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Best 4 Physician Assistant Schools in Canada

Canada has the best physician assistant schools in the world.

The best physician assistant schools in Canada are for both domestic and international students to attend. However, you must meet the basic requirements to enable you pull through. As one of the best countries in the world, Canada is a place where many students aspire to study.

Equally, if you have passion for treating patients and administering drugs to sick people, you may consider any of the Canadian universities and train as a physician assistant.

Aside from that, Canada has only four Physician Assistant schools and they have their various requirements for admission. As a result, you must check with the school to know if you meet the admission requirements.

Never mind, this article will provide you with details regarding the course options, requirements for each school and other relevant information about the best physician assistant schools in Canada.

What is a physician assistant?
A physician assistant is a very important staff in the hospital or related settings. They work under the supervision of physicians as their assistants. More to the point, they can work in diverse health care settings. To become a physician assistant in Canada, you must undergo thorough training in the field. This prepares you for the job and qualifies you to manage patients.

Moreover, with the training, you will be able to work anywhere in Canada. The reason is that the training of physician assistants is somewhat generic.

In addition, you can study in these schools as a domestic or international student. But you must meet the basic requirements to become eligible.

Why does a physician assistant work?

Typically, a physician assistant works in diverse settings. Thus, they could work in hospitals, family and community medicine, surgery centres, community health centres, urgent care centers, internal care, pediatrics, and more.

What does a physician assistant do?

A physician assistant works exclusively with the physicians to diagnose and treat patients. Besides, they take patients’ histories, evaluate their conditions, prescribe medications, explain medical investigations and work with other professionals to develop care plans.

What are the best physician assistant schools in Canada?

There are only four physician assistant schools in Canada and they include:

#1. McMaster University – Hamilton, Ontario

Established on 27th April, 1887, the McMaster University is public research university in Ontario, with the main campus near the Ainslie neighborhood. Also, it was the outcome of the outgrowth of educational initiatives by the Baptist Church in the 1830s. There are six faculties in McMaster University. These faculties include the School of Business, Engineering, Science, Health Science and Social Science. Several physician assistants have graduated from the university and are gainfully employed.

Above and beyond, during the first year in physician assistant school at McMaster University, you will learn clinical sciences and communication skills. In your second year, you will learn the following:

  • Family Medicine: 12 weeks
  • Internal Medicine: 6 weeks
  • Surgery: 6 weeks
  • Psychiatry: 6 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine: 4 weeks
  • Pediatrics: 4 weeks

Admission requirements

To become a physician assistant in McMaster University, you must fulfil the following conditions:

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent residence
  • Have undergone four semesters full-time of undergraduate studies in a reputable university
  • Have at least a minimum CGPA of 2.7

If you have any of the following, you will be given preferences for admission:

  • Already have experience in treating patients in a hospital or clinical environment
  • Have a paid job as a caregiver
  • Have a health care experience for five years.

Tuition: 5,966.4 CAD for Residents and $22,471.2 CAD for international students.

Address: 100 King St W, Hamilton, ON L8P 1A2, Canada

Accreditation body: Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME)

#2. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is an amalgamation of three universities – the University of Toronto, Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences. Besides, the university came into existence on 15th March 1827.

However, the Faculty of Medicine was established in 1843. Also, the department of physician assistants and family and community medicine are combined and their students receive the same certificate.

Similarly, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine offers the necessary skills and experiences from the rural and northern health care areas. Again, the Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences offers admittance to simulation experiences and inter-professional relations in other health care settings. Generally, the three institutions mutually make up the PA Consortium.

In addition, the first year in this school consists of online education and classroom learning. Likewise, the second year focuses on clinical clerkship.

In this second year, you will complete rotations in diverse fields of medicine for some weeks. But you can only operate as a clinical clerk which is equivalent to a third or fourth-year medical student in rotation.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into the University of Toronto as a physician assistant, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a minimum of two years of full-time study in an accredited university
  • Have a minimum CGPA of 2.7 calculated on the OMSAS scale. All completed undergraduate studies will be considered in the calculation of the CGPA.
  • Possess a minimum of 910 health care experience hours (paid or voluntary placement)
  • Demonstrate proof of English language proficiency as an international student

Tuition: 25,286.42 CAD for Residents and 87,792.42 CAD for International students.

Address of school: Medical Sciences Building, 1 King’s College Cir, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada.

Accreditation body: Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the U.S. Liaison Committee on Medical Education. You can visit the school website for more details.

#3. University of Manitoba – Winnipeg

The University of Manitoba is a public university with seven faculties – both undergraduate and graduate faculties. It began operations in 1967 although the university was still a charter. The physician assistant department of the university admits around 15 students each year, with the admission deadline being January 15.

Correspondingly, the university is the only one operating a graduate-level physician assistant program in Canada. Also, it encompasses 48 weeks of instructive learning and 52 weeks of clinical rotations.

Furthermore, the first year in this school involves courses in medical sciences like biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, microbiology, anatomy and genetics. In the second year, you will do adult medicine including pediatrics, emergency, genecology, infectious diseases, psychiatry and surgery.

Admission Requirements

You must possess the following to be eligible for admission at the physician department of the University of Manitoba:

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent residence
  • Must have a four-year bachelor’s degree from a reputable university
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA in a full-time or part-time program.

Tuition: 4,400 CAD for Residents and 14,700 CAD for international students

Address of school: 66 Chancellors Cir, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada

Accreditation body: Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) You can visit the school website for more details.

#4. Military Physician Assistant School

This is one of the best physician assistant schools in Canada. Their major role is to offer medical assistant emergency care for Canadian armed forces members. Equally, they work in a ship or abroad, offering emergency assistance. The beautiful side of studying at Military Physician Assistant School is that you will never lack a job after graduation.

Another point is that the military will take care of your tuition and other fees after your admission. Besides, the military school runs up to six programs and some of them are college, dental school, university and flight school.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted into the military Physician Assistant School, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be 18 and above
  • Have Grade 10 to secondary 4 if you are applying for a non-commissioned officer
  • Have a BSc if you are applying for a commissioned officer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I become a doctor after becoming a physician assistant in Canada?

Yes, you can. Typically, physician assistants start with a four-year science degree which offers the foundational science and mathematics courses. This is exactly the same way doctors do.

Can a physician assistant carry out surgery?

It depends.  Majorly, a PA is may perform surgery if the doctor they work with certifies them. But in a typical setting, they can only perform an assistant role during surgery. So, while the physician may perform the complex jobs, their assistant may carry out the preoperative and postoperative care on the patient.

What is the average GPA for physician assistant school applicants?

Generally, the average GPA for PA candidate is between a 3.36 and 3.47. However, some schools may require higher GPA.

Is there a difference between a physician and a physician assistant?

Although both perform almost similar tasks, the major difference is that the physician assistant cannot work without a doctor. But a doctor can work independently of an assistant.

Do physician assistants go through a residency just like the physicians?

Yes, PAs undergo their residency. But it is optional. With a residency, a physician assistant can gain additional experience in the area of focus they are interested in


A physician assistant helps the physicians and nurses in diagnosing and treating a patient. Besides, their job is similar to that of a physician and they receive a great remuneration for their job. Another perk of the program is that it is encompassing and allows you to work in any medical setting.

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