Evan Earl is pictured standing in a hallway at the Kingston General Hospital Site. He has short, dark, spiky hair, and brown eyes. He’s wearing bright blue scrubs.
Evan Earl has been working as a physician assistant with the Neurosurgery department at KHSC for the last two and half years. He says one of the things he likes best about his role is constantly learning new things and putting them into practice.
Matthew Manor

It’s funny how inspiration works. It can strike at any time. For Evan Earl it happened while he was doing his undergraduate.

“I've always been interested in human physiology and thought I wanted to do research. But, during my undergraduate I had a chance to observe direct patient care and I enjoyed it. So, I investigated different ways to be a clinician, read more about physician assistant studies and applied.”

Cut to 2024, and he’s now a physician assistant with the Neurosurgery department at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC).

“A physician assistant practices medicine under the supervision of a physician, almost like a permanent medical resident, but we’re more like physician extenders.

“It’s a relatively new profession, but vital in the delivery of patient care for our health-care system. At KHSC, there are several physician assistants working hard in different disciplines and they’re critical to the function of their services.

“In my role, I diagnose and treat patients with neurosurgical disease under the supervision of a surgeon. I’m primarily responsible for taking care of critically ill patients before and after operations. I’m also trained to perform procedures and act as surgical first assistant in the operating room.”

Evan Earl is seated next to two women around a circular table, another woman is seen seating in the background. Earl has short, dark, spiky hair, brown eyes, and is wearing a mask and bright blue scrubs. The two woman are also wearing masks and bright blue scrubs.
Even though it’s a relatively new profession, Evan Earl says it a rewarding role and highly recommends becoming a physician assistant.

He says the last two and half years working with the neurosurgery team has checked all his boxes.

“I ultimately wanted to work in an acute care hospital setting that was fast paced and provided a lot of variety. Neurosurgery and medicine are massive fields and I'm always learning something new. It's nice to then use that expertise to help a patient or family understand their disease and what happens next.”

He highly recommends the profession because the other thing he can check off his list, is being proud of the work he does.

“If you're looking for a rewarding career practicing medicine and helping people, while keeping fluidity to work in different disciplines and maintain work-life balance, then a physician assistant would be a good choice for you.

“With my department, outcomes in neurosurgery can often be considered poor. However, my thought is if you can give someone with a brain tumour a better chance of survival, even for a short time, it makes a big difference. I think that's something to be proud of.”

We’re so fortunate inspiration struck Evan Earl when it did. Having someone as passionate as him on the KHSC team is such a positive not only for our organization, but also the patients and families we care for.