(Archive) Updates relevant to ALL classes


Academic Advising (Updated on April 9, 2020)

Academic advising is supplementary academic assistance provided through a collaborative relationship between a student and faculty members to support that student’s academic success. It is tailored to specific student circumstances. The requirement for academic advising and development of the academic plan will not become part of the students’ transcripts or their MSPR.

Policy 36 (is about student success and support) applies: https://mednet.med.ubc.ca/AboutUs/PoliciesAndGuidelines/Policies%20Guidelines/Academic%20Advising%20(036).pdf

Categories of Academic Advising:

Required - academic advising mandated by the RSPS for students who do not meet academic or professionalism competencies or as part of an Academic Plan for a student returning from a leave of absence (LOA).

Recommended - academic advising recommended by a Site Director or the Regional Student Promotions Subcommittee (RSPS) for a student demonstrating weakness in academic or professionalism competencies.

Requested - academic advising voluntarily requested by a student despite successfully achieving academic or professionalism competencies.

Normal Criteria for Academic Advising <60% overall (Exam 1+2+3) – still apply

  • Student Academic Development Subcommittee (SADS) meeting to develop an academic plan to support student success on the supplemental exam* (required).
  • Academic plans are individualized to student needs and may include:
    • Support from an academic advisor
    • Tutorial/support by lab faculty
    • Discussion about study strategies

*Supplemental exams do not apply to the mandatory formative assessments for the classes of 2020, 2022 and 2023.

Assessment (Updated on November 10, 2020)

Term 2 Assessment Plans

The following is the summary of the assessment plan for Term 2.  The link to the presentation by the Provincial Learner Assessment Team is found here.

  1. WBA: No expected changes. FLEX WBA forms have been optimized to reflect virtual delivery.
  2. Portfolio: No expected changes. Sessions will continue to be offered virtually.
  3. MCQ:
  • All MCQ nations will be online. Students can take the examination from location of their choice.
  • All exams in Term 2 will be summative for Years 1-4 (except progress tests)
  • Exam duration guided by MCC guidelines
  • Lab exams will continue to be offered through ExamSoft using 2D images. Extra 15 minutes will be added to factor in scrolling and written answers.
  1. OSCEs
  • The formative Year 2 OSCE will be moved from 21 November 2020 to 6 February 2021. This was made possible by the cancellation of MCC examination.
  • No other changes to the examination dates of other OSCEs
  • The virtual OSCE software has been acquired. Training of staff and faculty are ongoing. The experience with the software has been very good so far.
  • The administration of all Summative OSCEs in Term 2 (2021) will be in a 100% online format-to ensure safety of our patients, students, staff and faculty.

FLEX Activity

FLEX Site Attendance (Updated September 17, 2020)

During FLEX cycles (which is curricular time) students may be expected to be at their UGME home site or the location of their Activity Supervisor.

Note that because of COVID-19, students may request to work remotely on a project from their home anywhere in Canada.  Please contact your local FLEX Site Director regarding responsibilities and course expectations for working remotely on FLEX activities; the Site Director has the responsibility to approve any request for working remotely.

When returning to BC from outside of province, please consult BC Public Health current guidelines re: need for self-isolation.

Assessment (Updated on August 6, 2020)

Update on All Assessment modalities for all Years


  • The Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 did not have a summative OSCE in the last academic year.
  • The Classes of 2023 and 2021 completed the formative OSCE in their last academic year.
  • Additional OSCE exam to be delivered for year 2 cohort to support the Class of 2023 due to missing a summative OSCE in Year 1.
  • Additional day of OSCE proposed for year 4 cohort to compensate for loss of Summative OSCE in Year 3.
  • All formative OSCEs are to be delivered virtually contingent upon procurement of software
  • All summative OSCEs are to be delivered in person

The following table outlines the proposed* plan for OSCEs in the 2020-2021 academic year.

* Subject to approval by UGME Committee


  1. The new 411 session will include videos of senior medical students discussing their portfolio experience.  Attendance will be part of the assessment.
  2. Faculty Development of coaches to work online including:
    • multiple orientation sessions
    • updated module
    • VC guide
    • site specific faculty development
  3. FLEX and family practice will co-ordinate on reflection components of each course for increased consistency and cohesion programmatically
  4. All course materials to be updated across all 4 years to reflect pandemic curricular changes
  5. The portfolio administrative structure is to be further clarified

Work Based Assessment (WBA)

We have modified the forms to accommodate modified delivery of CBL, Clinical Skills and Family Practice

Written Exams

  1. Years 1 and 2 Lab exam delivery software
    • Based on feedback from online lab exams this year, we are into software that can display multidimensional imagery for the lab specimens.
    • We have identified Sketchfab, a software currently used by UBC, as promising to deliver the online anatomy lab exam with 3-D images. The EAU team has started to test the integration of Sketchfab with the exam delivery software. The current plan is to deliver the exam questions using the exiting exam delivery software, so that there is an embedded link to access annotated specimens on Sketchfab.
  2. MCQ advisory panel
    • We have created an MCQ advisory panel to help with quality control of current and future MCQ exams, with the goal of improving the assessment process by having different voices on board. The current panel includes Kevin Eva, Amita Modi, and Joana Gil-Mohapel, with the first meeting happening this month.
  3. Open-book vs closed-book format
    • There have been discussions regarding open and closed book format for the mandatory formative assessments. Given the time allocated for the exams, the students are unlikely to have any appreciable time for accessing resources. Furthermore, the mandatory formative exams are for the students learning, progress, and development, and the students should be encouraged to treat and prepare for these exams as they would for a summative exam.
  4. Duration of time per question
    • We have received communication from the MCC, with regards for the rationale of time allotted per question in the exams. They stressed that the decision for time allotted depends on a variety of factors, including length of question, content familiarity, question difficulty, and use of illustrations and figures. They suggested approximately 60s per question.
  5. Year 3 Block 4 Exams update
    • This exam will be delivered at the end of August with a reduced number of questions.
  6. 2020-21 MEDD 411 and 421 exam creation
    • Term 1 exams for years 1 and 2 will be mandatory formative. We are planning to deliver exams in 2021 as summative format.

Academic integrity

We are currently working on a concept of introducing a formal academic integrity process.  We are connecting with other institutions that have introduced this concept and we are learning further about this.  We propose to include various interest groups, including Students, Student Affairs, Faculty and Staff to guide us in this collaborative process, as we take the next steps.

Assessment (Updated on May 21, 2020)

The Assessment Team presented an update on the challenges and successes of Assessments modified in response to COVID-19. Here is a brief summary:

  • The Year 4 deferred/supplemental OSCE was delivered virtually and the experience was reported to be comparable to the original exam
  • Y2 lab exams were delivered virtually.  Overall, the lab exam experience was reported by students as positive with some elements comparable to in-person lab exams.  Technology needs to be improved to test anatomy content better.
  • The MCQ exams for Year 2 and TIPP were run as mandatory formative exams.  We were still able to identify students in academic difficulty despite the formative nature of the exams.
  •  Work is underway regarding all of the assessment modalities.  Two key decisions need to be made regarding the format of the OSCE and remote invigilation/proctoring for summative written exams.

Earlier during the COVID crisis, students were informed that many of our assessment modalities were cancelled or put on hold. In order to continue assessment activities, extensive internal and external consultations have been undertaken, including with the UBC Centre for Teaching and Learning, Regional Associate Deans, UGME Directors, Student Leadership, the Assessment Team and the Executive Associate Dean, Education.

Guiding principles:

  1. Our programmatic assessment-based curriculum provides us with multiple data points to evaluate our learners and identify students in academic difficulty. Students thus identified can be given appropriate support and be provided with opportunities for remediation.
  2. Ours is a spiral curriculum. What is learned in earlier years is strengthened in the subsequent years of learning. The content that is missed through cancelled examinations will be revisited and tested in subsequent years. The expectation is that what the learners learn in the earlier years is retained and reinforced throughout their curriculum. This applies to both the MCQ and OSCE examinations.

