Factors that Influence Canadian Physician Assistants to Practice Rurally: A Survey Response
Factors that Influence Canadian PAs to Practice Rurally
Keywords:Rural Medicine, Physician Assistant, Canadian PA, Rural Health Workforce
A shortage of healthcare professionals is considered to be a driving force behind access barriers in rural Canada. The use of Physician assistants (PAs) as healthcare providers in remote areas can help mitigate this shortage. There is currently no research available on rural Canadian PAs to assess factors that influence the choice to practice rurally. This study examined specific factors influencing currently practicing rural Canadian PAs to choose their rural practice. This study also assessed whether a rural upbringing or participating in a rural rotation positively related to choosing to practice medicine rurally.
This is a cross-sectional descriptive study conducted through an electronic survey. The primary outcomes of this study included examining the significance of 12 factors on the choice to practice rurally as well as whether completing a rural rotation or having a rural upbringing significantly correlated to rural practice.
The top three factors most significantly influencing a PA's decision to practice rurally were (1) increased level of autonomy, (2) type of practice, (3) scope of practice. There was a positive relationship between having a rural upbringing and practicing rurally (X2 (1, N = 61) = 30.47, p <.001). There was no relationship between completing a rural rotation and practicing rurally.
It concluded individuals are more likely to choose rural practice if they had a rural upbringing. Canadian PA schools wishing to increase recruitment and recruitment to rural services can use the above results. Prospective employers can also use the above results to help attract more PAs to rural opportunities.
2. Wilson CR, Rourke J, Oandasan IF, Bosco C, Rural Road Map Implementation Committee. Progress made on access to rural health care in Canada. Canadian Family Physician. 2020 Jan;66(1):31.
3. Ariste R. Availability of health workforce in urban and rural areas in relation to Canadian seniors. The International journal of health planning and management. 2019 Apr;34(2):510-20.
4. DesMeules M, Pong R, Lagacé C, Heng D, Manuel D, Pitblado R, Bollman R, Guernsey J, Kazanjian A, Koren I. How healthy are rural Canadians? An assessment of their health status and health determinants. Canadian Institute for Health Information. 2006.
5. Government of Canada [Internet]. Canada Student Loan forgiveness for family doctors and nurses - Overview. Government of Canada; 2019 [cited 2020Jan25]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/education/student-aid/grants-loans/repay/assistance/doctors-nurses.html
6. Saskatchewan's Rural Physician Incentive Program (RPIP) [Internet]. Rural Physician Incentive Program. [cited 2020May25]. Available from: https://www.saskdocs.ca/work/rpip/
7. Government of Ontario, Ministry of Health. HealthForceOntario Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention Initiative Guidelines - Northern Health Programs - Health Care Professionals - MOHLTC [Internet]. HealthForceOntario Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention Initiative Guidelines - Northern Health Programs - Health Care Professionals - MOHLTC. Government of Ontario, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; 2017 [cited 2020May25]. Available from: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/northernhealth/nrrr.aspx
8. Rural, Remote, Northern Program [Internet]. Rural, Remote, Northern Program. 2019 [cited 2020Mar25]. Available from: https://www.albertadoctors.org/651.aspx
9. University of Manitoba - Faculty of Medicine - Education - International Medical Graduate Program -. 2018 [cited 2020Mar25]. Available from: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/health_sciences/medicine/education/imgp/overview.html
10. University of Manitoba - Faculty of Medicine - PAEP - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. [cited 2020Feb25]. Available from: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/health_sciences/medicine/education/paep/faq.html#Q1_What_is_a_Physician_Assistant_
11. What is a PA? Frequently Asked Questions [Internet]. American Association of Physician Assistants. American Association of Physician Assistants; 2018 [cited 2020Feb3]. Available from: https://www.aapa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Frequently_Asked_Questions_4.3_FINAL.pdf
12. History: CAPA - ACAM [Internet]. CAPA. [cited 2020Mar25]. Available from: https://capa-acam.ca/about-pas/history/
13. PAs in Rural Locations Ready to Meet Primary Care Needs [Internet]. AAPA. 2019 [cited 2020Feb25]. Available from: https://www.aapa.org/news-central/2018/06/pas-rural-locations-ready-meet-primary-care-needs/
14. Henry LR, Hooker RS, Yates KL. The role of physician assistants in rural health care: a systematic review of the literature. The Journal of Rural Health. 2011 Mar;27(2):220-9.
15. Diemer D, Leafman J, Nehrenz GM, Larsen HS. Factors that influence physician assistant program graduates to choose rural medicine practice. Journal of Physician Assistant Education (Physician Assistant Education Association). 2012 Mar 1;23(1).
16. Filipova AA. Factors Influencing the Satisfaction of Physician Assistants Cross-Sectional Study: A Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of allied health. 2014 Mar 4;43(1):22-31.
17. Smith B, Muma RD, Burks L, Lavoie MM. Factors that influence physician assistant choice of practice location. Journal of the American Academy of PAs. 2012 Mar 1;25(3):46-63.
18. Coombs JM, Morgan P, Pedersen DM, Koduri S, Alder SC. Factors associated with physician assistant practice in rural and primary care in Utah. International journal of family medicine. 2011;2011.
19. Jung HW. The birth of physician assistants in Canada. Canadian Family Physician. 2011 Mar 1;57(3):275-6.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 PA Elise Mac Lean
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors published in the Journal of Canada's Physician Assistants (JCanPA) retain copyright of their articles, including all drafts and final published version. By agreeing to publish in JCanPA, authors grant the journal the right of first publication and distribution rights of the articles. Authors are free to submit their work to other publications in addition to JCanPA, provided they acknowledge its initial publication in JCanPA.
JCanPA is published online in the public domain. JCanPA holds no legal responsibility as to how these materials are used by the public. Please ensure all authors, co-authors, and investigators have read and agree to these terms.