Physician Assistants support patients and health-care team members
Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) employs over 40 physician assistants who work at all of our hospital sites in areas including internal and emergency medicine; cardiac, general and neurosurgery units; family medicine and pediatrics including the neonatal intensive care unit.
“Physician assistants play a vital role by working alongside HHS physicians to manage their caseloads,” says Tanya Roglich, manager of medical affairs for HHS. “They also provide continuity of care for patients, by ensuring seamless care delivery during their hospital stay.”
Meet Maegan Moro, a physician assistant at HHS Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and find out more about her role supporting our doctors, patients and teams.
What is a physician assistant?
Hamilton Health Sciences doctors provide and oversee care for groups of patients, and physician assistants provide medical care under their supervision. Physician assistants are qualified to do many of the same medical tasks and procedures as doctors, such as taking a patient’s history, ordering and interpreting blood tests and performing physical examinations.
Physician assistants are team players
They can order imaging such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds; interpret test results and work with doctors to diagnose patients. They’re authorized to prescribe medications under their supervising physician, and can perform medical procedures such as suturing wounds, giving injections, removing sutures or staples, and casting fractures. The can also assist in the operating room.
And they help to keep patients informed by taking the time to explain their medical conditions, treatment options and preventative measures.
Physician assistants are team players who work with other members of their patients’ health-care teams including resident doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and pharmacists to coordinate patient care.
“The close relationships we have with our supervising physician and other health-care professionals is very rewarding,” says Moro. “I always feel supported.”
Discovering this profession
After completing an undergraduate degree in biomedical biology and a master’s degree in genetics, Moro was searching for careers in medicine and came across the two-year physician assistant program at the University of Toronto.
“I felt that becoming a physician assistant would be a way to practice medicine while also maintaining a work-life balance,” says Moro, who joined HHS as a physician assistant in 2020 to help with the response to the pandemic. Her first placement was at HHS’ Hamilton General Hospital, in the emergency department. She now works at HHS’ Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, in internal medicine.
“I like the wide variety of patients we see in internal medicine,” says Moro. “It’s not a subspecialty, so we see everyone from cardiac patients to respirology patients to patients with gastrointestinal issues. I also enjoy the continuity of care, since we care for patients from beginning to end of their stay and are able to build relationships with them and their families.”
For more information about careers at HHS, visit our careers page.