BC Restart Plan (Updated on June 25, 2020)

Stephen McCarthy summarized Phase 3 of the BC restart plan, which began June 24, 2020.  He also summarized June 23, 2020 BCCDC modelling data.  The presentation can be viewed here.

Key points:

  • No changes in personal hygiene recommendations (i.e. stay home when sick) or allowing groups > 50.
  • Safe building capacity recommendations do not appear to have changed.
  • The "personal bubble" of contacts should remain small but is no longer strictly 6 close contacts.
  • New link for safe travel in BC may be useful for rural family practice students (see BC restart plan).
  • Dynamic modelling of the BC COVID-19 pandemic suggests we are at 65% of our normal contact rate, which illustrates we are at the threshold for a rebound of new cases in July.
  • To prevent this, robust contact tracing (approaching 100%) will allow us to continue to expand social networks safely, allowing entry into Phase 3 in a safe manner.

BC COVID-19 Epidemiology Update (Updated on November 10, 2020)

Stephen McCarthy provided an update of the current COVID-19 epidemiology in the province, with modeling of what may occur after the current regional restrictions in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health are ended or renewed at noon November 23.  A link to the presentation can be found here.

Key points:

  • The 4 key metrics describing the pandemic in our province are no longer reassuring.
  • Medical students can still travel within the province for clinical rotations and electives.
  • As cases surge in Fraser Health, cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health are approximately 3 weeks behind that of Fraser Health.
  • Hospital bed capacity in the lower mainland may be exceeded between December 7-15th at key hospitals, potentially leading to diversion of beds from elective surgeries and perioperative care.  This may have a direct impact on students in core rotations or electives.
  • In the event of a second provincial or regional lockdown, mitigation strategies will be employed by the MDUP to preserve achievement of clinical competencies and graduation timelines.

Winter Break and Travel during COVID-19 (Updated on November 3, 2020)

As we approach the Winter Break, Student Affairs and the MDUP have received questions about travel and time off around the holidays. Students have inquired about both travel to other provinces and outside of Canada. Please be aware that students are responsible for knowing the travel restrictions and guidelines for each place they choose to travel. Some provinces require a 14-day quarantine prior to movement in that province and there remains a travel advisory from the Federal Government to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Medical Students are not included in the governments list of people who are exempt from the Federal Quarantine Act. The BCCDC does not accept a negative COVID test in lieu of a 14-day quarantine after international travel.

The decision to travel during is ultimately up to you, the student and we will do what we can to support you. Years 1 and 2 students, please be aware that in-person sessions are being planned for the first two weeks in January and remember that you are responsible for any missed material while you are away.

If you travel outside of BC during the Winter Break and anticipate you will be away for longer than the allotted time, please follow the Absence Policy and submit the appropriate forms. Personal Days or Negotiated Absences may be used in this case and should be applied for with the appropriate lead time as outlined in the policy. Please refer to the Absence Policy for information on what is considered for a Negotiated Absence vs a Personal Day. Approval is not automatically granted for these and you will be notified of approval. If there are extenuating circumstances that require that you are away for longer than you anticipate or for other reasons, please approach Student Affairs to discuss further.

Long Term Care Facility Visits (Updated September 22, 2020)

Currently, according to the BCCDC guidelines, students may visit one Long Term Care (LTC) facility only and only one role at that facility per rotation.   There no need to self-isolate before or after attending the facility.  This order includes

PHO Order: On April 15, 2020 the PHO issued a Facility Staff Assignment Order that is specific to facilities i.e. long-term care (LTC) facilities, private hospitals, assisted living and provincial mental health facilities named in the order. The order includes students and on-site faculty and restricts them from having more than one role (e.g. practice education, volunteer and/or employment) at the facilities named in the order.

Guided LTC facility tours are allowed with strict compliance with safety precautions.

Preceptors are encouraged to refer the BCCDC guidelines for supervising students before, during and after the placement.

COVID-19 BC Update - Stephen McCarthy (Updated September 17, 2020)

Stephen McCarthy presented an update of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC, as well as summarizing the BC Health Sector Fall/Winter plan for 2020-21.  This excellent presentation can be found here.

Key Points:

  1. As daily total cases of COVID-19 in the province plateau (for now), the four metrics for monitoring the outbreak are mostly reassuring (low rate per 100,000, stable infection in stratified ages, low ICU admission, high Rt).
  2. Planning for the fall, we are approaching the bed capacity for the medium COVID-19 case scenario, with more room for surge beds across the province.
  3. The "Hospital @ Home" model may provide an exciting new way to treat vulnerable patients in the comfort of their own home.
  4. Canada will soon decide whether to join COVAX, with an initial goal to vaccinate 20% of the participating countries populations by end of 2021.

Influenza Vaccination Clinics (Updated September 10, 2020)

Students are encouraged to participate in the health profession student vaccination clinics.  Ensure that you have completed the training in the Family Practice Seminar, the BCCDC module and any other local requirements for training.  Please also register this volunteer activity through the Entrada Links The faculty sponsor for VFMP is Dr. Mary Kestler: Mary.Kestler@cw.bc.ca.  For clinics at the distributed sites, your Regional Associate Dean is the faculty sponsor.

COVID-19 Swabbing Clinics (Updated September 10, 2020)

Students are not permitted to participate in COVID-19 Swabbing Clinics, either curricular or extracurricular, as the probability of contact with a COVID-19 positive patient is high.

COVID-19 Update (Updated on August 20, 2020)

Stephen McCarthy provided an epidemiology update on the current COVID-19 outbreaks in the province of BC (link here).  Key points:

  1. In Canada, BC is still well positioned in terms of its daily total cases, which may reach 120 daily cases soon.
  2. What is reassuring: Contact tracing is 98% complete, few ICU/hospital admissions, new PHO orders, stronger enforcement, hiring more public health workers, expanded testing sites, mandatory masks on transit, BC school learning groups and contingencies.
  3. What is concerning: % positive tests, exponential rise in cases, cases unlinked from other cases/clusters, a new baseline of daily cases our province has never seen, continued house parties, forest fire season, parents/teachers worried about a ”last minute plan.”
  4. The short-term future of COVID-19 is uncertain in BC.  We can only hope our elected officials and Public Health Officers have well thought out, evidence-based plans with contingencies to mitigate community spread of COVID-19 if it occurs.

Volunteer Activities (Updated on August 18, 2020)

BC COVID-19 Medical Student Response Team Update

To date over 700 medical students have signed up for activities and over 500 medical students across all sites and years have participated in over 775 activities

New initiatives at BC Cancer agency (1 new) and BCCDC (2 new), as well as Medical Students Supporting Older Adults. An important initiative is Medical Students Supporting Older Adults


  •  BCCDC Data Registry team contacted 1500 of COVID-19 survivors who tested positive before June 23, 2020, to enroll them in a data registry for future COVID-19 research.
  • BCCA Patient Screening team is contacting and screening over 400 patients a week.
  • Media team has released 5 COV-Ed videos, which are public resources on COVID-19-related educational topics
  • CTV News Vancouver and City News Vancouver released a segment and an article on COV-Ed’s newest video, “COV-Ed 4 Kids”
  • BCCDC Survey contacted 750-1000 BC residents, most of whom are older adults or those of lower socioeconomic status who may have barriers to accessing the online survey
  • Homemade PPE Initiative raised >$2500 to fund the creation of >600 masks
  • BC Physician Wellness infographic launched to 4 health authorities (PHC, FHA, NH, IH)
  • PPE Recovery throughout BC has collected and distributed >80,000 PPE items
  • Launched Victoria Inner City COVID Response website
  • Mobilization toolkit shared with Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Physical Therapy, Midwifery and Dentistry students, who are now coordinating similar initiatives
  • Developed a general public COVID volunteer opportunities repository of 12 organizations

COVID-19 and Influenza

Stephen McCarthy provided a presentation on “Preparing for co-circulation of Influenza virus with COVID-19”.  Key points:

  • Social distancing and respiratory etiquette likely reduce the transmission of respiratory illnesses in general, such as Influenza.
  • Our population over 65 years old with > 1 comorbidity living in long-term care facilities are especially vulnerable to both SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza infections.
  • High overall Influenza vaccination in Australia and mask compliance in South Korea may be having positive impacts that lower transmission of both viruses.
  • Careful examination of influenza in the Southern Hemisphere in July - August can inform how Canadian Public Health will prepare for co-circulation of influenza with SARS-CoV-2 in the fall.

