Concurrent Sessions

B3 Physician Assistants: A Family Health Team’s Best Kept Secret

Theme 3. Strengthening collaboration within the interprofessional team

Presentation Details

  • Date: 10/17/2016
  • Concurrent Session B
  • Time: 3:30pm – 4:15pm
  • Room: Harbour C
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Administrative staff, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the physician assistant (PA) role and define their scope of practice
  2. Explain the benefit of integrating a PA into an interprofessional team
  3. Discuss the value PAs bring to family health teams in Ontario
  4. Identify funding models for family health teams to assist with hiring PAs


Currently, there are at least 30 physician assistants working in family health teams(FHTs) in Ontario.  This pilot survey will be distributed to PAs working in family health care teams. I will document the number of PAs working in FHTs in Ontario, their clinical patient load, the number of newly rostered patients, and the increased access with same day appointments.  Qualitative and quantitative data will be presented about the physician assistant’s interactions with all members of the family health team including physicians, dietitians, nurses, medical directors, pharmacists, and patients.


  • Deniece O’Leary, MSPA, Ontario Chapter President of Physician Assistants for the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants, Family Practice Physician Assistant – Hamilton Family Health Team, Course Director University of Toronto Physician Assistant Program
  • Erika North, BScPA, Family Practice Physician Assistant, North York Family Health Team