Program Information

The BScPA Program was accorded a Canadian Medical Association 6 year accreditation status in December 2017. The maintenance of this 6 year status is recognized by the Physician Certification Council of Canada (PACCC). For inquiries please consult the Student section on the CAPA website

The BScPA Program is a distance and distributed education program with the majority of the program delivered on-line. It is expected that students will carry out the on-line learning at home in the first year. This requires the use of high-speed internet access. Students will be required to attend classes in person in Toronto (‘residential blocks’) for specific time periods to integrate interprofessional education and simulation-based learning for skills development and for hands-on assessments.

The second year of the program is centered on clinical education, with experiences in both Northern and Southern Ontario. Residential blocks, with the requirement of students attending classes in person in Toronto, will also occur.

Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Changes will likely occur as the province and its municipalities adjust to new data about the virus. In these circumstances, please be advised that the manner of delivery of courses, co-curricular opportunities, programs, and services is subject to change, in accordance with university policies. The University thanks its students, faculty, and staff for their flexibility during these challenging times as we work together to maintain the standards of excellence that are the hallmark of the University.

Program Overview

Please note that the curriculum has been adjusted in response to COVID-19. As the pandemic continues to be monitored, future curriculum changes may be necessary.

The program runs continuously for six semesters (24 months). Short periods of time are spent in Toronto, but otherwise the student may be in their home location during the first year. In year two, the student is participating in clinical activities, with two brief returns to Toronto in the year.

Year 1 (3 semesters) is academically focused:

  • Completion of 15 courses in total, including 120 hours of longitudinal clinical experience is expected.
  • 4 Mandatory Residential Blocks will occur: a 4 week block in September, a 2 week block in December, a 4 week block in April/May and a 1 week block in August.(see the Program at a Glance for a visual representation)

Year 2 (3 semesters) is clinically focused:

  • 40 weeks of supervised direct clinical contact in rural and urban settings:
    • 10 x 4 week rotations: 3 x Primary Care, 2 x electives, 1 x each: General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Hospitalist/Internal Medicine, Mental Health, Paediatrics
  • Half of the clinical practicum will be assigned in Southern Ontario, half in Northern Ontario.  
  • Mandatory Residential Blocks in Toronto will also occur - 1 week in March, 1 week in June

Clinical Experiences in Ontario

The BScPA Program is designed so that students may remain in their home community for much of the Program. Although clinical placements occur during Year 2 of the program, students are expected to participate in clinical experiences throughout Year 1. Map of Clinical Sites used in the BScPA Program

Home Training Location

For all students whose primary residence is in Northern Ontario, their Home Training Location will be in the North. For all students whose primary residence is in Southern Ontario, their Home Training Location will be in the South.

It is expected that, as much as possible, the student’s Home Training Location will be in the same community as their primary residence. However, if the community in which they usually reside is not suitable for PA student training, the student will be expected to relocate to a suitable community within their geographic region (North/South).

N-S Swap Training Location

ALL students will be allocated to an N-S Swap Training Location in the other geographic region (North or South) from their Home Training Location.

Northern Ontario is defined by communities affiliated with NOSM.

Full Time Status

The structure of the program requires that all students be registered in the program on a full-time basis. Attendance at all Residential and Evaluation components of the program and participation in all Distance components are mandatory. Employment while enrolled in the full-time professional degree program is strongly discouraged.

Advanced Standing/Transfer

The structure of the program requires that all students complete the entire 24 month curriculum from the beginning. There is no provision for advanced standing or transfer into the program. Prior Learning Assessments will not be considered to grant credits.