COVID-19 in BC:  Hidden Outbreaks Within the Outbreak- link here (Updated June 15, 2020)

Stephen McCarthy co-presented a COVID-19 update with the Black Medical Student’s Association of Canada (BMSAC) that examines:

  1. Global and national COVID-19 epidemiology
  2. Unmasking of racial disparities
  3. Provincial COVID-19 epidemiology and the opioid crisis

Key Points:

  • Daily COVID-19 cases continue to rise globally, with IHME modeling suggesting a resurgence of cases in 29 US states in September 2020.
  • COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Canada, with close groups of 10 - 25 being allowed in some provinces.
  • Long-term systemic effects of racism have no easy solutions.  They require honest discussions to spur innovation and create new COVID-19 preventative strategies, treat our most vulnerable community members, and refocus COVID-19 resources together.
  • Unintentional deaths from illicit drug use, our second public health emergency in BC, requires renewed efforts given the highest month of mortality recorded in May of 2020.

BC COVID-10 MSRT Update (Updated on June 2, 2020)


Over 700 MEDICAL STUDENTS have signed up for activities and over 500 MEDICAL STUDENTS across all sites and years have participated in over 700 ACTIVITIES.


  • 1000 Donors Campaign reached 22% of goal and has a team of 60 students representing nearly all Canadian medical schools. Sign up to participate using this link
  • Homemade PPE Initiative raised >$1500 to fund the creation of >600 masks
  • Media team released COVID-19 Infographic, >54,000 views, translated to multiple languages including French, Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Farsi
  • Released COV-Ed video public resource on physical distancing, available in 24 languages
  • BC Physician Wellness infographic launched to 4 health authorities (PHC, FHA, NH, IH)
  • Launched the Western Canada Medical Student Response Team website for collaboration on public health initiatives and COVID-19 volunteer efforts in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. >9,000 page views, ~100 average daily visits.
  • PPE Recovery throughout BC has collected and distributed >80,000 PPE items
  • Featured on the cover of The Province and local news at all sites (VFMP, SMP, IMP, NMP) and Radio Canada, CBC, Punjabi Radio, OMNI, OnBoard MD, Fairchild TV, CTV, DoBC
  • Launched Victoria Inner City COVID Response website
  • Mobilization toolkit shared with Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Physical Therapy, Midwifery and Dentistry students, who are now coordinating similar initiatives
  • Developed a general public COVID volunteer opportunities repository of 12 organizations
  • Received $500 grant from Doctors of BC
  • Received $1000 CFMS COVID-19 Community Care Initiative Grant

COVID-19 Primer (Updated on June 1, 2020)

Dr. Sarah Brears hosted an overview of COVID-19 from public health, ER, Internal medicine, surgery and palliative care perspectives.  Tips for personal safety, key messages to patients and public, investigations, disease trajectory, crucial conversations, and how to manage COVID-19 illness.  Excellent team of UBC clinical faculty from around the province including Dr. Bonnie Henry giving an address to the graduates in the final few minutes.  The links to the slideshow and video presentation (coming soon) are found on the UBC PGME COVID-19 website.

Updates from Meeting with the Provincial Medical Health Officer

UGME Faculty members met with Dr. Bonnie Henry yesterday to discuss the return of learners to clinical placements. She is in agreement that it is reasonable for learners to return to clinical placements in late Phase 2 of the reopening plan. Students will be able to move between facilities but will not be allowed to work in long-term care settings. Dr. Henry has also advised to proceed with caution around any potential placements in small remote communities, particularly for any placements in Indigenous communities. Travel within the province will likely be allowed for learners come July 6.

Dr. Henry anticipates that PPE supplies should be adequate by the clerkship restart date of July 6 and expedited testing will be available to students who are symptomatic. She also expressed gratitude for the medical student involvement in volunteer initiatives, particularly with efforts in contact tracing from the MSRT, which she hopes can continue into the fall.

BC COVID-19 Update

Stephen McCarthy and Maichael Thejoe gave an update on the reopening plan and how it will apply to post-secondary institutions for the next 12-18 months.  The following is a 2-paged summary of the BC Restart plan:

[Link to restart plan: https://entrada.med.ubc.ca/community/ugmecovid19:documents?section=view-file&id=14280&download=latest]

(Updated on May 7, 2020)

Stephen McCarthy and Maichael Thejoe reviewed the May 4 2020 updates from Dr. Henry and BC CDC on epidemiological modelling and critical care capacity in the province, as well as the BC Government plans for a phased restart: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Covid-19_May4_PPP.pdf

  • Men over the age of 50 with one or more chronic health conditions account for a greater proportion of severe COVID-19 cases requiring hospital admission, ICU admission, and are at higher risk of overall mortality from the virus.
  • COVID-19 ICU cases in all health authorities continue to decline, following a consistent trend since the April 17 2020 epidemiology update.
  • There are enough hospital beds for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases, and to resume elective surgeries in May.
  • There is also room for economic sectors to increase social contacts from 30% of normal to 60% of normal, starting with phase II reopening of the province beginning May 20th.

Each sector of the BC economy is being asked to create practice standards using a hierarchy of controls to reduce transmission hazards for the next 12-18 months, as we enter a ‘new normal’ of the pandemic in BC: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/bc-restart-plan

The UGME COVID-19 Implementation Task Force will continue to be guided by Provincial Health Authority recommendations as we plan for student return to clinical duties and curricular delivery going forward.

Update to Principles (Updated on June 2, 2020)

Principle 7:  Curriculum delivery to be comparable at the sites

Students are expected be located at their home sites by the start of the academic year. The MDUP is keen to have as much in-person teaching as is permissible, and we want to allay any perceptions that students are being uprooted, at considerable financial and personal cost, for just one or two in-person sessions at their local campus.

Comparability has been a long-standing tenet of the MDUP. There was discussion about the concept of comparable vs identical curriculum delivery, e.g., if one site has the capacity to deliver certain aspects of the curriculum in-person, then it should do so, as long as the other site(s) can achieve comparable delivery, either virtually or in-person, within safety guidelines. It was agreed that this continues to be a reasonable approach. It was noted that the Task Force Principle 7 will need to be amended to incorporate the concept of comparability.

COVID-19 Information Task Force Principles

  1. Safety of ALL our patients including volunteer patients
  2. Safety of our students, faculty and staff including immunocompromised students and their families
  3. Preservation and continuity of learning experiences where possible
  4. Preservation of promotion and graduation timelines where possible
  5. Compliance with Government of Canada Guidelines and BC Government Guidelines
  6. Alignment with University of British Columbia, BC Health Authority and College of Physicians and Surgeons guidelines
  7. Decisions to be the same at all sites (e.g. curriculum delivery)
  8. Nimble policy change communication from one source
  9. Students please continue to follow the MDUP Attendance policies and procedures
  10. The Task Force is making decisions in extraordinary times. Although there is a need to implement decisions in a timely way, they will need to be presented to UGME Committee for approval in line with our governance structure in due course.
  11. Task Force discussions will remain confidential until key messages are released

College of Physician and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) student licenses

Students have calendar year long registration. There is no need to re-register if academic years start at a different time. The CPSBC is not allowing clinical observerships, clinical traineeships or visiting students at this time.  Dr. McMillan has let the College know about our planning in broad strokes.

Faculty Development (Updated on June 18, 2020)

Faculty Development has provided several supports for clinical preceptors - including support for preceptors receiving Class of 2021 students on July 6, 2020.

