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About AnneCCPA

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  1. There are a LOT of PAs that were formerly nurses before getting into a PA program. In fact, clinical experience during schooling and (if applicable) through nursing work. When you say GPA of 3.2 do you mean out of 4.5? To see average / range of statistics for UofM Class of 2019, check out the infographic on their student website: https://manitobapafellowship.weebly.com/class-statistics.html
  2. You have to join the group to see it https://www.facebook.com/groups/canadaprepa/
  3. This is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/canadaprepa/permalink/2419296068108789/
  4. Hi Victoria, On the 2019 MPAS Admissions Bulletin, starting on page 4, you can find all the information re: Applicant Pools. From the Bulletin: It then goes on to continue to describe the various applicant pools: Manitoba Rural Attributes Out of Province Applicant Indigenous Applicant Socioeconomic and Cultural Diversity
  5. Hi healthcaregs, [admins please delete if not allowed] In Ontario, I personally know many PAs that have worked at the same job/employer since graduation (myself included). This is a combination of PAs who are privately hired by a solo / group of physicians, and by those who are hired thru hospitals. Not all PAs stay in the same job forever: Other PAs have changed jobs due to things not working out with the Career Start employer (whether it was a poor employer fit, poor employee fit, operational reasons, etc.)Change in location/life circumstances, wanting to change specialties/schedules. Some PAs have switched jobs after 1-2 years but stayed in the same hospital (e.g. one PA I know of switched departments e.g. Internal Medicine to ER, but continued to work in the same hospital). If you don't have flexibility on geographic location and/or specialty you want to practice, this may limit some of your job opportunities. With that being said there are a few opportunities in the GTA for example, but those PA jobs tend to be more competitive (not unlike jobs by our health care provider colleague counterparts i.e. nursing/physio/physicians etc.) However from my personal conversations with grads from last year, most if not all were able to obtain meaningful employment within a few months - even in circumstances where things may not have worked out in the first job they applied to. In order to address this question further, I interviewed 4 new PA grads: two who obtained work through Career Start, and two who found employment outside of Career Start: HOW IS THE CANADIAN PA JOB MARKET? New grad Sara Finding a Job as a New PA graduate Part 1: Getting Started with the Career Start Grant Finding a Job as a New PA Graduate Part 2: The Importance of Having a Network Andrew - New PA Grad Andrew reflects on the PA Job Hunt BG - New PA Grad BG discusses finding work thru Career Start Celina - New PA Grad Celina on finding work outside the Career Start Grant Guide to the 2017 Ontario Career Start Grant Networking and Employment Tips for PA Students Where to Find PA Jobs in Canada Interview with the Ontario PA Chapter President There is a Canadian Pre-PA Student Networking Group on FB - and every few weeks we get a question about the PA job market (specifically in Ontario). There's a few nuances about the job market (which isn't perfect) that I think would be worth your time to read. In fact if you type in "job market" in the group's search function you'll find past posts with opinions and insights from PA students, and practicing PAs which I feel is much more balanced and considers much more variables than the 2016 post you are referring to. Other resources you can look into: Attend the PA Information sessions in the fall, and ask the programs directly in the Q&A session Speak with current practicing PAs, contact admin@capa-acam.ca if you are interested in being connected with one. Consider emailing the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants admin@capa-acam.ca I've attached a screenshot of one of two comments I left on our most recent question about PAs in that FB group:
  6. Hey Pre-PA Student! American PA tuition is steep, and this is in US dollars - so also consider the exchange rate. Some schools may consider you as an "international student" so extra fees would be considered for that as well. If you plan on working in the States after completing an American PA school, as a Canadian citizen you also have to remember to take extra steps to obtain a work visa/permit. From what I understand (and at time of writing) you can't work in the US unless you have a job offer from a US employer who will sponsor you for a work visa. It's best to keep up to date on immigration policies and do your research to find out what the requirements are to obtain the work visa. ThePAlife.com outlines that average cost of non-resident tuition for a 2-year physician assistant program is: $90,659, read more about it here https://www.thepalife.com/2018-pa-school-tuition/. See the attached image for a 'range' of PA tuition from cheapest to most expensive. In order to challenge the American PANCE Certification Exam and get PA-C certified, you need to graduate from an ARC-PA school.. List of ARC-PA accredited American PA schools can be found here: http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation/accredited-programs/ Canadian PA schools are not ARC-PA accredited, therefore Canadian PAs cannot challenge the PANCE exam, become PA-C's or practice in the United States with their Canadian licensing (CCPA). One of the criteria for being ARC-PA accredited is that the school has to be physically located in the United States. Same goes for PAs trained in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. International reciprocity only goes one way - that is at this time American-trained PA-C's can practice in other countries but not vice versa. This means obtaining your PA education in the United States wouldn't limit you geographically if you wanted to practice in other countries* (e.g. Canada or the UK). Use the PAEA online directory: Click here to see the American PA schools that accept international students. Consider contacting PA programs directly, and ask if Canadian applicants would be considered "international" or "non-resident" and what tuition would be in this case. You will get more definitive answers this way than by what little information exists online. I have a PA colleague who was born in Canada, then went to the US to train as a PA, practiced in the US for a few years, and then came back to Canada to practice. However, there are several differences between PA practice in the US and Canada.
