Table 1.

Timeline of the development of physician assistants (PAs) in Canada

1984Canadian Forces expands the capability of the medical assistant, paving the way for the development of the PA model
1990The idea of the PA was further promoted in a time of limited resources within the military structure
1992Canadian Forces adopts the term physician assistant for senior medical technologist
1998Strategic planning in the Department of National Defence Project Rx2000 recognizes that the role of the military PA needs to be standardized for integration into the civilian health care environment
1999Manitoba Medical Act designates clinical assistants, including PAs, as certified clinical assistants
1999Canadian Academy of Physician Assistants is chartered
2003Canadian Medical Association recognizes the PA as a health care professional
2003First formally recognized civilian PA begins work in Manitoba
2004Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre is granted accreditation of its PA program by the Canadian Medical Association Conjoint Accreditation Process
2005Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre begins training its first class of 16 as an accredited education institution
2007HealthForceOntario project is implemented. Among its many goals is the staffing of emergency departments and clinics with PAs, as well as international medical graduates working as PAs
2008University of Manitoba in Winnipeg begins training its first class of 12 PA students
2008McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont begins training its first class of 23 PA students
2009Canadian Association of Physician Assistants becomes incorporated by Industry Canada
2010Consortium for PA education (the University of Toronto in Ontario, the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences in Toronto, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Sudbury, Ont) begins training its first class of 22 students
2010Alberta becomes the fourth province to recognize PAs