All preceptors receiving students in hospital and/or clinic settings are invited to:

  • Watch the introductory video featuring a message from Dr. Adrian Yee, Director of Curriculum, UGME program, Dr. Cary Cuncic, Associate Director of Curriculum, Years 3 & 4, UGME program and Dr. Aman Nijjar, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine.
  • Review the ‘Safety’ section below for important information on COVID-19 patient restrictions and PPE requirements for students.
  • Additionally, those who are teaching in outpatient clinic settings should also review the ‘Virtual Clinical Teaching’ section for additional resources.

*For important information on COVID-19 patient restriction and PPE requirements including guidelines for student participation click here.

Faculty Development (Updated on June 1, 2020)

The Office of Faculty Development and Regional Directors of Faculty Development have worked in close collaboration with Educational Technology and Course Leadership to transition small and large group synchronous and asynchronous teaching to on-line platforms in March and April 2020.

This was done through a scaffolded structure of collaborative support, pre- session training, post-session de-briefs and on-going drop-in sessions. Building on Teachers’ experiences and existing relationships, key messages related to optimizing technology and pedagogy were iteratively shared with teachers and are available on our website.

Returning Classes in July/August, 2020

Small & Large group Sessions

Faculty Development is embedded with all course groups to support training of new and returning Faculty who teach in small and large groups. Details about resources and delivery structure will be made available in July 2020. Workshops for Faculty and staff transitioning Academic Half Days and lectures online are available and registration is open on our website.

Teaching in Clinical Spaces with PPE and orientation to using virtual platforms

We are working closely with Course Leadership and early adopters of virtual teaching, Faculty Development will make available key messages and resources related to student and patient safety and teaching tips, tools and expectations using virtual platforms on its website by June 17th, 2020.

Faculty Development is working with site and course leadership to support drop-in sessions with Faculty to help support clinical teaching, convey key messaging and orientation before July 6, 2020 and also plan de-briefing and drop in sessions later.

Faculty Development support for Clinical Experiences components of year 1&2 will be developed once there is more clarity about their structure.

COVID-19 Vaccines (Updated on January 5, 2021)

While medical students are still expected to be part of the second priority vaccination group (including other hospital staff, community GPs and medical specialists), with an expected vaccine delivery from February to March as per Provincial guidance, some students across the province are being offered vaccinations presently. These decisions are made locally by clinical department heads and Health Authorities, or as opportunities arise when excess vaccines are available. Students are (of course) able to accept these offers if presented which will help control virus spread in our healthcare facilities and communities and as well as help protect you. For students who receive the vaccine, there is no change to PPE requirements or to the UBC guidelines on which patients students can see.  It is also still important to maintain physical distance and stay home when sick.  Finally, please remember that vaccinated people will become COVID antigen test positive but will stay nucleic acid test negative.  BCCDC COVID-19 vaccine resources can be found here.  If you have received the vaccine, coordination of the second dose will be done by Public Health and not by the MD Undergraduate Program.

COVID-19 Vaccines (Updated on December 17, 2020)

The Public Health Agency of Canada presented “COVID-19 Vaccine Foundations for Health Care Providers”.  A recording of the webinar is available on the AMMI Canada website:  https://www.ammi.ca/?ID=183

Re: COVID-19 vaccine availability for medical students: according to the Provincial Practice Education team, medical students are expected be considered health care workers with respect to vaccination.  They would be in Phase 2 (second priority group) along with other non-COVID health care workers. The province currently lists spring 2021 as the beginning of Phase 2.

Virtual Home Office Visit Guidelines (Updated on December 8, 2020)

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, safety plans must be in place for all workspaces including all UBC learning spaces. A clinical preceptor’s home office is unfortunately not considered a UBC learning space at this time. Therefore, students should not be working from a preceptor’s home office to complete virtual patient visits. Students who are having difficulty doing virtual visits remotely with their preceptor are asked to contact the appropriate program assistants for further support.

This is the message that has been sent to your faculty:  The FoM recognizes the flexible working arrangements of many of our faculty members and preceptors due to COVID-19, including work from home offices. We are very grateful to our preceptors who have gone out of their way to teach and provide our students with excellent learning experiences. At this time, the MD Undergraduate Program is, unfortunately, unable to support/endorse learners working from preceptors’ home offices. As you are aware, COVID-19 safety plans must be in place for workspaces, including all UBC learning spaces and we are not able to support in home offices at this time. We recognize that remotely teaching medical students, especially during telehealth patient visits, may pose a challenge for some preceptors and the FoM is committed to supporting our preceptors in this regard through the faculty development team.

Update on Active Self-assessment Requirements (Updated on December 1, 2020)

In recent weeks, the BC Provincial Government has introduced a number of Public Health Orders related to reducing COVID-19 transmission.

Faculty, staff and students at UBC Vancouver received a UBC Broadcast on November 10, 2020 with information about the Public Health Orders — as they related to the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions. Faculty, staff and students at UBC Okanagan received a message on November 24, 2020, with further details — once the restrictions became province-wide. UBC has now provided an additional update, which applies to all faculty, staff and students at UBC (regardless of campus location). For more information and FAQs, visit Safety & Risk Services.

Students taking part in face-to-face classes, or attending campus for other reasons, now need to directly confirm to their instructor/UBC representative that they have completed a self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at their class. This confirmation can be verbal and does not require documentation. Please use the BC self-assessment tool at https://bc.thrive.health/. Anyone experiencing symptoms must follow the guidance provided in the self-assessment tool.

Preceptors are asked to confirm directly with students daily that they have completed a self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 at the start of their teaching session. This confirmation can be verbal and does not require documentation. Student should use the BC self-assessment tool at https://bc.thrive.health/. Anyone experiencing symptoms must follow the guidance provided in the self-assessment tool."

Faculty and Staff are encouraged to continue to work remotely whenever possible. Faculty, staff and contractors who are on campus are now required to directly confirm to a supervisor (or designate) that they have completed a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival at their workplace. The supervisor or designate needs to document that the verification was completed. Please use the BC self-assessment tool at https://bc.thrive.health/. Anyone experiencing symptoms must follow the guidance provided in the self-assessment tool.

Eye Protection in Education Sessions (Updated on November 19, 2020)

After consultation with Infection Prevention and Control leads and UBC-Vancouver’s Medical Health Officer, the Task Force has endorsed removing the requirement to wear eye protection in clinical education sessions (clinical skills).  Because our education sessions are in a closed, controlled environment and have individual approved COVID-19 Safety Plans with many safety measures imposed, they are markedly different from a clinical environment.

Students are reminded to continue to wear eye protection in clinical settings when physical distancing isn’t possible – appropriate forms of eye protection, as listed by the BCCDC, include face shields, safety glasses or goggles.

Provincial Health Order and Travel Restrictions (Updated on November 10, 2020)

Message from Dr. Roger Wong, Vice Dean Education: “I have reached out to Dr. Bonnie Henry for her clarification. I asked her, “Regarding the newest PHO order of travel restrictions in and outside of the VCH and FH (lower mainland) areas, are our medical students and residents exempted as they travel in and out of the lower mainland to do their clinical rotations throughout the province?”

Dr. Henry responded by saying, “Yes [they are exempted]; this [order] refers to non-essential travel. Work travel is essential, but they should minimize contacts, wear masks and ensure they monitor daily for symptoms particularly if going from a higher risk area (FH and VCH) to a lower risk community.”

I think this is very helpful direction from Dr. Henry and we can provide the same guidance to all of our programs. The only special consideration would be for travel into Indigenous communities, which should always involve careful consultation on a case by case basis, which is what our programs have all done so far.

In the meantime, we shall continue the existing UBC FoM education resumption planning process through the VDE office.

Many thanks for your great work with your respective programs”.

Health and Safety (Updated on November 10, 2020)

Mask Use in Health Care Facilities 

The Ministry of Health issued this release on November 4 regarding mask use in Health Care Facilities.

Our students/staff in health care facilities must wear medical masks (provided by the facility) at all times when working in clinical areas, including common areas and break rooms (except when eating or drinking).

