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This article was published 1/9/2016 (1648 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The University of Manitoba has expanded its physician assistant master's program to meet the high demand for graduates in Manitoba.
The two-year degree program at the school's Bannatyne campus is the only course like it in Canada and trains students to work under the supervision and direction of doctors. Upon graduation, the 15 students will be qualified to assess patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, provide therapeutic procedures and prescribe medications. The students are set to take the Hippocratic Oath Friday.
"Physician Assistants are part of the solution to improving health-care delivery in Manitoba," said program director Ian Jones. "We have increased the class size from 12 to 15 students to address the demand for PAs, whose work with physicians provides a successful patient-centred model of care. With the support of the government of Manitoba, our graduates have made a difference in communities such as Brandon, The Pas, Thompson, Dauphin, Steinbach, Morden and Winnipeg."
The class of 2018 is the largest since the program started in 2008. This year, it received 166 applications from across Canada. Nearly half the students have rural backgrounds.
The students will spend one year studying biomedical science and medicine, followed by 13 months of clinical rotations. This year's crop has students with degrees in fields such as human development and family studies, genetics, kinesiology, microbiology, sociology and pharmacology.
Of the grads from the classes of 2013 through 2016, 45 of 47 are working in Manitoba. Of the total 81 graduates of the program, 24 per cent are working in rural communities across Canada, and 86 per cent are working in Manitoba.