Faces of U of T Medicine: Anthony Desloges
How did you become interested in the Physician Assistant program?
I was introduced to the Physician Assistant profession while working as an inpatient clerk at tertiary care centre in Ottawa. I met a military-trained Physician Assistant while working at an internal medicine ward. The profession intrigued me as I had never heard of it before, and I saw how beneficial such a position would be in our healthcare system – acting as a physician extender, increasing access to care and decreasing wait times. I was really attracted to the fact that this role could be implemented in so many different areas of medicine and help improve the delivery of health care to Canadians.
What were some of the biggest highlights of your time at U of T?
The Physician Assistant is partly a distance education program. Many of the theory-based coursework is online, but all the clinical skills lessons and OSCE-type examinations are in-person. This meant that our cohort had to get together quite often – for weeks at a time – on the Toronto campus. It was always great to come together, share challenges and experiences and attend social events with classmates.
The other highlight was the travel! Half of our rotations were in northern Ontario, as part of the ministry mandate to increase access to care in rural areas. Having never been to northern Ontario before, I really enjoyed these opportunities to explore it. It was an amazing experience on a personal and professional level.
Tell me a bit about your experience as the Physician Assistant Student Association President.
Early on in the program, I was elected to be the president of the Physician Assistant Student Association (PASA). PASA manages student networking, advocacy and student experience initiatives. I worked with an amazing executive team on student experience projects such as leading the Stethoscope Ceremony for incoming cohorts, organizing equipment and clothing orders and connecting peer mentors. Although it was sometimes stressful to be in this role while also completing my studies, the executive team worked really well to support each other through challenges and this peer support was immensely helpful.
What’s next for you?
I’m excited to start working and put my new skills and education to good use! I will be starting a new Physician Assistant position shortly - with a great team and a cardiology centre in Ottawa.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Take advantage of the resources provided to you (U of T has many!) and learn as much as you can during your clinical rotations. While grades are important, focus on developing the skills you need to become a competent practitioner – those are much more important than just good grades.
Faces of U of T Medicine introduces you to some of the interesting people studying in the Faculty of Medicine. From advising political leaders to providing care to Toronto’s most vulnerable populations, our students are making an impact on communities at home and around the world.
Do you have an interesting story to share? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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