yourself, achieving good grades in school, expanding your experiences both in and outside the classroom and building confidence in various soft skills (communications, leadership, etc.). I expand on this in the answer to #4 (see below). Sandy Vuong, a current McMaster PA student has a few articles on how to make the most of your pre-PA

What courses should I take/extra-curriculars to stand out on PA admissions?

Usually variations of this question go along the lines of: What courses should I take to get into PA school? What kind of extra-curriculars should I be involved in? Or in essence: “What do I need to do to look like the ideal PA candidate?” These are quite subjective questions to ask, so the answers you get will depend on who you

  • UK Physician Assistants

Can UK PAs practice in Canada? Can Canadian PAs practice in the UK?

Physician Assistants are more commonly known as Physician Associates in the United Kingdom (UK) and work with physicians. Like Canadian and American PAs, Physician Associates have direct patient contact, taking histories, performing physical examinations, ordering and interpreting investigations (such as blood work or imaging), diagnosing medical conditions and initiating treatment plans. They are autonomous, but dependent practitioners, which means they work under the supervising

  • American PAs

Can US PAs practice in Canada? Can Canadian PAs practice in the US?

The short answer is the Canadian trained and certified Physician Assistants cannot practice in the United States. However, American trained and certified Physician Assistants can practice in Canada. Canadian PAs cannot practice in the US At present the American NCCPA has not accredited any PA programs in Canada therefore Canadian PAs cannot write the PA-C certification (PANCE

  • The Physician Assistant and Physician Relationshp Explained

Explaining the PA-supervising MD relationship

There are various models for what a Physician Assistant and Supervising Physician relationship may look like. The relationship can vary by practice setting (in outpatient, versus in hospital), by PA experience (new grad, versus experienced PA), and by area of medicine (family medicine vs General Surgery). The foundation for a successful PA/MD working relationship requires mutual respect and trust, open communication,

  • IMGs becoming Physician Assistants

Can an IMG become a Physician Assistant?

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are Physicians who were trained outside of Canada. Apart from acclimating to a different country, different weather, perhaps a different language and different customs, another challenge IMGs face when arriving in Canada is often ensuring English skills (written and oral) are high enough to meet admission requirements for different health care careers, and to

  • Physician Assistant vs MD

How Physician Assistants are different than Doctors

This is a question I often get from prospective students who are looking into the PA program, except its framed, "Why did you choose to become a Physician Assistant and not an MD?". It's a good question, but I thought it would be more constructive to discuss the differences between the two professions as well as their similarities.

What is the difference between a Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner?

Both are very similar positions, but have important differences. As a PA, its important to know the difference since many patients and other health care practitioners often ask what the difference is between the two. Physician Assistants Educated by the Medical Model Bachelor or Master's in PA studies Regulation dependent on

Living & Working in Canada as an American PA

American certified Physician Assistants may work in Canada. American PAs who have successfully completed an accredited American Physician Assistant Program, and challenged and passed the NCCPA's Certification Exam are able to practice in Canada. They do not need to complete PA school in Canada to practice. Many PA employers now require or prefer certified American PAs to write the Canadian Entry to Practice Examination and

How do new Ontario PA Graduates Obtain Jobs?

A large proponent on deciding a career and then going through the process of applying to a PA program, like any professional school, is determining what the job market is for that profession.  If you want to know the specifics of how a newly minted PA finds a job after graduation, be sure to read through (especially the last section!) for a walk

Q&A McMaster PA Program

At the end of the McMaster PA Program info night on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, the Assistant Dean Kristen Burrows and Academic Coordinator Nancy Aza fielded questions from the prospective students in the audience. Questions ranged from specific questions about admissions to employment outlook upon graduation. Question and Answer Period Q. What is average GPA of

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