Financial challenges faced by Physician Assistant students when seeking financial assistance to attend PA schools in Canada - A Survey based approach

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Tso Deh, Miyosha
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Introduction: Physician Assistant (PA) students find it challenging to obtain aid and/or loans to fund their PA school tuition costs in addition to their living expenses in Canada especially through private institutions. At present, there is no research as to why obtaining loans is challenging for PA students in Canada. The main goal of this study was to identify what reasons financial institutions proclaim when refusing a loan application to fund PA schools in Canada. Methods: We used a survey-based approach to gather our data. Online surveys were distributed to all three PA schools in Canada to obtain a higher number of responses. Results: Our results show that 39.6% of the participants stated that they worried about financial burden in PA school fairly often while 30.2% stated that they worried very often. 33.9% of the participants stated that their mental health was fair during PA school while 9.4% of the participants stated that their mental health was poor during PA school. 48.6% of the participants stated that it was extremely difficult to obtain private loans from financial institutions. Conclusion: This study showed that obtaining funding for PA schools from financial institutions in Canada is challenging as we expected. The survey respondents provided various reasons for why this is the case which were explored throughout the paper. Students were also stressed in PA school and most participants rated their mental health as poor or fair in our study.