Guide to the Ontario PA Career Start Grant

On June 15, 2017, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) announced that applications for the Career Start Program to employ Ontario’s 2017 PA graduates. Here is an overview of the timeline and some of the requirements for the Ontario 2017 Career Start Program.

Go to Career Start Program Site Now

Career Start Grant Key Points

  • Time-limited grant from MOHLTC for employers wishing to hire new Ontario PA grads who are due to graduate in fall (these are sample dates from previous years)

  • Financial support for physicians who participate of up to $46,000 per year, per PA

  • Financial support for 1-2 years dependent on geographic location. 2 years for PA positions that are in rural communities with a Rural Index score of 40+, or Northern Urban Referral Centre; 1 year for all other PA positions.

  • $10,000 bonus as offered for incentive for PAs who complete 1 year of employment with employers who qualify for two years of funding.

  • Grant was announced June 15, and the deadline completion and submission of employer applications July 24 (5 week period).

  • Employer must submit plan for integrating PA into their organization.

  • Employer must also submit plan for how they plan to sustain the PA position after Career Start funding ends in 1-2 years

  • PAs must be hired full time by November 17 with work to begin no later than Dec 1

Timeline of Ontario Career Start Grant Release

Employer Q&A For Career Start Grant

Q. I am an employer (physician, hospital, clinic manager or practice) wishing to submit an application to hire a new PA grad with funding – what is HFO looking for? 

A. As outlined in the PA Career Start Guidelines,  being approved the Career Start grant and receiving financial support requires a strong application:

  • Demonstrated need for assistance of a PA
  • Clinical role to be played by aPA
  • The site’s readiness to employ a PA
  • Plan for sustaining PA role beyond the grant funding period.

This requires good understanding of the PA role, a plan for PA integration into clinic, and sustaining the PA role once funding runs out in 1-2 years.

Q. What do employers need to submit to Health Force Ontario to apply for a Career Start Grant?

A. Employers who wish to apply for the Career Start grant have a total of 5 weeks to complete this physician application grant to submit by the deadline. These may vary from year to year. The package on the website includes:

*Note – These PDFs are often time sensitive and may be “broken” beyond 2017.

Here is a checklist of what is to be submitted to Health Force Ontario:

Q. I am an employer who is interested in applying PA Career Start Grant but would like to speak with someone to answer questions. Who can I contact? 

A. HFO has a list of helpful resources and a contact:

Otherwise you can contact: 

  • Canadian Association of Physician Assistants –
  • Ontario Chapter President –
  • McMaster PA Programemail:, fax: 905-527-0131, phone: 905-525-9140 ext 22872 , Website
  • PA Consortium (University of Toronto Program, NOSM, Michener) – email:, phone: 416-946-7173, Website
  • Myself (Anne)

We can connect you with a PA working in your particular field of medicine / specialty, or with someone who has had experience with the Career Start Grant Process.

Q. How many PA grads are we expecting for each year?
A. Approximately 48 graduates are expected to graduate from the McMaster and University of Toronto PA program in Ontario, and will be able to apply for the PA Career Start job postings once hey are approved and released on August 28
Q. Can I work with a PA student during this time?
A. Some employers opt to take on a PA student to get a better understanding of the role. This is not a requirement to apply for the Career Start Program, but is a good way to test drive whether you’d like to work with a Physician Assistant. If you’d like to take on a PA student for a clinical rotation as a medical learner for 2-4 weeks you can contact one of the PA programs above (contact information above). Being a clinical preceptor for a PA student is similar to taking on a 3rd/4th year medical students/clinical clerks, and 1st/2nd year residents.

View PAs from Class of 2016 Experience with Employment

The Career Start experience tends to vary from year to year. Read the views of some Class of 2016 graduates. 

Have any questions regarding the PA Career Start Process? If you couldn’t find answers above or in links provided, let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Information provided here is meant to be an overview of the Career Start Grant Process. The most accurate up to date information regarding the Career Start Program process is available on the Health Force Ontario website.

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