Monday, 4 November 2013

CAPA 2013 CONFERENCE - Calgary

Hello all. It has been awhile since my last post and I have a lot to write about so expect a few more posts this week

For now I wanted to talk about my time at the CAPA conference in Calgary. Overall it is was a blast. Networking opportunities were great. Here was the breakdown of what I did that weekend.

 FRI OCT. 18
The hallway leading to the conference rooms

The morning started out with breakfast then the address of The keynote speaker, the Alberta Minister of Health, The Honourable Fred Horne. He gave the great news of Alberta being in full support of Physician Assistants as well as job openings for PAs in the province. For more information click the link below.

After the keynotes address I had to choose between two different sessions at one time to listen in on. Here are the sessions I went to.

1. Building the bridge to collaborative practice by Deb Gordon, RN, BScN, MBA, CHE

2. Procedural Sedation in the ED by Brent Crawford, CD, MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP

3. Developing cultural awareness and safety in clinical practice environments and the class by Ian Jones, MPAS, PA-C, CCPA 

That evening there was a president’s reception which give more opportunity to network. It was great to feel part of a group and see more than a handful of PAs in one room.
PAs working in Manitoba - not including me still a student :)


The day started off with a student breakfast session about launching your career. There weren’t any students that came from University of Toronto that I remember (correct me if I'm wrong). There were 2 students from McMaster and Ryan and myself from U of M. There were a good handful of graduates from different programs with a good representation of U of M grads. This gave opportunity to ask how their experience has been and how their working experience has been since graduating. As for the session the most important piece of information I gathered was when looking for employment it is best to have a clear understanding of your role and how you will be trained as a newly graduated PA. This way you understand what level the doctor expects you to be at in a certain amount of time. Communication with your supervising doctor(s) is the key.
Ryan and I representing U of M

After the student session/breakfast. The keynote speaker was Sunil Sookram, MD, FRCPC who talked about STEMI Care

Afterwards I went to the following sessions

1. Occupational medicine PAS “The Ekati experience” by Jack Buchanan MPAS, CCPA

2. Otolaryngology: 10 min with a patient with an ear complaint by Allan Ho, MD

3. Emergency medicine: top 25 diagnosis compared to the curriculum map. Are we teaching the right stuff? By Dianna Wachtel, MS, PA-C, CCPA

4.  Dentistry for primary care by Tim Barter, DDS

5.  Damage control resuscitation (DCR): Advances and controversies by Andrew Kirkpatrick, CD, MD, FACs, FRCSC, MHSC

Looking back at the sessions I admit some of the material went over my head but it was amazing how much you understand after being in PA school for one year.

There was also opportunity to see the progress of each regional chapter. Currently there are 4 chapters Prairie, Atlantic, Quebec and Ontario.  I sat in the Prairie chapter forum. Issues that are discussed include any changes in legislation, any issues PAs face and job opportunities in the respectable provinces.


The morning was opened up by awards then followed by the keynote presentation entitled The Alberta PA project given by Neil Gibson, MSc, MD, FAEP, FRCPC

Jay, U of M 2013 grad, won a CAPA award for his poster - congrats!

Ended off the conference with two more sessions

1. Back pain in children and adolescents by Philip De Muelenaere, MBChB, MMED, FCS 

2.  Management of airway emergencies - priorities preparation and passing the tube by Kate Doyle MD, FRCPC

I highly encourage any student who is reading this to take the opportunity to go to the next CAPA conference in Halifax in Oct 2014. Being with a group where everyone knows your role is encouraging and strengthening. Seeing the development of the profession is exciting and makes you feel part of something bigger than just being a Physician Assistant student. Going to the CAPA conference gives you a group you can belong to. :)

Candid photos of past U of M graduates taking pictures by their poster

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