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Physician Careers

Physician Assistants

Search for current Physician Assistant job opportunities on AHS Careers.

What is a PA?

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.

Scope of Practice

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.

  • Activities may include conducting patient interviews, histories and physical examinations; diagnosing and treating illnesses, performing selected diagnostic and therapeutic interventions or procedures; and counseling patients on preventive health care.
  • A PA’s scope of practice may also include patient education, research and administrative services.

Integration into the Health Care Team

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.

Physician Assistant Demonstration Project

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.