Tom Ashman Physician Assistant of the Year

The Canadian Association of Physician Assistants 2015 Annual Conference in Toronto, ON was extremely eventful. Apart from the excellent CPD sessions, high calibre speakers (including Andre Picard, Globe and Mail Health Journalist, Dr. Virignia Walley – OMA President Elect and Dr. Cindy Forbes – CMA President Elect), personal development/advocacy roundtable sessions, and networking opportunities.

Anne Dang, CCPAI also enjoy attending the conference because it really gives you a sense of where the profession stands in Canada and each of the provinces/territories, (in terms of funding, regulation, reimbursement/billing, advocacy, awareness) as well as provide great resources and ideas to tackling barriers to practice and employment.

I’ve attended past CAPA conferences as an attendee where I collected CPD and networked, however this year I took on a few more roles since the conference was taking place in my hometown of Toronto. There were several highlights of the conference this year for me, including  being part of the Conference Planning Committee (a voluntary role), moderating a few conference sessions, having the opportunity to present (student breakfast session on Launching your PA Career), working with my PA colleague to have a poster abstract submitted for the conference, then presenting the poster at the conference (taking 2nd place in the poster session!), and being the recipient of the Tom Ashman PA of the year award!

CAPA Awards Ceremony

Tom Ashman PA of the Year

I received a call about the nomination a few weeks in advance. I learned the individual who nominated me was Robert Brunet, CCPA current CAPA Board of Director and well established Physician Assistant actively involved in teaching, clinical work and advocacy! He is someone whom I’ve worked closely on different initiatives (committees, social media strategy) over the years and upon hearing about the nomination it was so humbling. We connected several times over the conference.


Thank you Robert Brunet for presenting the award and for the wonderful powerpoint presentation showcasing my involvement in social media & PA advocacy!

I had come prepared with an acceptance speech, acknowledging friends and family, mentors and teachers, CAPA staff, colleagues, as well as my co-worker and good friend who was the first person I had ever spoken to about potentially entering the PA profession, and continues to be a PA who inspires me. When writing this I reflected on all the opportunities these individuals had afforded me – giving me a chance to make changes to the CAPA site, install a forum, volunteer on various subcommittees, but also encouraging my efforts in PA advocacy in social media. The PA community is small, but really supports and uplifts each other in achieving success in many ways.

Pictures from Kayce Photography

2nd Place Poster Presentation

Ohood and I receiving our award for the Poster Presentation (left)
and presenting our poster with powerpoint presentation (right). 

We were completely surprised to receive 2nd place for our Poster, as CAPA did have a panel of judges evaluate posters prior to the Awards Ceremony. My colleague and I then presented our poster with a 5 minute synopsis and fielded questions from the audience.

This was actually a really fun experience! The poster session is a great way to encourage PAs to participate in research. After the recognition, and poster presentation we excitedly discuss doing this for future conferences.

A screenshot of our poster PDF that we submitted for printing, case-baed study on massive rotator cuff tears treated with Graftjacket Repair.

Presenting at the Student Breakfast Session

I did a presentation on Launching your PA Career: Tips for Success for New PA Grad Hires. This was my first time presenting at the CAPA conference and it was a great somewhat informal session! I presented alongside Kevin Kendal, CCPA an experienced PA working out west who had a lot of insight working in an ER department.

View the Full Presentation Online

PA Career

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