When you operate in a remote territory with limited or delayed access to the nearest hospital, there is an increased level of risk. This is where REMSI can provide services through their Physician Assistant Program (PA). In situations of greater risk involving possibly mass casualties, a PA is typically in place instead of nurse practitioners, nurses or paramedics. A PA can recognize, for example, that something as common as an upset stomach can turn out to be much more. The PA has the knowledge, experience and background to differentiate between an upset stomach and a possible appendicitis.
Physician Assistants are able to...
Demonstrate a commitment to their patients, profession and society through ethical practice
- Exhibit appropriate professional behaviour in practice including honesty, integrity, commitment, compassion, respect and altruism
- Demonstrate a commitment to deliver the highest quality care and maintenance of competence
- Recognize and appropriately respond to ethical issues encountered in practice, including issues of patient consent
- Appropriately manage conflicts of interest
- Recognize the principle and limits of patient confidentiality as defined by practice standards and the law
- Maintain appropriate professional interaction with patients
- Recognize and respond to others’ unprofessional behaviours in practice
- Participate in peer review
Demonstrate a commitment to their scope of practice and the unique PA-physician relationship
- Abide by the professional, legal and ethical codes of medical practice
- Comply with national, federal and provincial regulations, where applicable Demonstrate a commitment to Physician Assistant health and sustainable practice.
- Balance personal and professional priorities to ensure personal health and sustainable practice
- Strive to heighten personal and professional awareness and insight
- Recognize other professionals in need and respond appropriately
The following list of diseases and conditions for which a PA has been exposed to in education and in practice. It is expected and assumed that PA education programs will include curriculum that is more comprehensive and exhaustive than this list is able to capture, and will cover diseases and conditions that a PA will be able to recognize and diagnose.
- Ears, Eyes, Nose, and Throat
- Genitourinary/ Reproductive
- Endocrine and Metabolic
- Infectious Disease
- Blood Haematology
- Mental Health
What formal education do PA’s have?
Accredited PA education programs are available in Canada and in the US. The PA education program at the Canadian Forces Medical Services School in Borden, Ontario, includes medical education at civilian hospitals throughout Canada. The Canadian Medical Association has accredited it since 2003. Training in accredited programs focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of disease, differential diagnosis determination, and treatment plan development. The Canadian Forces program includes 2,000 hours of clinical rotation in areas such as emergency medicine, paediatrics, internal medicine, orthopaedics, sports medicine, general surgery, urology, anaesthesia, trauma team and family practice.
PA’s must continue to keep up their skill set by re-certifying core requirements in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and the International Trauma Life Support.
For more information, please visit Canadian Association of Physician Assistants website.