It’s great to see Physician Assistants being implemented in other provinces and territories across Canada. The PA profession is still in its infancy, and in addition to being clinicians and treating patients we are still very much advocating for the profession – educating physicians, allied health care practitioners, patients and their families about what PAs are. American PAs have been around for 40+ years and are STILL acting as ambassadors for the profession and educating the public about the scope, role and benefits of having Physician Assistants in the Canadian health care system.
Much like Dr. Young’s early exposure to Physician Assistants during his medical training, I know that many current Canadian medical students are actually learning alongside PA students (often completing the same rotations, having the same roles and tasks as clinical clerks) and working with currently practicing PAs during medical school, residency and fellowship.
Although its hard to measure the potential impact this may have for the future, its certainly encouraging to see (anecdotally) that many health care professionals and patients I encounter in practice today have heard of Physician Assistants. Often, having physicians and allied health championing the PA profession alongside us will contribute to the case the case to expand the utilization of PAs across Canada.