Employment rate for new Ontario PA Grads
Longevity of the Ontario Career Start Program
When my class graduated in 2011, there were two graduating classes in Ontario, one from McMaster and one from University of Toronto. All 24 students at McMaster and my year secured jobs within a few months of graduating, however I am not certain of what the UofT rates were. When I graduated, the job I ended up taking was also through the career start program. Right now, there is no indication that the Career Start program will go on indefinitely for future PA graduates.
The job rate is not 100% immediately after graduation
The PA programs have been extremely fortunate to have the Career Start Program offered to their new graduates. In the 2016 class, the majority of graduates were able to obtain employment. In fact, few if any professional degrees have a high employment rate out of graduation. Few if any health care professions have permanently funded positions. Health care cuts are taking place across the province. No one is exempt – from registered nurses, registered practical nurses, physiotherapists, Social Workers, to registered massage therapists, etc. PAs are no exception to this. All other providers are paid through hospital, billing or through a budget. PAs are unique since we may provide a service, but have difficulty with reimbursement.
What happens if you do not secure a job through the Career Start Program?
- There are some new PA graduates who do not secure a job through the Career Start Program, and this does happen to some students from each graduating class.
- These PA graduates may obtain work through publicly posted PA positions. Sometimes this is done creatively and not through conventional means. The following examples demonstrate a few creative ways to find work after graduation:
- Examples of ways to obtain jobs outside of career start funding: (These examples are to demonstrate different ways Ontario PA grads have obtained work)
- Student A did not obtain Career Start Program funding, instead they applied to publicly posted jobs and obtained a full time position with benefits in a private office in the GTA.
- Student B did not obtain Career Start Program funding after graduation; unfortunately Student B was not able to obtain a full time position, however they obtained two part time positions at two different practices based on job postings they found on Indeed.ca and the CAPA Job listing page. They will be two times per week at Clinic A in St. Catherine’s Nephrology, and three times per week in Clinic B in Niagara for Family medicine.
- Student C DID obtain a job through the Career Start Program, however it was not a good Employer-Employee Fit, thus Student C did leave their 1 year contract before it ended. They applied to another job posting, and was able to obtain a part time position two days at a week a Pain Clinic Practice. It was until 6 months later they were able to secure a full time position through a job posting found on the CAPA Job Listing page.
- Student D did not obtain a Career Start Program funding after graduating, however did apply to a Manitoba position and was accepted. Student D moved to Manitoba to start their career.
- Student E did not obtain a Career Start Program funding job, however did apply and accepted a maternity leave at another clinic. They worked closely with other doctors as well that one of the other doctors asked Student E to start full time at another clinic that the a separate group of doctors were starting in a different jurisdiction. Once the maternity leave was up, student E started as a full time PA with a new group of doctors.
- Student F started off in a Career Start Program funded position in a family health team, however once the 1 year contract was almost up HR mentioned they did not have resources to extend the position. However, there was a special Psychiatry outpatient clinic that the family health team wished to start with a Psychiatrist. Once the 1 year contract was up Student F started full time with the psychiatry outpatient assessment.
- Student G did not obtain Career Start Program funded position, however did apply to a position that was advertised through an email they received from their PA program. The physician was only interested in an Ontario PA grad who had passed their CCPA. After a few emails exchanged and an interview, Student G secured a position within 6 months of graduation.
- Finding work in other provinces – Some PAs do chose to migrate to Manitoba or Alberta for other job opportunities as it is a better fit given their situation. New Brunswick has introduced legislation for PA regulation and plans to introduce more PAs as well. BC is another potential province that may be taking on PAs as the work for PA advocacy in that province continues.
- Finding work in other countries – I know of 2 PAs that have gone to Ireland to help pioneer the PA profession in a pilot project. One PA from McMaster Class of 2010 has gone to the UK to work and teach.
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Opinions and views expressed in this article are that of the authors and does not represent any association, program or organization.
Thank you to Ohood, Deniece O’Leary and Erika N. for reviewing the article before posting!