Other Health Professionals

ROMP currently works with both the University of Toronto and McMaster University to help coordinate clinical rotations for Physician Assistant trainees in Ontario.

health professionalsPhysician Assistants (PAs) have been part of the health care system in the United States of America since the 1960s. In Canada, PAs primarily work in the Canadian Armed Forces.  However, in Manitoba they are designated clinical assistants.

The Physician Assistant role is being introduced into the Ontario Health Care setting through a two year demonstration project that is taking place in select communities across the province.  In these communities, Physician Assistants are supporting physicians in hospitals, community health care centres, community-based diabetes care clinics and long term care homes.

The Initiative is being co-led by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the Ontario Medical Association.  For more information on Physician Assistants practicing in Ontario, please contact HealthForceOntario.

There are currently two programs of study offered for training Physician Assistants, one at McMaster University and one at the University of Toronto.

McMaster University Physician Assistant Program

“McMaster is pleased to lead the development of new types of health care professionals who will improve access to quality health care for the residents of Ontario,” said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president of McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

The first 20 students will begin the full two-year program in September. The program will be taught using McMaster’s internationally-renowned small group, problem-based-learning approach, which focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, initiative and promotion of lifelong learning.

Depending on the scope of the supervising physician’s practice, PAs may conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care and  assist in surgery. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA’s practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.

Graduates will qualify to take the national physician assistant certification examination.  They will have the skills and competencies necessary to practice as PAs in Canada.

More details on the program and application process may be found on the program’s website.

University of Toronto Physician Assistant Program

The program for Physician Assistants at the University of Toronto is orchestrated under the Consortium of PA Education, which is a collaboration of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences.  The first intake of 24 students were welcomed on January 4th, 2010.

The University of Toronto’s Physician Assistant Program is unique in Ontario.  Not only is it facilitated through the tripartite Consortium, but it is also a blended learning program.  During the first year, students spend time in “face-to-face and hands-on” sessions, called Residential Blocks, for approximately one month per semester. The remaining of their training takes place in an on-line learning environment, allowing the student to remain at home.  The second year of the program is a clinical year, with on-line academic courses and two Residential Blocks.

The requirements and duration of the program is similar to the Physician Assistant Program at McMaster and is:

24 months long
A minimum of two years of University education is a pre-requisite.
An additional 1680 hours ( equivalent to one year full time) of experience as a professional health care provider during which the applicant had direct patient contact is required.

To learn more about the University of Toronto Physician Assistant Program, please visit their website at: www.PAconsortium.ca

Physician Assistant Training through the Rural Ontario Medical Program

The Rural Ontario Medical Program currently works with both the University of Toronto and McMaster University to help coordinate clinical rotations for the Physician Assistant Trainees who are participating in their clinical placements within the ROMP region.  Currently unfunded by ROMP, Physician Assistant learners may be eligible for funding from their programs.

If you would like to participate in a clinical rotation within the ROMP region, please contact the ROMP office and Apply Now!

Midwifery, Ontario

A midwifery program will prepare you to give necessary supervision, advice and care to women while they are pregnant, during labour and once the postpartum period commences.

Once you graduate from a midwifery program at a university, you are eligible to register as a midwife with the College of Midwives of Ontario, as long as you successfully complete the Canadian Midwifery Registration Examination. After this has been done, you must complete what is known as the “New Registrant’s Year.” During this year, you are mentored in a midwifery practice. During this time, you will still carry a full-time caseload of clients and are expected to provide them with proper care. To ensure your success during the mentorship stage, you will have one or more midwives assigned to you, so you are able to transition from being a student into a professional midwife.

Currently, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has solidified plans to provide enough funding for recent midwifery graduates to complete their new registrant’s year. As you enter your final term of the midwifery program, you can interview with different practices to acquire a position for your first year.

At the Rural Ontario Medical Program in Collingwood, Ontario, we coordinate with graduating midwives who want to practise within our region. To find out more about our program and rotation options, please contact us today.