About Us

About the Master of Physician Assistant Studies


Our mission at the University of Manitoba Master of Physician Assistant Studies is to educate outstanding Physician Assistant clinicians as generalist medical providers in service to our communities in Manitoba and Canada. We nurture the future leaders of the profession and lead the field in academic preparation of Physician Assistants in Canada.

Physicians Assistants or PAs are medically educated clinicians who practice within formalised relationship with physicians. The PA practice of medicine includes the diagnoses and managing of diseases and health including the required therapeutic procedures, medications, and the supportive educating and counselling of patients. PAs, licensed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, gather medical histories, perform physical exams, perform procedures, and practice medicine. PAs engage with the patient in collaborative, advocacy, communicator, and medical expert roles in supporting health and wellness within the medical team model for patient-centered care.

Educated and qualified as medical generalists, PAs are lifelong scholars and professionals who receive additional education and experience during their career to develop knowledge of a speciality. PA practice in a wide variety of settings including remote, rural, urban, outpatient and inpatient environments.

The University of Manitoba Master of Physician Assistant Studies is Canada’s only graduate level PA program.  The PA-Studies offers 96-weeks of medical education in a nationally accredited program. Our graduates are successfully passing the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada’s national examination. 

Our comprehensive curriculum consists of an academic first year (late August to July) with specialists delivered lessons, small group tutorials, and case-based discussion in the art and science of medicine. The 13-months of the clinical rotations (August to the end of August in the next year) occurs in a variety of medical and surgical environments throughout Manitoba. The program strives to ensure all students have the opportunity to complete a quarter of their clinical education in rural and northern environments.  

Physician Assistant education prepares a medical generalist adaptable to any clinical environment including primary health care, specialty practice, consulting or hospital-based roles.  PAs will over time develop increased knowledge of a medical or surgical specialty, building their scope of practice to mirror that of the physician within a trust centred relationship.

  • PA-Graduates must be ready for generalist medical practice within a formalized structure of indirect physician supervision.
  • Graduate EPA-PAs are individually and longitudinally assessed over the course of the PA-Students’ education.
  • Observation of these EPA-PAs, performed while a student, have occurred in a variety of clinical encounters, across all patient populations, clinical environments, and cultural settings.
  • The assessments of the PA-Graduate include multiple members of the medical, educational team.


  1. Obtain a history and perform a physical examination adapted to the patient’s clinical situation.
  2. Form clinical questions and gather clinical evidence that advances patient care, and communicate those results to the patient and medical team.
  3. Formulate and prioritized differential diagnoses.  
  4. Develop and implement patient-centred therapeutic plans within the formalized physician and clinical team relationship.
  5. Accurately document and report clinical encounters with members of the patient care team.
  6. Collaborate as a member of an inter-professional team in all aspects of patient care and transition of care responsibility.
  7. Recognise a patient requiring immediate care, providing the appropriate management and seeking help as needed.
  8. Perform procedures identified in the CanMEDS-PA Medical Expert competencies.
  9. Participate in continuing professional and patient quality improvement, life-long learning, and scholarship.
  10. Engage and educate patients on procedures, disease management, health promotion, wellness, and preventive medicine.
  11. Recognise and advocate for the patient concerning cultural, community, and social needs in support of positive mental and physical health and wellness.
  12. Practise patient-focused safe, professional, competent medical care.

Our students develop clinical expertise and critical thinking skills from experiences and mentoring from a mixture of academic, didactic, and clinical experiences. The program’s focus provides an introduction to research and critical thinking approach to medicine. The program supports leadership development and educational roles in addition to the clinical preparation to the benefit of our community and society.

Results on certification/registration examinations

Year Number of graduates Number of first-time exam writers Exam Pass Rate
  MPAS MPAS Program National MPAS Program Pass National  Pass
2010 10 10 71 100% 91.5%
2011 13 13 82 100% 90%
2012 11 11 84 100% 82.1%
2013 12 12 73 100% 91.7%
2014 11 11 77 100% 92.2%
2015 12 12 94 100% 94.6%
2016 12 12 92 100% 89%
2017 11 10 85 100% 98.7%
2018 15 16 72 100% 98.60%
2019 14 14 81 pending pending
Total 121 121 811 100% 90%