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Hi there, 

I'm a student in my undergraduate studies looking to work in healthcare. The role of PA really stood out to me as it looks to be a great balance between working in medicine but also having the opportunity to have life commitments outside of it. 

I've been doing some digging regarding potential jobs as a PA however and I'm a bit worried as it seems most jobs only have enough funding for a year or so and are temporary. Would I have re-locate every couple of years for work here in Ontario or are full-time permanent positions also common?

Is this a good career to consider at this point and time when funding can be difficult to find? The older post from 2016 had quite a few unhappy PAs commenting and had said they wished they would have applied to a different program because they couldn't find work and that jobs were extremely competitive. Is the government doing anything for the new PA grads? 

Any insight would be great, thanks!


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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:


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: 

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 7.58.15 PM.png

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