Staff in non-clinical areas can continue to follow their COVID-19 Safety Plans, which may allow them to be unmasked provided other safety measures (e.g. physical distancing) are implemented.

All persons in Long Term Care Facilities must wear a medical mask at all times unless eating or drinking.

Mask Use in Classrooms

We advise you to please wear masks in all small group sessions (CBL, tutorials, clinical skills, anatomy review sessions, etc.), as per UBC’s COVID-19 Campus Rules. This now applies to all sites of the MD Undergraduate Program.

Influenza Immunization Clinics (Updated October 22, 2020)

UBC-V will not be hosting community flu clinics this year. The best way to find a flu clinic nearest you is the ImmunizeBC website. UGME Students, as visitors to health care facilities, are eligible to receive the flu shot for free. As a reminder, the influenza vaccination is an annual requirement for UGME students. Students are strongly encouraged to receive their vaccinations as soon as possible.

Wellness (Updated September 22, 2020)

We seem to be in the “chronic” phase of this pandemic and supporting each other in our wellness is paramount.  Dr. Sara Junaid’s simple thing to remember is the Plan for: Pleasure (fun activity); physical activity, personal connection; minding procrastination and engaging in problem solving.  Combining them is even better!

Our students in the Wellness Initiative Network pulled together some wellness resources:  https://www.ubcmedwellness.ca/covid-19

Wellness resources for physicians:




Wellness resources for grad students:


Wellness resources for faculty and staff:



Health and Safety (Updated September 22, 2020)

UBC’s non-medical mask policy

As part of UBC’s commitment to the health and safety of our community, and the responsibility we all share in preventing the potential for COVID-19, students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to follow UBC’s COVID-19 Campus Rules when on our campuses. These rules include the requirement to wear non-medical masks in common indoor spaces.

Common indoor spaces include hallways, stairways, building entryways, washrooms, common areas in residences and other high-traffic areas (except as set out in an approved COVID-19 Safety Plan).

The requirement to wear non-medical masks indoors recognizes that transmission is reduced when face masks are worn in conjunction with physical distancing and other safety practices. For more information, including details about exceptions, please refer to the COVID-19 Campus Rules and FAQs.

The UGME COVID-19 Task Force recommends that students, faculty and UBC staff wear masks (medical or non-medical) in non-patient care areas and UBC spaces in healthcare facilities, as well.

Health & Safety – All years (Updated on September 1, 2020)

Island Health has launched a new COVID-19 testing phone line for symptomatic direct patient care providers.  This includes any 3rd or 4th year medical student that is doing a rotation on Vancouver Island.

Symptomatic staff, affiliate staff, primary care and subspecialty providers and first responders who provide direct patient care can now call 1-833-737-9377 to access COVID-19 testing. Please use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if further assessment or testing is needed. If needed, please call 1-833-737-9377 – seven days a week - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This direct patient care provider testing line will help reduce the volume of calls coming into the public testing line.

The public line (1-844-901-8442) will continue to serve everyone else with symptoms and no referral is needed. Additional staff have been hired and are being trained to help reduce wait times for all callers. Please remember to only call either line if you are symptomatic.

Post Exposure Procedures (Updated on August 18, 2020)

Following an exposure, the procedures you must follow will depend on the risk associated with the exposure, and whether you are asymptomatic or become symptomatic. As non-essential health care workers, students are eligible for expedited testing, but must self-isolate for 14 days after a high-risk exposure. A negative test while asymptomatic does not reduce nor negate the 14-day isolation period. If symptoms do develop, students can then access expedited testing and follow the Return to Work Decision Tree. A negative test when symptomatic means that students can return to work once all symptoms other than a dry cough have resolved. A positive test or no test means self-isolation until all symptoms other than a dry cough have been resolved and it’s been 10 days since symptom onset. Below is the guidance from the Province on which this procedure is based.

Message from the Deputy PHO August 19:

“Right now, anyone with symptoms can be tested, but it is important to remember the test is recommended only if you have symptoms…If public health has advised you to self-isolate because you have been exposed to COVID-19, please follow their advice. Even if you have no symptoms, a negative test does not mean you can shorten the period of self-isolation.”


What if I test negative for COVID-19?

After a negative COVID-19 test, you may still need to self-isolate. If you are unsure, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1. Continue to monitor how you feel; if your symptoms worsen, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1.

Continue to self-isolate if:

  •       You are a contact or have been exposed to a case of COVID-19. Continue to self-isolate for 14 days from your last contact with a case of COVID-19.

Goggles (Updated on August 18, 2020)

The goggles provident by the program have been tested by Health Canada and are approved for clinical use. Students may wish to purchase their own, in which case, they should adhere to the federal specifications listed here: https://buyandsell.gc.ca/sites/buyandsell.gc.ca/files/specifications_for_eye_protection_2020_04_10_0.pdf 

COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide for Years 3 and 4 students

COVID-19 information handout this important reference has recently been updated - please keep it handy.

Health and Safety (Updated August 6, 2020)

Questions and Answers from Dr. Bonnie Henry can be found here.

Overall, Dr. Henry is very supportive of our students remaining in clinical settings provided appropriate PPE and protocols are in place.  She emphasizes use of the HCW Risk Assessment Tool for clinical exposures and to rely on Public Health for contact tracing for community exposures.   If staff, faculty or student have a community exposure to someone who is symptomatic, there is no need to self-isolate unless the contact tests positive, in which case Public Health would be in touch.

Workwear (Updated on August 4, 2020)

In response to COVID-19, many clinical preceptors are wearing scrubs in their workplaces.  We are recommending that all students either purchase 2 sets of scrubs (in addition to your white coats) and one set of footwear, or wear washable clothes and footwear dedicated to working in clinical spaces that are separate from their regular clothing and footwear.  We also recommend that you change out of your scrubs/dedicated work shoes prior to leaving the workplace and your work clothing is placed in a bag to wash/dry at home. Dedicated work shoes may be left at the workplace for some rotations. Please see below for rotations where you will be provided scrubs to wear.


Basic Cardiac Life Support (Updated on July 30, 2020)

Due to the COVID Pandemic, it may be difficult to obtain BCLS re-certification in-person.  The guidance from the Provincial Practice Education Group is:

“CPR: all placements can proceed; students must work within their skill level and communicate with their preceptor. Students should obtain their certification as soon as possible when sessions resume. Some community sessions have already begun, please explore your local options”.

We can’t be complacent (Updated July 21, 2020)

British Columbia is on the cusp of another surge of COVID cases. Stephen McCarthy has provided an update which can be accessed here, with full BCCDC projections here.  Case rates are 3X higher in the province from one month ago, with transmission increasing in Fraser Health and Interior Health regions.  Given free mobility through the province, this affects all of us.  We can’t be complacent.  Please do continue to wear PPE according to what you have been taught even if others aren’t.  Do not expose yourself to patients or colleagues (including health care staff) who are symptomatic or being tested.  If students are exposed to a COVID-19 patient, they are to alert their preceptor and follow the HCW Exposure Risk Assessment Tool.  Students are eligible to receive expedited HCW testing if symptoms develop and should follow local facility procedures.

