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Physician assistants to become regulated healthcare professionals

January 20, 2021

They will be regulated by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta.

On April 1, 2021, physician assistants (PAs) will become regulated healthcare professionals regulated by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA). CPSA estimates there are 38 practising PAs in Alberta.

PAs practise medicine under a doctor's supervision in clinical settings; their services depend on the individual PA-physician relationship. A PA’s scope of practice can include the following:

  • see and assess patients,
  • take patient histories,
  • perform physical exams,
  • educate patients,
  • perform procedures,
  • assist in surgery,
  • and more.

PAs provide these types of services under physician supervision.

Pharmacists must not accept prescriptions written by physician assistants. For a prescription to be valid, it must be signed by a physician.  

Physician assistants started practising in Alberta in 2013. Since then, CPSA has maintained a list of those with recognized PA credentials. PAs will be expected to follow all CPSA Standards of Practice and comply with CPSA continuing competence requirements.

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