Natalie Dies is a graduate of the McMaster PA Education Program, Class of 2012 and is one of the few PAs in Canada who has worked in 3 different provinces for her PA career.
Her journey started in Ontario. Natalie completed many of her elective rotations in surgical subspecialties, knowing that she had a strong preference for perioperative medicine. She “created” a general surgery position after completing an elective, working in a large academic tertiary care centre in Toronto from November 2012 to January 2016. She worked on surgical resident teams in colorectal surgery and surgical oncology. She wrote a paper demonstrating improved late patient discharge rates and reduced resident workload, which was published in the American PA Journal JAAPA in January 2016.
In February 2016, Natalie joined a PA team at the Geriatric Outreach Service of Ontario, performing geriatric consults at long term care facilities. The model of supervision was very unique as she worked remotely and communicated with her supervising physician through Telehealth. She also helped the group establish their medical directives.
In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Natalie joined a well-defined group of 6 Physician Assistants and Clinical Assistants in cardiac surgery and cardiology in July 2016. Her role involved 100% ward coverage, no intraoperative role. She presented data at the Société Française de Chirurgie Thoracique et Cardio-Vasculaire (SFCTCV) annual congress in Marseille, France June 2017 about the utilization of PAs in cardiovascular surgery.
Canadian PAs Francois Cameron and Natalie Faye Dies were invited to present the role of PAs s Universities in France are looking at different strategies to cope with decreased resident working hours (from CAPA/ACAM).
In April 2017, Natalie became the first PA in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery (OHNS) at University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. She has been rotating through the entire OHNS department, but will ultimately be working on head and neck surgery team where patients undergo major reconstruction after massive ablative cancer resections. She is currently working on developing a PA curriculum and optimizing the PA role in Alberta.
Natalie with her supervising physician in the outpatient procedures clinic.
Natalie gives us some insight in the differences of how PAs practice between the different provinces.