If you are uncomfortable and/or members of the healthcare team are not wearing appropriate PPE, you do not need to remain in or return to that workplace.  Please notify your supervisor or Nick Steel if this is the case.  Nick.Steel@ubc.ca

Preceptors - please remove students proactively from a workplace where a potential exposure has occurred.  All educational supervisors (DSSLs and Clerkship Directors included) should familiarize themselves with the UBC Faculty Development COVID-19 support for preceptors website and review the introductory video found here.   The safety checklist for preceptors receiving students is here.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Module (Updated on July 2, 2020)

This course was designed for all students in Health Professions Programs in the Faculty of Medicine who will be entering their clinical placements during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now available here:  https://video.med.ubc.ca/videos/cpd/elearning/PPE/home.html

The Learning Objectives are:

  1. Describe the role of PPE (benefits & limitations) in the clinical environment
  2. Describe clinical situations where various types of PPE are indicated
  3. Safely don and doff various combinations of PPE you will be using in the clinical setting
  4. Identify practices to enhance your safety from infectious exposure in the clinical environment
  5. Demonstrate what to do if you are having difficulty accessing PPE or have questions about PPE use
  6. Recognize UBC and Health Authority COVID-related safety procedures
  7. Review how to access student health resources

Donning and Doffing Training (Updated on May 26, 2020)

Masks, goggles, gowns and gloves need to be donned and doffed safely for the safety of our patients and our students.  This is a workplace requirement.  Nick Steel, our Faculty of Medicine Health and Safety Advisor, has proposed designing an online module for students to review prior to restarting clerkship, based on provincial guidance from the Ministry of Health and the BC CDC.  Direct observation and feedback in person could be added in as a “Direct Observation” filled out by a preceptor, resident, or an RN.   The operationalization of this will be discussed site by site with the Regional Associate Deans.

PPE Update (Updated on May 25, 2020)

Conversations with senior leadership at Health Authorities indicate that there should be sufficient PPE in the community clinics for their staff and our students by July 2020.  The operationalization of the distribution between the Doctors of BC and the Health Authorities hasn’t been completely worked out and there are many people and groups working on this at various levels.  A Health Authority and PPE update will be a standing agenda item for our Monday UGME COVID-19 Implementation Task Force Meetings.  The bottom line is that the program will not send students to clinics that do not have adequate PPE supply for their staff.

Leadership Resources (Updated on April 9, 2020)

list of articles on leadership and communication suggested by the UGME COVID-19 Information Task Force.

UBC Library Update (Updated on July 30, 2020)

For the remainder of 2020, access to library resources for the UGME will be impacted by the need to maintain physical distancing and to ensure adequate disinfection of materials between being returned and signed back out to students.

While UBC Library has an e-preferred collection mandate, and when possible, favours electronic access to books and other media, acquiring electronic access is not always an option. Approximately 85% of textbooks are not available for sale to libraries in online formats. Furthermore, some textbooks available in online format are limited in the number of users that can access a text at any given time or come at a cost that is beyond our current acquisitions budget.

The good news is that the majority of texts and other resources used by CBL and MEDD 431 are currently available electronically. But not all are.

The UGME is supported by 10 different library systems across the academic sites and health authorities. UBC Library handles the acquisition of all electronic resources for the UGME. If faculty supporting instruction with the UGME require electronic access to a resource, this request should be channeled through UBC Library via Vanessa Kitchin (vanessa.kitchin@ubc.ca) or Mathew Vis-Dunbar (mathew.vis-dunbar@ubc.ca).

Additionally, each of these library systems is handling access to their spaces and print resources differently. That being said, there are some common themes. Library physical spaces will be highly restricted if permitted at all. And health authority libraries are likely to prioritize clinician access over student access to both spaces and resources if distancing and quarantine rules require.

The impact of this is that ready access to print books will likely not be available to students for the remainder of the year. The solutions being put in place at the academic sites generally involve some form of 'curb side pickup'. While this solution means texts are in circulation, the pace at which they move is drastically reduced. As we know, this may change as the COVID-19 situation in BC changes.

If faculty or course directors have concerns about access to material that they currently use in print and potential solutions that the library can help support, they should first contact UBC Library via Vanessa or Mathew, and barring being able to resolve the issue through electronic access, we'll start working with other partners to identify possible solutions.

In the meantime, the Clinical Education Admin Team has been contacted and presented with a list of all MEDD 431 resources listed in the syllabus that are available in print only and asked to consult with relevant faculty if there are any concerns about limited access to these resources. Additionally, the Case-Based Learning Manager has been similarly contacted for first and second year CBL readings.


All UBC libraries will be closing on Friday March 20, 2020 at 5pm.  The library on the 2nd floor of DHCC, which already has 24/7 card access on evenings & weekends, will remain accessible by card access only. FoM residents & students with valid VCH ID already have access to the library.

If we get requests for additional access, it can be provided to UBC residents, staff, students, and faculty if necessary, as long as they have valid VCH ID. This is coordinated through eileen.koshi@ubc.ca

National Initiatives (Updated on April 9, 2020)

Drs. Holmes and McMillan are on the AFMC Resident Matching Committee.  The PGY1 (CaRMS) postgraduate match dates in 2021 will be significantly delayed and the application and match period compressed to facilitate maximum elective experience before students need to apply for the match. UBC representatives are advocating strongly that the interview period remains a similar length and that it continues to be free of curricular obligations.

All CaRMS Interviews (both home province and out-of-province) will likely be conducted virtually in 2021, approvals are in process. The CFMS has been advocating for this change for the past 3 years, and the Post-Graduate Medical Education Deans (Residency Program Deans) voted unanimously in support of this.  Please access the CaRMS COVID-19 information page (https://www.carms.ca/covid-19-updates/) for the most updated information, and anticipate announcements at the virtual CaRMS Forum at CCME in a week’s time.

The AFMC UGME Deans are working collaboratively to develop principles for restart of clerkship for the Class of 2021 and start of clerkship for the Class of 2022.  The document will be shared once approved and available.

Message in March

Dr. Cheryl Holmes is working with the other AFMC UGME Associate Deans to collaboratively develop a consensus on a set of principles for determining students returning to the clinical setting, to shorten the CaRMS timeline between match and graduation, and to advocate for a unified opening of the AFMC Electives Portal for OOP electives.

Dr. McMillan is working collaboratively with the AFMC Student Affairs Associate Deans. There was a meeting of Student Affairs Committee national leads and AFMC leadership on Friday, March 27.  We will continue to meet weekly for the foreseeable future.

Overall statement: We advocate for decision making to be nationally based with sensitivity that no university be advantaged or disadvantaged pertaining to curricular decisions.  There needs to be special consideration and reflection around redeployment of students to clinical rotations and elective opportunities given the potential to affect equity in the selection process for the 2021 residency match and graduation.

We reviewed clerk deployment, financial concerns, accommodations, and volunteering. UBC is well-placed with our principles, processes and functioning.

The chairs of the Student Affairs Committee, Dr. Melanie Lewis (UofA) and Dr. Janette McMillan, attended the AFMC COVID-19 Board update on March 25 with the chairs of the UG and PG Committees and the Board (our Deans).  We are advocating for joint UG, PG and SA chairs meeting to help us understand each group’s needs in framing our planning.

Preventing Cyber-attacks – everyone’s business (Updated October 5, 2020)

In this virtual environment, now more than ever we are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.  UBC is constantly being phished, with many criminals using tools to further target faculty, staff, and student employees who have already responded to a phish. Most common to UBC are email messages sent with a deceptive link in the message that may appear to have one destination, but actually leads to another. While we attempt to screen email at the source, far too many emails prevail in tricking our faculty, staff, and student employees to click or give up their UBC credentials, posing ongoing risks for the university.

From the Provost, Andrew Szeri re: phishing,

“We should also note that in the last 24 hours, there were more than 53,000 phishing attempts blocked. In the last month, there were 1.7 million phishing attempts blocked”.

We would like to remind you that University (UBC, UNBC or UVIC) or Health Authority email addresses should be used for all UBC-related correspondence, especially when communicating sensitive information such as grades, professionalism, etc.

In addition to using only university emails for UBC communication, please also encrypt your devices, if you have no already done so.

For more information, here are some resources from the UBC Office of the Chief Information Officer re: Information Security, Policy, Standards and Resources

From the FAQs:

Q15: Why can't Gmail be used for work purposes?

