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New Roles in Health Care

A key component of the HealthForceOntario strategy involves establishing innovative new health care roles in areas of high need.

Physician Assistant

The physician assistant (PA) works within a patient care team and assists a supervising physician in delivering medical services. Under the physician’s direction, these services may include conducting patient interviews, medical histories, physical examinations; performing selected diagnostic or therapeutic tests and interventions; and counselling patients on preventive health care. Learn more about the Physician Assistant Initiative.

Clinical Specialist Radiation Therapist

The clinical specialist radiation therapist (CSRT) is a medical radiation technologist (radiation therapist) with advanced clinical competencies. The CSRT works in collaboration with radiation oncologists, specialist nurses, medical physicists and other team members to ensure safe and optimal results in cancer care settings. Increasing the flexibility of staffing through this role contributes to improved access to cancer care for Ontarians. Learn more about the CSRT Demonstration Project.

Anesthesia Assistant

The anesthesia assistant participates in the care of a surgical patient during anesthesia, under medical directives and the supervision of the anesthesiologist. Duties may include: assisting with preparation of the patient for surgery; set up, calibration and operation of physiologic monitors; assisting with or performing the insertion of medical devices; and assisting with or performing airway management. Respiratory therapists and registered nurses who successfully complete additional training can work in anesthesia departments as part of an anesthesia care team. Visit the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists for more information.