What does a Physician Assistant do?
The main role of a Physician Assistant is to see and assess patients who are in need of medical care. A Physician Assistant is a clinician whose work is meant to extend the services provided by a Physician. In some practices, such as family medicine, a Physician Assistant can see their own patients under the supervision of a Physician. A Physician Assistant is sometimes also responsible for pre-op and post-op follow-ups and facilitating referrals.
Physician Assistant skills and qualifications
A successful Physician Assistant will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications required for the duties performed in this job. Some of these may include:
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
- Results-oriented work ethic and ability to undertake tasks needed to accomplish work objectives
- Proven written and oral communication skills
- Ability to think critically and solve problems
- Ability to work well with a team and develop partnerships with multiple diverse medical professionals
- Ability to multi-task and troubleshoot with creative thinking
- Excellent work and attendance record
- Excellent initiative and independent judgement
Physician Assistant experience requirements
For entry-level Physician Assistant positions, look for candidates who have gained Physician Assistant designation, as that will prove they have adequate practical training and experience to succeed in the role. For positions that require a more experienced Physicians Assistant, candidates must have two or more years of previous experience in a Physician Assistant role. Additional experience in other related healthcare positions is also beneficial for candidates.
Physician Assistant training and education
Physician Assistant candidates must have a Physician Assistant designation. There are only four schools in Canada that give the Physician Assistant designation: The University of Manitoba Master’s of PA Studies, McMaster University PA Education Program, University of Toronto (PA Consortium), and the Canadian Forces PA Program. To be accepted into any of the Physician Assistant programs, an applicant will need to have obtained an undergraduate degree, have healthcare experience, and provide letters of references. The two-year program is the same at every institution.
Physician Assistant salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Physician Assistant in Canada is $49,732 per year. The actual salary can vary depending on experience, location, and the company that is hiring.
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