Like many organizations, UBC requires work to be conducted using business email systems such as FASmail. Gmail and other services that are hosted in the "cloud" are not suitable for work purposes for the following reasons:

  1. Privacy: The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) requires Personal Information to be stored and accessed in Canada. Since Gmail is hosted outside Canada, it should not be used by UBC faculty or staff to transmit Personal Information.
  2. Security: UBC has an obligation to ensure that Medium, High or Very High-Risk Information is reasonably secure from unauthorized use or disclosure. It cannot guarantee the safety of the information if it is stored in a personal email account on Gmail.
  3. Records management:UBC's Records Management Policy requires staff and faculty members to manage and preserve records of value, which includes email messages. Emails that are stored on external email accounts may not be preserved as required under that policy

Virtual Patient Care Guidelines and Resources for Learners (Updated on July 2, 2020)

Dr. Adrian Yee, Dr. Arman Abdalkhani and Gary Rosborough from MEDIT have put together a great guide to provision of virtual patient care for all learners which can be accessed here.  This guideline has important information for you whether you are seeing patients virtually in a preceptor’s clinic or from a remote location.

Transition to Remote Teaching (Updated on May 12, 2020)

Dr. Barry Mason presented a study about the transition to remote teaching at UBC. 576 UBC students were surveyed regarding their learning experiences post-COVID. An infographic displaying the findings of this study can be found here [link: https://entrada.med.ubc.ca/community/ugmecovid19:documents?section=view-file&id=14281&download=latest]. We will continue to consult the evidence for best practices as we navigate new remote learning modalities in the UGME program.

Room Bookings (and including online meetings)

Faculty and Staff: Continue to book virtual meetings through the regular room booking process: go to Room Request and in the notes section indicate “online teaching/learning only with Zoom.

Videoconferencing Etiquette (Updated on April 14, 2020)

Some concerns have been raised about dress code and behaviour in virtual small group sessions. Students are reminded that the Professionalism Standards apply to all learning environments; whether students are attending sessions in person or by videoconference:

2.2. Create and maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning and to the conduct of professional work in all learning environments (classroom and all clinical settings). Maintain personal composure and consideration for others in all interactions. Model language, appearance, and demeanor appropriate to the academic or professional healthcare setting.

2.3. Ensure that all communications on the internet and social media are respectful and meet the same level of professionalism as would be expected in direct or other written communications with and about colleagues, instructors, learners, and patients.

ZOOM Meetings (Updated on April 9, 2020)

Because of privacy concerns and the risk of ‘Zoom-bombing’ – where calls are disrupted by internet ‘Trolls’ UBC and Zoom have made changes to some of the default privacy settings. These changes and hints for avoiding being Zoom-bombed are described here


Extracurricular Activity Registry - Extracurricular Research update (Updated September 10, 2020)

The Extracurricular Activity Registry information, including links to the registration forms and a Frequently Asked Questions document, are available on Entrada in the “Policy and Forms” section, under “Extracurricular Activity Registry” and on MedNet under Extracurricular Activities - Registration and Approval (028)

  1. Shadowing Opportunities, under the terms of Policy 28, are not available at this time.
  2. Non-Credit Clinical Opportunities, under the terms of Policy 28, are not available at this time.
  3. Research and Scholarly Opportunities are available, under the terms of Policy 28 and also under the following conditions:
    • Laboratory Setting: For requests from undergraduate students (UGME) to resume extracurricular research activities within a laboratory setting, with appropriate precautions and approvals, the Primary Investigator (PI) must include undergrad students (UGME) with their request to their Department Head, Centre Director or unit lead to seek approval via the research resumption process for that building/site.
    • Clinical Setting: For requests from undergraduate students (UGME) to resume extracurricular research activities within a clinical setting, with appropriate precautions and approvals, the Primary Investigator (PI) must include undergraduate students (UGME) with their request to their Health Authority, Department Head, Centre Director or unit lead to seek approval via the research resumption process for that Health Authority, building/site.
    • Students must complete the Extracurricular Registry Form for research opportunities in both laboratory and clinical settings
    • The PI, in both laboratory and clinical settings, is required to complete the Safe Work Plan (SWP).
  4. Volunteer Activities: Some Volunteer Activities are available at this time. Please see Entrada, under “Extracurricular Registry” for details.

Extracurricular Research Activities (Policy 28) (Updated on August 27, 2020)

The Extracurricular Activity Registry information, including links to the registration forms and a Frequently Asked Questions document, are available on Entrada in the Policy and Forms section, under Extracurricular Activity Registry

  • Shadowing Opportunities, under the terms of Policy 28, are not available at this time.
  • Non-Credit Clinical Opportunities, under the terms of Policy 28, are not available at this time.
  • Research and Scholarly Opportunities are available, under the terms of Policy 28, with additional information available on Entrada under Extracurricular Activity Registry.
  • Volunteer Activities, some Volunteer Activities are available at this time. Please see Entrada, under Extracurricular Registry for details.

Research Resumption (Updated on August 11, 2020)

In response to COVID-19, the university curtailed on-campus research, scholarship and creative activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses on March 24. The research community was directed to work remotely.

On May 28, the MD Undergraduate Program amended our Extracurricular Registration and Approval Policy 028 to state:

Research projects are currently allowed if they:

  1. Are being conducted fully remotely at the student’s home/residence OR
  2. If the student is named as part of an approved research exemption (from a UBC unit, a health authority, a UBC-affiliated research institute, etc.) AND
  3. Per UGME directives, the project does not involve MD student entry into clinical spaces or contact with vulnerable populations)

We have now received the following guidelines for research resumption

  • Laboratory Setting:  Students will be allowed to go into research space with the proviso that the Primary Investigator (PI) includes the students in their research resumption plans (according to the phased resumption plan) and has approval for them to enter.

The Primary Investigator (PI) must include undergrad students (UGME) with their request to their Department Head, Centre Director or unit lead to seek approval via the research resumption process for that building/site.

  • Clinical Setting: For requests from undergrad students (UGME) to be able to resume research activities within a clinical setting (both curricular and extra-curricular) with appropriate precautions and approvals, these requests should be directed to the appropriate Regional Associate Dean to seek approval via the education resumption process.

We are working out an approval process and will provide updates.  Currently the guidelines put in place on May 28 should be followed.  We hope to publish the final approval process in the key messages within the next 2-4 weeks.

Study Spaces (Updated on October 13, 2020)

Below is a list and links for bookable individual study spaces on our major campuses:

UBC Point Grey Campus* Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

UBC Nest Note: Informal study space

available in building

UBC Okanagan Campus Study Space locations

Henderson Library at SMP CAC is open
but has restricted numbers

University of Northern British Columbia Study space location

UHNBC Library has limited space available
with guidelines

University of Victoria Study space locations

Library is open at Royal Jubilee Hospital
Student Lounge areas at the
Clinical Academic Campuses are open
with physical distancing guidelines

*Diamond Health Care Centre is still closed. Planning for the expansion of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and an additional site for the Point Grey Campus is underway. We will let you know when further sites are identified and opened.

Unfortunately, none of these spaces are available for group studying.

Clinical Shadowing (Updated on June 4, 2020)

All Clinical Shadowing is still “on-hold”.  There is currently no capacity for shadowing and there is no liability coverage in place for any shadowing activities at this time. Non-clinical activities not requiring liability coverage, such as meeting residents or clinicians for a (virtual) coffee to learn about their clinical experiences, are still possible and encouraged, provided physical distancing practices are adhered to.

(Updated May 7, 2020)

There is currently no capacity for shadowing and there is no liability coverage in place for any shadowing activities at this time. Non-clinical activities not requiring liability coverage, such as meeting residents or clinicians for a (virtual) coffee to learn about their clinical experiences, are still possible and encouraged, provided social distancing practices are adhered to.

Student access to buildings with clinical space

Students are not permitted to enter any building where clinical care is taking place in compliance with Health Authority policies and government guidelines around essential workers and services and the principle of maintaining the safety of students. It is also in line with the UBC directive for researchers to work remotely. This applies to FLEX, volunteer, elective and all other activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students may enter Health Authority, Public Health and other facilities where there is no healthcare provided, e.g. call centres, with the approval of their supervisor for curricular and approved volunteer activities provided that physical distancing is practiced.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) (Updated on May 26, 2020)

Students are eligible if they have been registered/enrolled in a post-secondary degree program. CESB is meant for students who weren’t eligible for CERB, having difficulty finding employment, or income is less than $1,000 or were terminated due to COVID-19.

