Physician Assistants (PAs) are highly skilled health care professionals educated in the medical model who practice medicine. PAs can work in any clinic setting to extend physician services, complement existing services and aid in improving patient access to health care. (CMA Toolkit) Learn more →
Interview with Kelsi, an Out-of-Province PA Student
Kelsi is originally from rural Alberta, attending University of Calgary and majoring in Psychology. She decided to apply to PA school after 5 years of working in a position in Endocrinology, and applying to medical school.
Watch the full interview here:
Transcript abridged and modified for readability:
What is a PA?
A PA is, an extension of physician because they are able to practice under a certain scope of practice depending on what the supervising physician is practicing under, and PAs are someone who is able to provide high quality healthcare to patients in a way that is similar to a physician but also a little bit different because we’re able to spend more time with the patient than I find most physicians are able to.
And yes, I may not have as much education as someone that came from medical school, but I liked the ability to be able to learn on the job and transition between specialties if needed. I’d say a PA is a highly trained, highly educated healthcare practitioner that can see patients and prescribe and be really integrated well into healthcare team, just under the supervision of that physician.
From Rural Alberta Community
Completed Bachelor of Science in Psychology at University of Calgary
Worked in an Endocrinology Clinic for 5 years
My Medical School application attempts
In my third year of Undergrad, I wrote MCAT between my third and fourth year, and then applied to medical school for the following year to try to get in and was unsuccessful
When I found out that I didn’t get into medical school, I didn’t really know what to do with my life and I just started applying to jobs and landed a job at an endocrinology clinic.
I would apply to medical school and every year I never got in. And so after five or six years doing that streak, I realized that I need to do something different cause I was getting older and I eventually want a career, but I also want a family as well.
How applying to Medical School helped me apply to PA School
Just filling out the application itself was something that I was already used to having filled out so many medical school applications. So that was one of the things. And during my medical school application time, I had read the book “DOING RIGHT” as I feel like a lot of Pre-PAs and pre-med students, had done the same and I attended a lot of MMI’s for medical school as well.
And even though I never actually got into medical school, I found just going through the process of an MMI interview had really helped me with my PA MMI interview. And so I actually didn’t really prepare for my PA interview at all because I had so much experience from my medical school apps previously.
Why I’m glad I pursued PA
I’m really glad I pursued the PA profession for the people I met in the program specifically. I’m grateful it took me 5-6 years after undergrad to get here, I’m glad that it took me that long because if I had gotten in at any other year, I wouldn’t have met the people that I’ve met.
. In addition to that, I also feel like I finally found something that I’m able to pursue medicine yet still have the good work-life balance that I want.
Hi! I’m Anne, a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant working in Orthopaedic Surgery.
I’ve been writing about my PA experience since starting my PA journey and I’m excited to share CanadianPA.ca as a resource to help you learn about the role and impact of Physician Assistants in Canada.
This blog is my way of helping you, the way others have helped me, discover the PA profession and pursue a career that I love.