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Physician Assistants (PA) are academically prepared and highly skilled health care professionals who provide a broad range of medical services. PAs act as health care extenders, working under the supervision of a physician, to complement existing services and aid in improving patient access to health care.
PAs are nationally represented by the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA) and, in Alberta, must be certified and registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA). The process for regulation of the PA profession in Alberta is still underway.
If you are interested in learning more about PAs, please visit the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA) website.
The PA’s scope of practice is determined on an individual basis and formally outlined in a practice contract or agreement among the supervising physician, the PA and the facility where the PA will work.
A PA is not a replacement for a physician, Nurse Practitioner (NP), Registered Nurse (RN), or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Rather, each of these professions have different abilities, skill sets, talents, and varying scopes of practice that all work together to provide Albertans with high-quality health care.
In 2013, Alberta Heath Services (AHS) embarked on a two-year Physician Assistant (PA) Demonstration Project, integrating PAs into several AHS facilities to evaluate the impact of the profession as functioning members of the collaborative health care team.
The project successfully ended in 2015, and AHS has continued to hire PAs into several departments across the zones.
For more information on Physician Assistants (PAs), please see: