The presenter was Jeff Straw, a clinical PA who teaches with the PA Consortium Program and has been involved with University of Toronto in the past few years. He started with an introduction, overview of the PA Profession, how to become a PA, then covered PA Education Program, and tips on Admissions.
What are PAs?
PAs are advanced practice providers educated int he medical model. PAs perform patient assessments (histories, physical exams), ordering and interpreting investigations, formulating a differential diagnosis, and managing patient conditions. This may include treating conditions, performing procedures, patient education or referring. This can include acute or chronic conditions, such as Diabetes Management.
PA Scope of Practice
PA Scope of Practice depends on the setting that the PA works in. PAs can switch specialties, going from generally primary care to Emergency medicine without going back and “completing” a residency the way that a physician does. What a PA does also depends on the supervising physician.
Where do PAs work?
PAs work in a variety of specialties, majority of new PA grads do work in Primary Care and Internal Medicine. Some PAs work in Surgery and smaller subspecialties such as mental health, dermatology, neurology, Orthopaedic Surgery, respirology, and vascular surgery. These numbers and specialties change year to year.
Where the most recent PA graduates found employment in the last year. Statistics vary year to year.
A PA can essentially work in any area of medicine that a physician / hospital or other institution is interested in having a PA.
How do you work as a PA?
A PA must graduate from an American or Canadian accredited PA Program. There are currently three civilian PA programs in Canada – PA Consortium, McMaster University and University of Manitoba. There is also a military PA Program with a different track.