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Canadian physician assistants: A new profession with new educational insight

Canadian physician assistants: A new profession with new educational insight Marie Meckel | 2017



Canada’s educational training programs are some of the most innovative in the world and use techniques that promote and develop the skills that future clinicians need. Clinical knowledge, student centeredness, empathy, teamwork, patient communication, and skills in motivational interviewing are all important skills that our future clinicians need. The World Health Organization, THEnet (Training Health Equity Network), and CANMEDS are calling for these changes in medical education; however, transforming these objectives into our educational programs is challenging. The Canadian healthcare educational system has introduced some remarkable tools that we could learn from.

I learned about the Canadian PA program and its teaching techniques after interviewing a Canadian PA student I met during her international rotation in Ghana in 2014. She and 2 of her classmates had decided to join the University of Utah for their international rotation in Ghana. I observed her and her 2 colleagues in a clinic and in lecture, and I was very impressed with their questions, their ability to analyze a medical case, and how they interacted with their colleagues. I was indeed biased because I had just come back from a year working in South Africa where problem-based learning and other newer educational tools are used in their new clinical associate program. This interview focuses on teaching and learning techniques used in the Canadian PA educational system. I asked Alanna McMurray, one of the students from Canada, if she would let me interview her about her PA education. To read full article, please sign up.

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