  7. Hi Angela! When you are considering a professional program (e.g. Nursing, MD, PA, Nurse Practitioner etc.), what's more important are the courses you take to fulfill requirements - not the major. There isn't a "best" major to get into any of the professional programs as many successful candidates come from various backgrounds. Some come from heavy science backgrounds (e.g. Biology, Life Sciences, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Biomedical Sciences... etc.) and others from Non-Science/not-as-heavy science majors (e.g. Social Work, Philosophy, Humanities) - this is applicable to PA, medicine, and some other health care programs too. Life sciences at McMaster during year 1 is the same for everyone. However once you are done, you can pick a multitude of different "majors" to specialize in, including those with co-op: Also, there are so many different factors that go into what makes a "competitive" candidate for any health care professional program - GPA, leadership, communication, extra-curriculars, references, admission test scores (e.g. MCAT, DAT, PCAT, GRE, etc.) that looking at 'the best major for pre-med' isn't quite the right question to be asking (IMO!). There are pros and cons to any major you take, but what's important to keep in mind: As long as you fulfill prerequisite courses for the programs you are interested in, you can apply to that health care program. You can complete those courses when you pick "electives" in university or during your summers (be sure to check if the program will accept the course if taken in summer). You have to ensure you do well overall in all of your courses, including the pre-requisite courses (if applicable) for programs you are applying to. This means developing the discipline and habits to study, manage your time, plan ahead, etc. You will inevitably have to take hard courses. I would consider yourself "pre-health" before you decide you are "pre-med" "pre-pa" etc. as it sounds like you are still exploring your options (kin vs. nursing vs life sciences). Have you considered other careers such as Pharmacy? Dentistry? Optometry? Radiation Sciences? Physiotherapy? Speech, Language, Pathology? Occupational Therapy? etc. I'd suggest doing some research about different professions, going to your guidance counselor in high school (better yet, when you reach uni - find "Career Services" and see if you can setup an appointment to discuss long term planning [i.e. courses, etc] for your academic career. You do not have to decide your "forever career" now. Keep a few "top choice careers" in mind - but make sure to research, research, research: do an informational interview with someone who works in the field, also try to find shadowing opportunities volunteer in a health clinic where the profession you are interested in is working, attend career information sessions speak to current program students (e.g. Med students, PA students) - whom you can find at Career Fairs, Open House Info Sessions (for example, University of Toronto hosts "UofT Medicine Interprofessional Open House" where you can speak to students and alumni from various health care careers - including dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, PA, nursing, radiation sciences, OT, PT, etc.) join the pre-med club on campus (each university usually has one) and they usually host information sessions about med schools and other health care related fields. Having a competitive GPA will help you, regardless of what health care program you want to apply to. Here are some tips that you may find helpful to maintain a good GPA for a class: If you are concerned about your workload for the semester, consider taking a balance of hard courses and "easier" courses (you can find out from upper year students or some of your peers which are easier to take) if you plan on having a full course load for that semester Consider making use of T.A. time, or professor office hours to get extra help on problems. Form study groups. Develop techniques for studying effectively; rather than just "passively reading" material - work to apply what you learn - practice as many questions as you can (from homework assignments, or even practice questions at the end of a textbook chapter, etc.). Find out what resources are available at your university for supporting students in first year (e.g. I attended a workshop in my first year of undergraduate study run by upper year students on 'how to study for university'. ) If you are contemplating taking a harder course (e.g. Organic Chemistry), see if you can take it during the summer, and hire a tutor (Master's or PhD student, or you can look online). Crowdsource resources for studying - for instance while going to McMaster University I used the forum http://macinsiders.com (and we have a forum called "Learn Link") where we could troubleshot problems and share