OFFICER | Full Time, Part Time
A Physician Assistant (PA), is a health care provider who extends the hand of the supervising physician to remote or isolated locations. A Canadian Armed Forces Physician Assistant is part of the greater military health services team, they provides primary and emergency health care for Canadian Armed Forces members domestically and abroad. Physician Assistants are employed throughout Canada in Health Services Clinics, onboard ship or overseas in support of a myriad of operational missions.
The primary responsibilities of a Physician Assistant are to:
Physician Assistants may serve anywhere that CAF members are based. They work in fully equipped medical clinics, whether at a base or garrison, or in a temporary clinic while supporting operations. PAs are also employed independently in isolated locations including on-board ships and submarines.
After enrolment, Physician Assistants attend Basic Officer Military Qualification training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 12 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic Military Officer Qualification training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Learn more about Basic Training here.
Physician Assistants must complete the Common Health Services Officer (CHSO) course which is an eight-day e-learning course available on the Defence Learning Network (DLN). The CHSO course introduces Physician Assistants to Canadian Armed Forces policies and procedures as well as HR management of military members and civilian personnel.
Physician Assistants attend the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre in Borden, Ontario, where they are introduced to the organizational structure and history of the Canadian Forces Medical Service and the unique circumstances of practicing military medicine. This training provides new Physician Assistant Officers the foundation for working with other Health Service professionals, and delivering health care in a military environment.
As they progress in their career, Physician Assistants who demonstrate the required ability and potential may be offered advanced training. Available training includes:
If you already have a Baccalaureate or Master’s degree from an accredited Physician Assistant Program, are a Certified PA holding a current Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC) Certification and current registration to practise as a Physician Assistant in a Canadian province or territory, the CAF may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training.
Physician Assistant Training Plan (PATP)
As this position requires certification as a Physician Assistant, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will pay successful recruits to complete a recognized Canadian University Physician Assistant program. This program covers educational expenses, including books, instruments, supplies, student fees, registration costs and tuition fees for the two year education program. Students already enrolled in a recognized Canadian University Bachelors of Science Physician Assistant program may also be eligible for this training plan.
For the duration of your studies and residency, you receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time. Typically, candidates selected for this program attend university for their first two years and participate in additional military training upon completion of their degree. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and to a recognized Canadian University Bachelors of Science Physician Assistant program.
For further information, please contact a Canadian Forces Health Services Recruiter in your area.
Canadian Forces Health Services Specialist Recruiter (Western)
Captain Jack MacFarlane
Canadian Forces Health Services Specialist Recruiter (Central)
Sub-Lieutenant Laen Hanson
Canadian Forces Health Services Specialist Recruiter (Eastern)
Captain Benjamin Gatien
For further information, please contact a Canadian Forces Health Services Recruiter: HSRecruiting-RecrutementSS@forces.gc.ca
Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.
The role of the Canadian Forces Health Services Reserves is to provide trained personnel to support, augment and sustain Canadian Forces Health Services organizations for CAF operations and training activities, while building and maintaining links between the CAF and the local community.
As a health care professional in the Health Service Reserves, you must have an unrestricted licence to practise in your clinical field (including certification in your specific specialty) and have the ability to maintain clinical currency within your civilian workplace.
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time with a military unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.