This entirely depends on your preferences, flexibility and financial situation. I’ve outlined a few things to consider if you wish to go study abroad in the US:
- Financing your Education: As a Canadian student studying in the US, you would be paying international student fees ON TOP of the fees for PA school. Tuition for PA school differs from school to school, and state to state. Living expenses away from home would also be factored as well. There may be scholarships and bursaries which may aid with tuition, however Canadian provincial student loans have different rules if you plan to study outside the country. So find out what you qualify for if this is a route you are seeking.
- Obtaining a work visa: If you wish to work in the US following completing your education in the US, as a Canadian citizen/student you would have to work on obtaining a work visa with comes with its own set of applications, deadlines, and visa renewals if you plan to extend your stay in the US.
- Flexibility: You have the ability to practice in the US as well as Canada with PA-C status. So your options are not as limited.
This was not an option I considered while applying to PA school since I wished to stay close to my family and did not wish to leave the province. Of course, I could see the benefits of going to study abroad and being exposed to the American Health Care System where PAs are used much more frequently in many more areas of medicine than they are in Canada (e.g. Ophthalmology, Interventional Radiology, etc.).
A physician who I had worked with as a 2nd year PA student had completed his fellowship down in the United States, where he worked with Physician Assistants frequently. There were entire teams compromising of Physician Assistants at hospitals running clinics and assisting in the OR in an Orthopaedic Surgery setting. At this time in Canada, there are less than a handful of PAs in each hospital (some of my colleagues are often the only Physician Assistant working in the entire hospital, especially in community/rural settings). This is slowly changing as we continue to have more PAs graduate and practice in Canada.