Full Time | Part Time | Officer

Physician Assistant

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A Physician Assistant (PA), is a health care provider who extends the hand of the supervising physician to remote or isolated locations. Physician Assistants provide primary health care services for Canadian Armed Forces members, whether at a Canadian Forces Health Services Clinic, onboard ship or overseas in support of peacekeeping or humanitarian missions.

The primary responsibilities of a Physician Assistant are to:

  • Provide primary health care
  • Provide emergency care
  • Promote health protection and education
  • Practice environmental medicine and hyperbaric medicine
  • Promote occupational health and safety

Work environment

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 in underserviced and isolated locations including onboard ships and submarines.


Basic Military Officer Qualification

After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 14 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 officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.

Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Available professional training

Physician Assistants attend the Canadian Forces Medical Services School 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. Environmental training, an operational requirement, includes field exercises that may take place anywhere in the world.

Available advanced training

As they progress in their career, Physician Assistants who demonstrate the required ability and potential may be offered advanced training. Available training includes:

  • Basic Aviation Medicine
  • Basic Dive Medicine
  • Advanced Dive Medicine

Direct entry options

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.

Serve with the Reserve Force

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.