Patient Satisfaction of Primary Care PAs in Ontario - Alexa Moschella, HBSc, BHScPA

November 11, 2022 from 2:00pm EDT to 3:00pm EDT


Primary care, the foundation of Ontario’s healthcare system, aims to provide lifelong patient care with the goal of detecting and managing disease. Physician Assistants (PAs) have been integrated into primary care to reduce wait times, provide same day appointments, and maintain continuity of care. The success of PA integration largely depends on patient satisfaction, since satisfaction correlates with compliance and health outcomes. Though previous studies suggest that PA utilization led to improved healthcare access, few studies have investigated patient satisfaction of primary care PAs in Canada. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explore the patient perspective of healthcare delivery from primary care PAs in Ontario. To achieve this goal, we developed the Physician Assistants in Ontario Patient Satisfaction Survey (PAOPSS), which was distributed to 66 patients seen by PAs in four family medicine practices across Ontario. Our findings demonstrate that the vast majority of participants were highly satisfied with the PA’s ability to address their medical needs, establish rapport, and provide fast access to care, which included same-day and after-hours appointments. Participants felt that PAs have similar knowledge, capabilities, and provide similar services as family physicians. Patients also demonstrated a robust understanding of the PA role, recognizing that PAs work in collaboration with physicians. Overall, these findings describe successful patient awareness and acceptance of the PA profession, largely due to positive PA-patient interactions in family medicine settings. Such interactions have the potential to propagate further successful PA integration, as patients continue to receive high-quality, accessible care from PAs.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  1. Recognize the importance of patient satisfaction as a facilitator of successful PA integration in primary care settings.
  2. Identify various components of patient satisfaction, especially those experienced by patients receiving care from primary care PAs.
  3. Determine the level of patient understanding of the PA versus MD roles.

Speakers / Panelists