resources for courses together. Other universities may have this. Macinsiders does have a section on "First Year Success" you might find helpful! I would suggest speaking with your guidance counselor and explore majors based on your personal interest, long term goals and skills. Do some self-reflection and determine what interests you You can look at statistics of students who get in and find out what majors they are taking (might take some detective work, but I'm sure the information is out there!). Try googling, "What premed major should i take?", you'll find some advice from test prep courses like Kaplan. Some people choose majors based on what they think will help them perform better on tests like the MCAT. Take the advice with a grain of salt of course. You can also speak with a career counselor in your first year of university, they can talk to you about what courses to take, options about switching majors, and help you with some tools and resources to figure things out (this can include career / vocational tests, making arrangements for you to speak with a med student or PA student, etc.). As you go through your undergraduate studies, you may find you might have a 'change of heart' when it comes to what you want to pursue. That might come from a volunteer experience, exposure to a clinical / research opportunity, a mentor/TA/professor/ that has impacted you... If you're interested in reading more about what courses to take for PA admissions, you can learn more here: http://canadianpa.ca/prepa-courses/ Hope you found this helpful! Of course, this is based on my own experiences deciding on a career path/major/courses, as well as speaking to numerous Pre-PA students. Let me know if you have more questions! Cheers, - Anne
  8. Hi miniimufin! McMaster, University of Manitoba and UofT has produced infographics of their successful PA candidates for September 2017 intake (last year's successful applicants) which are viewable on their social media accounts. We've also posted it here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.2005668702804863
  9. Hi Hopefulprepa! Someone has answered this question in our Canada Pre-PA Student Networking Group on FB already, but I can paste the answer here:
  10. Hi xngn8r! Just a curiosity question because we do get the question a lot. What was your process for securing employment in the US as a Canadian citizen? Did you have to find a job where your employer have to sponsor your work visa? Or did you apply for a work visa before securing work? Thanks!
  11. AnneCCPA

    Dr. Pa?

    "Hi, my name is Anne and I'm a Physician Assistant working with __." [shakes hand] Start with patient encounter. Our practice has been using PAs for the past 7 years so our patients are used to PAs. I elaborate a little bit more about how patients react to being seen by a PA below. Patient: "Are you a doctor? My response:" No I'm a Physician Assistant." [insert elevator pitch about PA education and practice, 4-5 sentences I use frequently with patients, pre-PA students and other allied health] Patient: "Are you training to become a doctor? When are you done?" I still get this question a lot, and understandably some patients didn't hear me the first time when I introduced myself as a PA. My response: "I actually finished school for Physician Assistant studies, and I've been practicing with Dr. X for the past 6 years. [insert elevator pitch about PA education and practice] Depending on the practice, the patient may see: The PA only The PA first, then the physician (in the same patient encounter) The medical learner (i.e. medical student, PA student, resident, or fellow) first, then the physician (in the same patient encounter. The physician only Note #2 and #3 are essentially the same --> In Ontario, many PAs practice in a setting where the patient sees the "PA only": A PA colleague of mine who works in family medicine has her own list of patients for the day. She is very experienced and consults the physician perhaps a few times a month for very complex, atypical or unusual cases. A new grad would likely review each case (as part of training, mentoring and orienting the PA to a new practice) to begin with but as they gain more experience they will likely transition to indirect supervision where PA sees patients autonomouly. My PA colleague is usually more on time than the family physician (she doesn't like to keep her patients waiting, and is very thorough, yet efficient, good bedside manner helps too!), and there are some patients that would prefer to see the PA rather than the physician because of the rapport the PA has built with that patient over time. At the end of the day, the PA is doing the same clinical duties as the physician (e.g. well baby exams, PAP smears, skin biopsies, vaccinations, sore throat assessments, follow-ups, new consults, etc.), but you have