Investigating Physician Assistant Burnout Amidst the COVID-19 Global Pandemic: A Qualitative Survey Response From Practicing PAs in Canada

Burnout among Canadian PA during COVID


  • Evan Nanni, MPAS, PA University of Manitoba, MPAS



Burnout, Physician Assistants, Mental Health among Health Professionals


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is an underlying element of burnout among practicing Physician Assistants (PAs) across Canada during the global COVID-19 pandemic and uncover any potential solutions for this arduous problem.  A survey encompassing the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI)and qualitative questions were emailed to practicing Canadian PAs. A total of 118 practicings PAs fully completed the survey; the majority reported high levels of burnout, specifically on depersonalization and emotional exhaustion subscales, while all maintained a high level of personal accomplishment simultaneously. The majority of respondent PAs listed increased staffing, increased time off/consistent scheduling, and pandemic pay among others as major solutions to alleviate burnout in the future. In conclusion, Canadian PAs working during the global pandemic are indeed experiencing burnout, all while displaying a high level of resilience in certain MBI subscales. The individual responses provided by these frontline workers may highlight critical solutions that may be generalized to other healthcare jobs in order to prevent future occupational burnout.

Author Biography

Evan Nanni, MPAS, PA, University of Manitoba, MPAS

PA Evan Nanni, MPAS, BSc, PA, a recent graduate of the University of Manitoba's Master of Physician Assistant Studies, is a  Neurosurgery Physician Assistant in Ottawa. Ontario.


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Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash



2021-10-11 — Updated on 2021-10-12

How to Cite

Nanni, MPAS, PA, E. (2021). Investigating Physician Assistant Burnout Amidst the COVID-19 Global Pandemic: A Qualitative Survey Response From Practicing PAs in Canada: Burnout among Canadian PA during COVID. The Journal of Canada’s Physician Assistants, 3(8), 1–18.