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First Physician Assistants Graduate

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First Physician Assistants Graduate

McGuinty Government Helping Deliver Better Quality And Access To Care

Ministry of Health

Ontario's first graduating class of 21 Physician Assistants (PAs) will soon be bringing their training and skills to the province's health care system following a two-year program at McMaster University.

Graduates have secured employment at hospitals and health care facilities across the province, as employers have shown great interest in this new innovative approach to improving patient services.  Working as part of the health care team, PAs help reduce wait times and improve access to patient care in high need areas including emergency rooms. PAs also work under the supervision of a medical doctor.

Prior to the launch of the program at McMaster, PAs working in Ontario have been trained in the Canadian Forces, the United States, or are International Medical Graduates who completed a program through the Centre for the Evaluation of Health Professionals Educated Abroad.

Investing in front line health care is part of the government's Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.

Quick Facts

  • More than 65 PAs are currently employed in Ontario through a series of demonstration projects since 2007.
  • More than 60 PA students are currently enrolled in two university programs in Ontario at McMaster University and the University of Toronto.
  • By 2014, more than twice as many doctors will be completing residency training from Ontario's medical schools than in 2003.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Congratulations to all of the graduates of the Physician Assistant program at McMaster University. The Physician Assistant role is one of several new roles we have introduced to Ontario's health care system that are improving access to health care and helping to reduce wait times throughout the province. I'm pleased to support today's graduates and wish them well in their new careers.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“I am proud to be one of the first graduates of McMaster's Physician Assistant program and thrilled to be working at an orthopaedic practice in Hamilton. I am providing care to patients by assessing their joint injuries and guiding them through their surgical care, and playing an important role in improving access to health services.”

Ohood Elzibak

Graduate of McMaster University's Physician Assistant program

“By investing in innovative front line health care solutions like Physician Assistants we are able to continue to work towards our goal of improving access to care and lowering wait times for Ontarians. I'm proud the Ontario government has partnered with McMaster University to ensure that we train Physician Assistants right here in Ontario.”

Ted McMeekin

MPP, Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale

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