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Dr. Matthew Denkers
(Division of Orthopaedic Surgery) currently serves as Electives Director of the Physician Assistant Program in Surgery
. Designed to train physician assistants to work alongside Ontario physicians, the program was the first of its type in Ontario. It is also Canada's first civilian program at an undergraduate level for these health care professionals who will practice medicine under physician supervision in a wide range of health care settings.
"McMaster was pleased to lead the development of new types of health care professionals who will improve access to quality health care for the residents of Ontario," said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president of McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences.
The first 20 students began the full two-year program in September 2008. The program was taught using McMaster's internationally-renowned small group, problem-based-learning approach, which focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, initiative and promotion of lifelong learning. During the course of their training they rotated through a number of surgical programs including general surgery, orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery.
"Our mission is to educate energetic, innovative, committed and caring people to become role models in this new profession," said Dr. John Cunnington, director of the McMaster Physician Assistant Education Program.