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Unemployment looms for civilian PA program

Armymedic

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Full story avail on this link:

http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/815019--physician-assistants-graduate-to-unemployment-line

Physician assistants graduate to unemployment line
First crop of 21 PA's graduate this summer but none have been offered a job in Ontario
Published On Wed May 26 2010

By Tanya Talaga Queen's Park Bureau

Ontario’s first crop of physician assistants are graduating this summer but some fear they could be heading straight to the unemployment lines or leaving the province to find a job.

PAs, as they are known in the health field, are stalwarts in military medicine and popular in most U.S. hospitals. Nearly four years ago, the Ontario government decided to begin a program to introduce PAs here as one way to handle the doctor shortage. McMaster University started the first provincial PA program in 2008.

Now, the first of 21 graduates leave McMaster this August armed with a BSc in PA and nothing but faint promises from the provincial health ministry that jobs will be found for them in the health system.

The provincial health ministry invested $10.3 million in the PA program for 2009-2010.

Michael Peirone is a trained molecular geneticist who gave up a career in pharmaceutical sales to join the McMaster program. Now the Barrie area father of two worries he may not be able to find work and he’ll have to return to sales.

“It isn’t fair for anyone, except for a physician in most cases, to train and expect a job waiting for them,” Peirone said. “But we all expected an opportunity for us to pursue jobs.”

The problem is, in order for the PAs to work in the publicly funded hospital system, the government needs to financially support the positions. While the hospitals are enthusiastic about the prospects of PAs, none of them have had a solid job offer, the students say.

Full story on link.

 

medicineman

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I've noticed that the job site on HFO has pretty much dried up - they want experienced people for the some that are there, and the primary care jobs are in out in the sticks...looks like what it is for real doctors - if you want to work, you have to go where the work is.  Oh well, watch and shoot - mabe they'll be commissioning us sooner than later now  ::).

MM
 

ModlrMike

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There may be some jobs in MB, but if you want Emerg, it won't be in Wpg. The rural ERs are first up. I understand that NB and NS are standing up soon. If you want to take this offline, PM me.

MM
 

medicineman

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Glad to see that rural MB might be finally getting some funding for that soon...I'm at a townhall tomorrow with the Surg Gen, have a question about commissioning one of my folks wanted asking, so I'll mention the article and see where that goes.  I'm kinda waiting to see what BC does...

MM
 

ModlrMike

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Good luck with your questions. Do me a favour.... ask if commissioning will extend to the reserves.
 

Armymedic

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I can give you the answer to that question:

"We'll look at it after the current PAs are commisioned, in 2-5 years."

BTW, I wouldnt hold my breath waiting to be commisioned, I doubt they will do any grandfathering.
 

Armymedic

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I am working with the cardiologist from the Grace doing my Internal Med roto. From what I am hearing that there are plenty of opportunity for former military PAs here, as they are preferred over the other civilian trained PAs.

I for one would jump at going out to the larger centers in rural Manitoba i.e Dauphin, Portage, Swan River, etc.
 

ModlrMike

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SFB said:
I can give you the answer to that question:

"We'll look at it after the current PAs are commisioned, in 2-5 years."

Which begs the question: What happens when you need a Res fellow as an augmentee? Do they remain an NCM while their counterpart is an officer?
 

Armymedic

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Which will get you the answers, "we can only do so much at a time", and  "we'll deal with that question on an individual basis when it arises".

We have some excellent intelligent questioners on my course.

Because there are reservists on the civilian PA courses, I know the answer was we're are not accepting DE PAs in to the reserves at this time. Something about 732 not being a Res F trade...? which I do not really understand.

adding:

I pretty sure though, from what I heard in Borden a year ago, the no one outside of that office and the Health Svc HQ that really know what is going on with the file and how it will all play out. I specifically remember one Lt Col/Col stating it will be an immense challenge that will take more time than he will have in the office to get it approved and implemented.
 

ModlrMike

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SFB said:
Something about 732 not being a Res F trade.

Which is bullsh*t as there are more than enough of us now to form a trade, and it's not like they haven't had time to address it.
 

PMedMoe

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It's the same in the Res world with PMed Tech.  Anyone holding a position is holding that of a Med Tech and not getting Spec Pay.
 

Armymedic

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ModlrMike said:
Which is bullsh*t as there are more than enough of us now to form a trade, and it's not like they haven't had time address it.

Which doesn't make sense to me at all.

When you show up in uniform, do you still get rank+spec 1 pay?
 

xo31@711ret

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Mike, Sean, how long have we heard the same BS?
Mike, when we were back on our 3's & in Chatham in the late 80's & early 90's.
Sean,when we were in gag town in the 90's. 
When the the PA course stood up I remember on my 6A asking the the good ol' PA club who came in & I asked about when the commissioning of PA's was going to happen. I was told never: I know most of us knew better (if they wanted to keep PA's - hence the releasing of a good many PA's in recent years). I also asked why us old 6A's were getting screwed over by having to take the 'new'  2 year 6B while the current 'PA's' at the time did not. (But that's another argument: suffice it to say while on conference in Boredom a year or so later I was told the old 6's should have did the old 6B due to a shortage of WO's when the first 2 new 6B two year long courses were happening...)
Curious: when PA's are finally commissioned, will there be a 6B med tech  (especially for a x-reg now reserve 6A pers like myself  ;)  )
 

medicineman

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I directly asked the Surg Gen if this problem with McMaster's might actually hasten the commisssioning issue - he said unlikely, and as Ash noted, they're still looking at a 5 year wait to sort this out, as there will likely be some fallout for other MOSID's.  IMHO, the reason there isn't an R00334-2 MOSID is to keep us solidly grounded in the Reg Force, much like the  reason Calian has been forbidden to hire us as civvies (with very few exceptions) - they're worried about a surge out.  And if they want to hire us as Reserves, like a bunch are, well they don't have to pay the specialist level, just pay you as a general service WO. 

And the beat goes on...

MM
 

Armymedic

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On the flip side, the PA course run by U of M seems to be somewhat lacking in their surgical practical rotation. Our CF PAs have more experience and more flexible than the unknowns graduating in Winnipeg in Oct. God for us, not so good for the U of M class. But from what I hear, they are getting job interviews, but awaiting Provincial money, just like their Ont counterparts.
 

ModlrMike

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medicineman said:
...if they want to hire us as Reserves, like a bunch are, well they don't have to pay the specialist level, just pay you as a general service WO. 

And the beat goes on...

MM

Therein lies the unfairness of the situation. You get hired as a specialist, and paid as a generalist. The terms of employment clearly state you will be hired as a PA. That being the case, then fairness dictates that you should be paid as one. I wonder why nobody has either filed a grievance, or made a complaint to the ombudsman about this?
 
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aesop081

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ModlrMike said:
Therein lies the unfairness of the situation.

So why did you accept employment under terms that you disagree with ?
 

ModlrMike

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A case of "Hobson's choice". Still doesn't make it fair though.
 

Armymedic

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Sounds more like a Morton Fork.

Federal paycheck or a Provincial pogey check.
 
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