two clinicians seeing patients simultaneously. She also prescribes medications under medical directives, but does not do narcotics - those patients who require prescription of opioids and other controlled substances see the physician. If the patient is adamant on seeing the physician only (this very rarely happens), then it doesn't take a lot of time to quickly grab the MD. One strategy you can use as a PA is to inform the patient that they are more than welcome to see the physician, but while they're waiting you can get started on the history and physical, which will be case reviewed with the physician. The PA proceeds to do the entire encounter history to physical, review investigations, formulate diagnosis and treatment plan. We do patient education around treatment modalities & preventative health, and take time answer all of their questions - they usually are impressed at the time, attentiveness and how thorough the PA is during the encounter. By the end of the encounter the patient is happy, they get to see the MD (if at this point they still want to at this point, and are happy to see the PA again. If patient is resistant (I haven't seen this happen in 6 years in practice, but it is still a possibility), then just inform the patient the physician may see them but they may have to wait longer, which most patients are not happy to do anyway. The "PA first, then physician after" is very similar to how physicians work with 3rd and 4th year medical students (clinical clerks)/residents/and medical fellow model, where there is more direct supervision as the physician does participate in the patient encounter. This model is much more common in the beginning of a PA's experience with work (as I mentioned above, to orient, mentor and train a PA to a new practice). Some physicians prefer this way (i.e. see every patient) because of personal preference rather than actual need as the PA is usually capable to see simple, routine conditions and with more experience handle more complex conditions autonomously with physician collaboration (e.g. established medical directives, review cases/chart after each patient without seeing the patient or at end of the day, tec.). You still have two clinicians seeing patients simultaneously - while the physician goes to finish off the PA encounter, the PA can now start on the next patient. In cases where the PA starts, and physician finishes, the interaction usually goes like this: "Hi I'm Anne, I'm a PA that works with Dr. X__. I'll be getting us started today, and Dr. X will be joining us after." [PA proceeds to do entire encounter, communicate diagnosis (depending on case), review imaging, explains treatment modalities before the MD comes in] PA exits room --> Case reviewed with physician ( either by 1 - PA case presents to MD,or 2- physician will read the PA's clinical note in the EMR) --> Physician enters room while PA starts on next case Physician: "Hi I'm Dr. X_, Orthopaedic Surgeon, I had a chat with Ms. Dang, our PA and she's told me a lot about you. [Quickly verify a few pertinent facts, 1-2 exam findings, review imaging, confirm/discuss treatment options] The amount of time the physician has spent with the patient is significantly decreased as the PA has done 90% of the work. With years of practice my clinical reasoning and familiarity with treatment protocols in this practice. As a result of this model, although the MD is going in to "verify" what the PA found, we have been able to decrease wait times to be seen by a specialist, reduce physician workload and decrease time spent seeing patients in clinic (shorter clinic hours) while simultaneously increasing the volume of patients the physician can see without burning out. We don't wear white coats, because my physician does not wear a white coat in clinic. Business casual for us in clinic. PAs in hospitals wear scrubs, some wear the PA white coat, but note it is a different length than the physician white coats. More common for "PA Hospitalists" as the white coats provide handy pockets to put pocketbooks, pens, etc. Hope that provides some clarity! Anne Blog: http://www.canadianpa.ca Twitter: http://twitter.com/AnneCCPA Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annedang/ Canadian Pre-PA Student Network: https://www.facebook.com/groups/canadaprepa/
