FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS:

About PAs:

Q1 What is a Physician Assistant?
Q2 What are important skills of a Physician Assistant?
Q3 What is the salary range for PAs in Manitoba?
Q4 Am I required to successfully complete an exam to be eligible for licensure?
Q5 What is the path to PA registration and licensure in Manitoba?

About Program:

Q6 What are the Requirements for the program?
Q7 Can I apply if my degree was not completed in Canada?
Q8 Can I apply for this Program if I am not a Canadian Citizen?
Q9 Is there a language requirement for this program?
Q10 What is considered a competitive GPA for the MPAS Program?
Q11 How is the GPA calculated?
Q12 I have more questions about the GPA calculation, can the MPAS program answer them?
Q13 Am I eligible if I have a 3 year Bachelor's Degree?
Q14 Am I eligible if I have a 3 year Bachelor's Degree plus other education (College, University courses, etc.)?
Q15 If my Bachelor’s Degree is in a health science field but did not include Biochemistry, Human Anatomy and Human Physiology, do I have to take them prior to applying?
Q16 How do I apply?
Q17 I have applied to the Program, when can I expect to hear about my application?
Q18 How many students do you accept each year?
Q19 How many applications do you receive each year?
Q20 Is there any student funding available?

Shadowing:

Q21 How do I apply for or get more information about the PA Shadowing program?
Q22 Is this program recognized across Canada in terms of licensure / employment?
Q23 What will job availability be like across Canada?
Q24 Is this program recognized in the United States?

Other:

Q25 What is the difference between a Physician Assistant and a Nurse Practitioner?
Q26 Where can I go for other information on PAs?

ANSWERS:

Q1 What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistants or PAs are medically educated clinicians who practice medicine within a formalized relationship with physicians. PAs are academically prepared as medical generalists who work with negotiated autonomy in a variety of medical settings.

In Canada, the PAs’ scope of practice is described at https://capa-acam.ca/about-pas/scope-of-practice/, however their degree of practice authority will vary in each provincial jurisdiction. In Manitoba PAs are Regulated Associate Members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. Canadian Certified Physician Assistants are indicated by the “CCPA” behind their name.

Information about PA education in Manitoba can be found at http://umanitoba.ca/physicianassistant

Information about the PA profession in Canada can be found at http://capa-acam.ca/

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Q2 What are important skills of a Physician Assistant?

PAs education in addition to Medical Sciences and clinical exposure emphasizes procedural skills and professionalism. PAs are critical thinkers, problem solvers and practice compassionate, narrative and reflective medicine.

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Q3 What is the salary range for PAs in Manitoba?

The PA salary scale in Manitoba is $80,000 - $120,000 per year. Positions involve shift work, on-call responsibilities, weekends and overtime. Please contact your home Province's health department and/or Regional Health Authorities to inquire about their PA salaries.

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Q4 Am I required to successfully complete an exam to be eligible for licensure?

There is a national certification exam created and administered by the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC). At present, this exam is not required for licensure in Manitoba; however, it is a requirement for employment by Manitoba’s principal employers.

Asset Courses to enhance your application would include: Microbiology and Psychology

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Q5 What is the path to PA registration and licensure in Manitoba?

PAs are Regulated Associate Members of the College of Physician and Surgeons of Manitoba. A certificate of practice is issued by the CPSM Medical Council upon graduation from an approved program, and an authorized contract of supervision and approved practice description. 

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Q6 What are the Requirements for the program?

Please refer to the following link for admission requirements: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/health_sciences/medicine/education/paep/pros_students/3829.html

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Q7 Can I apply if my degree was not completed in Canada?

Yes, providing you are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada. Please visit the following link for International Degree Equivalencies:
http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/admissions/equivalencies.html

If you have further questions, please contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies at graduate_admissions@umanitoba.ca

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Q8 Can I apply for this Program if I am not a Canadian Citizen?

No, successful applicants must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada.

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Q9 Is there a language requirement for this program?

Yes, please use the following link for language requirements: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/admissions/139.html

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Q10 What is considered a competitive GPA for the MPAS Program?

A minimum GPA for acceptance into the program is 3.0, however a competitive GPA is 3.5.

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Q11 How is the GPA calculated?

The GPA is calculated on the most recent 60 credit hours of study, no matter if it was full time or part time study. If you are enrolled in degree and/or pre-requisite courses at the time of application, your interim GPA will be calculated until all final transcripts are received (see below), at which time they will be recalculated to ensure you meet the minimum 3.0 requirement.

If you are enrolled in the final year of a Bachelor's degree and/or any of the 3 required courses (Human Anatomy, Human Physiology and Biochemistry) at the time of application to this Program:

  • You are still required to submit official transcripts by the application deadline of January 15th for the courses you have completed at time of application;
  • You must provide proof of enrolment at time of application and by the deadline date of January 15th in whatever form your institution will provide it. Some institutions provide a letter, some provide an email; we will accept any form of proof of enrolment.
  • Final official transcripts of the Bachelor's Degree and/or required courses must be sent immediately upon completion of the degree or courses and must be received no later than the last working day in May of the intake year you have applied for (i.e. if you are applying for September 2017 intake, final official transcripts must be received by May 31, 2017).