The universal criteria for a CESB application is that students must be “actively looking for employment”. Proof can be applying to job banks or job agencies. If a student is offered employment and doesn’t take it, they are denying employment and this may result in downstream repercussions.

Each application is 4 weeks each and if their situation continues, they can reapply. The current eligibility period is May 10 - June 6, the next one is June 7 – July 4.

MD students are in a bit of a grey area as some have lost employment while others never intended to work, and the clerkship stipend is reported on the T4 as employment income.

NOTE – when applying for ANY benefit, students must understand that they may be subject to being audited by CRA afterwards, so they need to read the fine print carefully and fully understand their responsibilities. They may also need to report this benefit on their student loan applications.

Verifying your eligibility

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will verify your eligibility to receive the CESB after you have applied. The CRA may ask you to provide supporting documents to confirm your eligibility at a later date. If we find that you are not eligible, we will contact you to make arrangements to repay any amounts you may owe.

Please contact Jennifer Fong if you have questions:  Jennifer.Fong@ubc.ca

Student illness in the MDUP

The regular Policy 006 applies to all illnesses and absences: illness = unforeseen.

If the student believes they may have COVID-19, they do not need to reveal this to the program; the Public Health system is the proper legal mechanism for alerting contacts.

Students can consult Student Affairs confidentially about whatever illness they may have.

Faculty and staff must not gather or distribute information—this contravenes the Public Health Act.

From the COVID-19 Case Confirmation Protocol University of British Columbia, Andrew Szeri, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver, March 23, 2020 … everyone take the following steps:

Why am I not receiving a discount on tuition? (Updated June 15, 2020)

We (the MD Undergraduate Program) understand that these are challenging times for everyone – especially for our students. The following are some reasons why tuition remains unchanged for the upcoming year.

  • Tuition is set by the UBC Senate and is based on credits. The MD Undergraduate Program will ensure that you meet the competencies needed for graduation.
  • Your tuition is essential to maintaining and providing the range of supports you and your fellow students need to complete your education and training.
  • The MD Undergraduate Program’s commitment to providing high-quality education has not changed and will be delivered through a blended model involving online learning, simulation and in-person learning.
  • The MD Undergraduate Program had to quickly transition to online learning to ensure the safety of everyone – our students, faculty, staff and the communities in which we work – and is now in the process of resuming student placements and clinical rotations this summer.
  • To ensure your health and safety during COVID-19, the MD Undergraduate Program had to rearrange curricular components of your education to ensure students complete their clinical skills training to graduate on time.
  • For more information on UBC’s response to COVID-19 and available resources for students, please visit Student Services. If you have further questions, please contact Jennifer Fong, Student Financial Assistance Officer with MDUP Student Affairs: Jennifer.Fong@ubc.ca

Government Student Loans (Updated on May 19, 2020)

A separate email will be sent to you with instructions on the new application process for Government of Canada Student Loans. If you have any questions whilst completing your application, please contact Jennifer Fong, Student Financial Assistance Officer for the Faculty of Medicine, at 604-875-5834, toll free 1-877-875-7800, or jennifer.fong@ubc.ca

Living Arrangements

Years 1&2 students are expected to live at their designated site (IMP, NMP, SMP or VFMP) at the start of their Year.  We do anticipate face-to-face sessions for each year of the program.

Health and Safety

Respirator Fit Testing

Workers (including UBC students in clinical placements) who have had their respirator fist test within the previous 2 years can continue to use respirators without additional testing.  FoM Health & Safety is exploring testing options for the Class of 2022 and Health Professions students.

Violence Prevention

Provincial curriculum for physicians not yet finalized.  UGME students continue satisfy requirements by completing 8 online modules as part of SPECO in advance of 1st year.  FoM Health & Safety is working with UBC Health to remotely deliver 8-hour Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum to Health Professions students in advance of placements to high risk areas.

PPE Guidance

FoM Health & Safety is working with the Ministry of Health, Provincial Infection Control Network and Health Authorities to provide current and appropriate PPE guidelines to faculty, staff and students.  UBC Safety & Risk Services does not recommend the use of nonmedical masks in an occupational environment.

CPR Certification

The Health Authority Practice Education Committee has stated that “placements can proceed, regardless of a student's CPR renewal status.  Students who need to obtain or renew their certification should work to their skill level and proceed with obtaining certification when these activities resume in our communities.”

FoM Health & Safety Content Delivery

FoM Health & Safety is working to create online module for UGME and Health Professions students entering clinical environments.  We will be collaborating with CPD and Faculty Development.  The module will include provincial infection prevention and control guidance, donning/doffing, screening processes, symptom reporting, right to refuse process, and other health and safety information.  This module will prepare and inform students for site-specific orientations on the first day of placement.

FoM Health & Safety is also working with curricular teams to implement COVID-19 precautions to procedures.

Student Affairs

Student Affairs was established to ensure that resources and assistance are available to support UBC MD students in meeting their educational goals, and to provide a confidential resource in times of need. Students with personal, medical, career, or academic concerns – or who require information on financial assistance, UBC student services or community resources – are encouraged to seek advice and/or assistance from the Student Affairs team.

Contact Student Affairs

Jennifer Fong, Student Financial Assistance Officer: 604-875-5834/1-877-875-7800, jennifer.fong@ubc.ca

Dr. Janette McMillan, Associate Dean, Student Affairs: 604-875-4111, ext. 61979, janette.mcmillan@ubc.ca

Tuition Fees, Student Loans and Reimbursements

  • The MDUP will work to ensure students are able to complete their program without incurring additional tuition fees.
  • Courses will be rescheduled with consideration of the impact on student loans.
  • More information to come

Student Financial Relief for COVID-19 Related Additional Costs (Updated on May 7, 2020)

Based on student response to a survey Student Affairs have created an application form and will email students today. This first process will close on May 18. Student Affairs will work as quickly as possible to adjudicate and issue funds. There is limited funding and we may only be able to supply partial relief. We know that small amounts of money may make a big difference to you, please apply even if you consider yours to be a small request.

The application form will close at 11:59PM PDT on Monday, May 18, 2020.

Student Financial COVID-specific assistance (Updated on April 16, 2020)

The first meeting of the Student Finances in COVID Working Group was held yesterday with 100% attendance and good representation from the UGME COVID-19 Task Force and Student Affairs Student Awards committee.

A list of Principles was generated for managing student requests in alignment with Task Force principles.

Processes are in development for:

  • Surveying student need;
  • Developing an easy to fill out and easy to assess form for requests;
  • Having a nimble sub-group with clear guidelines for quick decisions;
  • Maintaining access to the UGME COVID-19 Task Force for difficult decisions

Student Awards and Financial Reimbursements (Updated on April 9, 2020)

Student Affairs is open and conducting regular business.  The SA Awards committee has just adjudicated awards totaling over $87,000, to be distributed through regular processes soon.

COVID-specific assistance:  Dr. McMillan has been authorized to mobilize discretionary funds to assist students with out-of-pocket expenses that will not be covered by other sources.  Rural Family Practice rotation-related expenses will be covered by REAP or by the Dept of Family Medicine (as previously described in Key Messages on.  ICC student extraordinary expenses will be assessed for reimbursement by the Student Affairs working group.

Dr. McMillan is forming a working group jointly from the Student Affairs Advisory Council (Awards group, Dr. McMillan, and a Student Affairs Assistant Dean) and from the UGME COVID-19 Task Force (2 RADs: Dr. Winwood and Dr. Wright, and the 4 UGMEC student reps: Sarah MacVicar, Alec Yu, Richard Xiang, Robin Stone) plus a representative from UGME Finance, to look at adjudication of funds: principles, processes, and distribution.

Jen Fong will create a Qualtrics survey to collect student requests for review by the working group.  Hold onto your receipts for now! Jen is also working with other parts of the university and community and there are some specific resources she can refer students to.