  12. I would say that it is not too ambitious if you do the right research and meet minimum criteria for the PA program at UofT. Once you meet the minimum criteria For PA Shadowing experience the best way is to contact Cathy who coordinates PA shadowing in Ontario - her email (to prevent her from getting spammed it is posted in a private forum on FB) you can find her info searching through threads here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/canadaprepa/requests/ There are tons of American Pre-PA & PA Facebook Groups : e.g. the Pre-PA Club run by Savannah, Pre-PA Rockstars, etc. A lot of questions regarding applications, MMI may be helpful for Canadian PA applicants as well. You can also join the Physician Assistants FB group, which is huge but has lots of practicing PAs, and the occasional pre-PA student that does ask questions (usually 5-6 people respond so its a good place to go!). Don't discount American PA resources! - PAs in Canada and the US have the same job description (seeing and assessing patients, diagnosing, ordering and interpreting investigations, treatment plan, therapeutic and diagnostic procedures, assisting in surgery), the context is different and a few other things (e.g. as a Canadian you'd pay international student fees, obtaining a visa to work in the US) are different. The Physician Assistant Forum: https://www.physicianassistantforum.com/ was the first and only resource I had about PAs back in 2009 when I applied. IT continues to have excellent information about PA curriculum, admissions, and there are a few IMGs in there who have posted questions. Here is a link to the Supplemental Application from 2017. I would recommend reviewing it, you'll notice the supplemental application questions don't ask you to list experiences chronologically. This app is posted on their website: http://www.paconsortium.ca/file/951/download?token=ODtTWTjM Although worth considering, you can gain volunteer experiences or work on projects and initiatives that interest you (i.e.. whether its related to the health care field or not) -- I think this is a much better and more authentic approach than, "this experience will look good on my resume".* I also wanted to clarify that is my personal opinion and not reflective of what admissions may or may not want. Helpful PA Articles I've also written about strengthening your PA application, the MMI interview, a whole list of articles here. http://canadianpa.ca/prepa/ Many of my PA colleagues were former IMGs who went on to become PAs. Some of them did get some experience in other fields prior to becoming a PA (e.g. Respiratory Therapist, massage therapy, etc.) but that is not a requirement. With regards to employment, its best to ask practicing PAs. I recently interviewed the Ontario PA Chapter President and she talks about funding, employment and outlook for the profession: http://canadianpa.ca/ontario-chapter-president/ PA employment does fluctuate (like any field) and is dependent on several funding sources, including Provincial grants like Ontario Career Start Program geared towards new PA grads only (Alumni, American, military PAs do not have access to this funding), LHIN, Department (e.g. Department of Emergency), Hospital, and out of pocket for solo or group physician practices. PA programs prepare you for employment, these include sessions and workshops for Resumes & cover letters, contract negotiations, and interviews. PA Programs will also email their alumni students about physicians looking for a PA to work with. Looking at PA job boards, and sometimes these jobs are not advertised. Some PAs have been able to create job opportunities by speaking with physicians about the PA role, or completing a rotation with them during school. To see where some PAs have ended up working - check out the McMaster PA website "PA Alumni" page: http://mcmasterpa.weebly.com/pa-alumni.html you'll see some hospitals have media releases about where their PAs are working. Good luck! - Anne Twitter: http://twitter.com/AnneCCPA Website: http://www.canadianpa.ca LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annedang/
  13. Hi everyone, I wanted to extend an invite to members who use this forum to join our Pre-PA Student Network. In this group are current PA students and practicing PA students who are there to answer anyq uestions you might have about being a PA / studying to be a PA in Canada. Hope to have you join us! https://www.facebook.com/groups/canadaprepa/
  14. McMaster University’s Physician Assistant Program is hosting an Info Night this Wed Nov 23, 2016 at HSC 1A1 at 7pm, McMaster University. They are offering a live webinar / live stream of the info night that you can watch online for those that can’t make it!: _______ Webinar: Link (registration required) Password: PAEP TO REGISTER & VIEW THE LIVE STREAM: 1. Go to: LINK 2. On the night of the live stream (Nov 23, 2016 at 7pm), click on "Register" and enter your information to join the live stream. Password should already be filled out for you. If you have any questions you can contact Physician Assistant Program at: paprogram@mcmaster.ca
  15. Some teaching sessions require you to actually come to UofT/Ontario, in terms of frequency I am not certain but you can contact the program. Also in 2nd year many of your rotations will be done through Ontario. Have you thought about applying to UofM PA program since you live in the province?