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Q12 I have more questions about the GPA calculation, can the MPAS program answer them?

No, the GPA requirement is administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Please contact Graduate_Admissions@umanitoba.ca for additional inquiries on GPA calculation.

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Q13 Am I eligible if I have a 3 year Bachelor's Degree?

No, the minimum requirement is a four year undergraduate degree or equivalent (see below).

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Q14 Am I eligible if I have a 3 year Bachelor's Degree plus other education (College, University courses, etc.)?

This would be considered on a case by case basis. If an applicant with combined education was thought by the MPAS Admissions Committee to meet the degree requirement as described by the general guidelines below, the applicant could be invited for interview. If the applicant was ranked among the top 15 after interview, the MPAS Admissions Committee would submit a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies for an exceptional admission. The Dean of Graduate Studies would review the Program's recommendation and determine if the combined education is the equivalent of a 4 year Bachelor's Degree.

We ask that applicants decide based on the information below if they feel they may meet the requirement, and if so submit their fully completed application.

Generally speaking, if applicants have a 3 year degree plus additional courses, the additional courses should:

  1. Equal one full year of university credit hours.
  2. Be 3rd and 4th year undergraduate level courses.
  3. Of the 3rd and 4th year undergraduate level courses, there must be a minimum of 12 hours of 4th year undergraduate level courses.

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Q15 If my Bachelor’s Degree is in a health science field but did not include Biochemistry, Human Anatomy and Human Physiology, do I have to take them prior to applying?

Yes, Biochemistry, Human Anatomy and Human Physiology are required courses. Please visit the following link for further information about the required courses: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/health_sciences/medicine/education/paep/pros_students/3829.html

If your Bachelor’s Degree did not include these courses, you are required to have completed or be enrolled in all 3 undergraduate level courses (three credit hours each) prior to applying to the program.

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Q16 How do I apply?

Applicants are to apply online through the Faculty of Graduate Studies using the following link: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/admissions/programs/paep.html

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Q17 I have applied to the Program, when can I expect to hear about my application?

The timeline for MPAS admissions is:

  • January 15th:  Deadline for application submission.
  • February:  Application review by Admissions Committee
  • March:  Interview short list finalized
  • April: Candidates interviewed

We will contact all applicants who are selected for interview no later than the last working day in February.  If you have not been contacted by that date, you have not been selected for interview and you will receive a letter from the Faculty of Graduate Studies office by the end of April.

Interviews take place over one full day during the first 2 weeks of April each year.  Interview Day is held from 7:00am - 6:00pm and includes Multiple Mini Interviews.  Further details are provided to those who are invited for interview.

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Q18 How many students do you accept each year?

We accept 15 students per year.

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Q19 How many applications do you receive each year?

We receive an average of 180 applications per year.

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Q20 Is there any student funding available?

Please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies web page for information on various bursaries, awards, Financial Aid and Awards Office 
http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/funding/index.html

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Q21 How do I apply for or get more information about the PA Shadowing program?

To apply for the PA Shadowing program please complete the application here: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/health_sciences/medicine/education/paep/pa-sp.html

Shadowing application must be submitted to:  Ms. Denise Langendorfer at dlangendorfer@wrha.mb.ca

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Q22 Is this program recognized across Canada in terms of licensure / employment? 

Each jurisdiction in Canada has its own regulation for Physician Assistants. Manitoba is the leader in Canadian PA practice regulation since 1999 and PAs are associate members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. New Brunswick has had legislation in place since 2009 and Alberta since January 2011 through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. Ontario has legislation allowing PA practice under the Delegated Medical Authority of their Medical Act. Other provinces and territories are investigating various models for introducing and enabling PA practice. The University of Manitoba MPAS program is nationally accredited.

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Q23 What will job availability be like across Canada?

There is interest and support for the PA profession among Physicians. Please contact your home Province’s health department and/or Regional Health Authorities to inquire about potential practice opportunities for PAs.

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Q24 Is this program recognized in the United States?

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) does not accredit programs outside of the US at this time. As it stands at the present time, Canadian trained PAs are not certifiable in the US.

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Q25 What is the difference between a Physician Assistant and a Nurse Practitioner?

Though a Physician Assistant and a Registered Nurse (Extended Practice) or Nurse Practitioner, both hold advanced degrees, share similarities, there are differences. A PA is educated in medicine and a NP has advanced nursing education. Physician Assistants work in formalized relationships with Physicians where NPs practice under a legislatively defined and expanded nursing practice.  PAs are medically trained generalists who work in an authorized practice within the scope of the physician.

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Q26 Where can I go for other information on PAs?

Additional information on PAs is available at the following websites.
CAPA: https://capa-acam.ca/
AAPA: https://www.aapa.org/
JCANPA: http://ojs.lib.umanitoba.ca/index.php/jcpa
CPSM: http://cpsm.mb.ca/physician-assistants
PACCC: https://capa-acam.ca/paccc/

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