Physician Assistant (PA)

Physician Assistants (PAs) are highly trained and skilled health care professionals. A PA provides a broad range of medical services while working under the supervision of a physician.

What do Physician Assistants do?

  • Order lab tests and imaging
  • Perform histories and physicals
  • Document patient charts
  • Perform minor procedures
  • Make diagnoses
  • Interpret test results
  • Write orders and prescriptions, within an AHS facility

Where do Physician Assistants work?

  • Hospitals or health care centres
  • Community clinics
  • Emergency departments
  • Cancer care programs

Physician Assistants at AHS

As of April 1, 2021, Physician Assistants are fully-regulated health professionals in Alberta.

PAs work under the supervision of a physician or group of physicians within a team and their scope of practice is negotiated by the relationship with the physician(s) and the care setting. PAs will collaborate and work alongside physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, blending their individual skills and knowledge to provide optimum patient care.

This regulation in Alberta offers more support for AHS healthcare teams and Alberta residents, benefiting our sites by enhancing capacity and patient care – both of which are among the highest priorities for AHS.

For more information on PAs, you can visit the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants website or the CPSA website.

What are the credentials for a Physician Assistant?

  • Completion of a two-year Physician Assistant Education Program (PAEP). This is after two to four years of university preparation.
  • Over 2,000 hours of clinical training in areas that may include: emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, orthopedics, sports medicine, general surgery, anesthesia, trauma and family medicine.
  • Member of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA)
  • Physician Assistants must be registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

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