PA Spotlight

PA in emergency medicine, Winnipeg

For the last four years Jack Buchanan, a certified physician assistant (PA), has been a member of the emergency care team providing services in collaboration with his supervising physician. Jack works as a Physician Assistant at one of Winnipeg’s community-based hospitals, Seven Oaks General.  Seeing all acuity levels within the emergency department, he ensures timely access for those who require care the most. In this capacity Jack completes patients’ histories, conducts physicals, orders and interprets appropriate diagnostics and performs procedures as necessary in consultation with his supervising physician.

On average, Jack sees 20 patients per shift and performs or assists with procedures as necessary. This then in turn increases flow within the emergency care department thus allowing the physicians to devote more time for higher acuity patients. All cases are reviewed by the team and physicians. Depending on the complexity of the situation the patient may or may not be seen by the physician.


If required; Jack will write admission orders for patients and arrange both in-hospital and out-of-facility consultations. Being certified in advanced cardiac, advanced trauma life support and emergency department ultrasound, he is able to extend the care of the physician and lessen both the stress and workload within the department. Jack is busy. A typical work week consists of 10-hour shifts and a 40-hour work week. During the night shift when the emergency care department has only one physician on rotation, having a PA available enables the department to continue seeing and managing patients when the physician is called to another area of the hospital.

The Seven Oaks General Hospital now has five PAs in the emergency department, and they have become an integral part of the team, seeing over 11,000 patients last year alone.  Jack has found emergency medicine to be both challenging and rewarding and has also taken on the role as part-time faculty with the University of Manitoba’s Physician Assistant Education Program.


Jack Buchanan, MPAS, CCPA

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority