American Academy of Physician Assistants Holds First International Conference at Metro Toronto Convention Centre

June 24, 2012

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) 40th Annual Conference, known as IMPACT 2012, held their first international event May 26-31 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The event attracted an estimated 4,000 physician assistants from the U.S., as well as their Canadian counterparts.

"We believe it is a good thing for U.S. and Canadian physician assistants to share ideas and look at healthcare challenges from different perspectives," said Robert Wooten, AAPA president.

He added, "Physician assistants increase access to quality healthcare that benefits patients and is cost-effective for the healthcare system. Hosting IMPACT 2012 in Toronto provides an opportunity for Canadian physician assistants to meet and share ideas with their American counterparts."

IMPACT 2012 is the world's largest physician assistant conference of its kind at which attendees develop and enhance their knowledge and skills to improve patient care.

A physician assistant is a medical professional, educated alongside physicians, who works as part of a team with a doctor.

Physician assistants perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes.

They practice in nearly every medical specialty and setting and play a key role in coordinating patient care.

Though the physician assistant profession has existed in the U.S. for more than 40 years, its influence is spreading to other countries, including Canada, where the profession is gaining traction.

"The AAPA has selected a world-class city with Toronto and the MTCC as their first-ever international venue for IMPACT," said Barry Smith, president and CEO of the MTCC.

He added, "Attendees will have access to the amazing amenities our diverse city has to offer, and their participation in IMPACT 2012 will benefit our local economy with $10 million in visitor spending."

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