Class of 2021

Health and Safety

COVID-19 Vaccine – Second Dose Registration Open (Updated on May 12, 2021)

  • All students need to register online at  for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The system knows when you received your first dose and will calculate when you are due for your second dose. The system will invite you to book your second dose appointment a few weeks in advance of when you become eligible.
  • Currently, the interval between first and second doses is 16 weeks – this is so the province can maximize the number of people in the community with at least one dose, thereby reducing circulation of the virus and the overall risk for everyone.
  • If you are due for your second dose within the next two weeks and you have not yet been contacted with instructions on how to book your second dose appointment, please call the provincial immunization centre (1-833-838-2323) and let them know you are a health-care worker who is due for your second dose.

All incoming PGY1s in BC will have their immunizations reviewed to ensure they are current.  Vancouver Coastal Health will then provide the vaccine to any PGY1s who have not received and are eligible for their second dose.

We advise Year 4 students who matched out of province to connect with their residency program if their second dose timeline suggests ineligibility before they leave BC.

If you haven’t received your first dose or you are being turned away for your second dose – please see this notice from VCH:   We have been advised that all graduating Year 4s can follow this guidance, including incoming UBC and out-of-province PGY1s.

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (Updated on April 29, 2021)

Students returning home during a break in study are exempt from current provincial travel restrictions.

Student travel for placements is exempt, “returning to a person’s own principal residence” is listed as an essential purpose, and “principal residence” is where students primarily reside when not participating in post-secondary-institutional activities.

For more information, visit the government website:


Click below to view previous key messages:

Welcome Back to Year 3! (Updated July 6, 2020)

There are some important resources we want to ensure that you have to make your return to clinical duties safe.

Your Welcome Back presentation has a lot of tips and tricks to stay safe and optimize your learning.

Webside Manner: Here is a link to tips and suggestions to optimizing your webside manner during virtual patient encounters either in the clinic or remotely.

Finally, the COVID-19 information handout is an important reference to keep handy.

Welcome to Year 4 (Updated on June 23, 2020)

We are so excited for you to start Year 4 and have been working very hard to ensure your final year is successful and that you will graduate and match! Here are links to the Welcome to Year 4 session on June 18, 2020:

As you know by now, at the AFMC Board meeting June 16, 2020, the Board approved that that there will be no visiting electives for the Class of 2021 for the duration of the 20-21 academic year.

We know this is very disappointing news for you and we are doing all we can at UBC to ensure your in-province elective experience is as optimal as it can be.  Your COVID Task Force student representatives have analyzed and collated all your FAQs for Year 4 and Electives.

Welcome Back to Year 3 (Updated on June 25, 2020)

The Welcome Back to Year 3 presentation by Cary Cuncic and Shavaun MacDonald is found here.

A video recording of the presentation will be posted on Entrada under Year 3 Program Information

(Updated June 8, 2020)

Dear Students in class of 2021,

We are so excited that you will be returning to clinical learning on July 6.  We understand how challenging these last few months have been for you and are grateful for your patience and flexibility.   It will be a very different environment than you are used to, but we are confident that there will be adequate learning opportunities for the level of a third-year student.  Please be patient with your preceptors - they are learning how to teach in the new environment as well.  I want to reassure you that every student across the country is having the same challenges that you are (based on feedback from clerkship directors during my AFMC clerkship meetings).  We are very grateful that there is no double cohort of clinical learning and that the c2022 will not start the clinical aspect of MEDD 431 until August 31.  This really does maximize your learning opportunities.

We will be holding two ZOOM sessions for you: A Welcome to Year 4 on June 18 and a Welcome Back to year 3 on June 25. Further details will be sent by the CEAT staff.

There is still much planning taking place prior to July 6, for example, recruiting preceptors and confirming placements.  We are excited that we are able to deliver your schedules for the remainder of MEDD 431.  Please be aware that there may be the occasional student who will need minor changes to this schedule based on placement availability.  We will deal with these small numbers (if any) on a case by case basis.  In addition, we need to emphasize that not all of you will be receiving identical learning experiences, but they will be comparable.  We needed to leverage the strengths of each site and rotation.  You may notice for example that some of you end up receiving 4 weeks of emergency medicine and others end up receiving 3 weeks.  If this is causing you stress related to career planning, please remember that Student Affairs is always open for to advise you. Please also remember that we took great care in preserving your elective time so that you can maximize your career - planning opportunities.  For those of you with rotations on Rural Family Practice or preceptor private clinics, please be aware that most care providers are wearing scrubs.  Always check ahead of time if possible, but it would be a good idea to be proactive and purchase 2 sets of scrubs for yourself.  Our family practice preceptors recommended two providers: MOBB and Scrub Depot.  Over time we anticipate that this will be cost saving as you will no longer be wearing your own clothes to work on a regular basis.

For those of you who will be completing Rural Family Practice in the summer of 2020, you will receive a separate letter from myself and Drs. Karin Blouw and Marjorie Docherty.

Please refer to Entrada for copies of your revised C2021 Master Year 3 Clerkship schedules for your site along with the updated Timeline of Important C2021 Dates. For those of you returning to BC from your home province prior to starting clerkship, the BCCDC currently does not require self-isolation.  However, many Health Authorities have prudently suggested that if you have any risks (e.g. known contacts, please ensure that you engage in close monitoring for any symptoms.  It also would be prudent to avoid any visits to long-term care facilities for two weeks after arrival from out of province.

Again, we are grateful to everyone who worked really hard - including yourselves - to designing a revised curriculum for you to commence clinical learning on July 6 and we welcome you back!

Cary Cuncic

Cary Cuncic MD, FRCP(C), FACP, MSc, MMEd. (She, Her, Hers)
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Associate Director of Curriculum, Years 3 and 4
Workplace Based Assessment Co-Lead (Interim)
Undergraduate Medical Education
University of British Columbia

I gratefully acknowledge that the land on which I live and work is the traditional, unceded, and occupied  territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

AFMC decision regarding the 2021 R-1 match (Updated on May 4, 2020)

News release from

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – May 4, 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has led to medical students being removed from clinical rotations in early March 2020. Students from the class of 2021 will be returning to clinical rotations after having missed up to 4 months of clerkship. This will have a significant effect on the final year of medical school. The top issue is the ability for students to become competent in core disciplines and have reasonable access to home and visiting electives to enable career decision making. This has led to the need to compress the timeline of the R-1 Match processes to ensure that students have reasonable exposure before applying to residency that graduates will start on July 1, 2021.

The AFMC Resident Matching Committee (ARMC) has been meeting regularly to work on a compressed timeline. ARMC membership includes representation from the Faculty of Medicine Deans, Postgraduate Deans, Undergraduate Deans, Student Affairs Deans, the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, the Fédération des médecins residents du Québec, the Fédération médicale étudiante du Québec, Resident Doctors of Canada and the Canadian Resident Matching Service. All members of the ARMC had the opportunity to consult with the group they represent. The AFMC Board Chair, Dr. David Anderson and the Chair of the AFMC Standing Committee on Education, Dr. Preston Smith were directly engaged and also consulted with the leadership of the Chairs of Family Medicine, Family Medicine Program Directors and the Chairs of Medicine.

The AFMC Board has made the following decisions regarding the 2021 R-1 Match:

  • Interviews will be in a virtual format including those for local candidates.
  • The match timeline will be:
  • The Last Day of the Application Period: February 7, 2021
  • The File Review Period: February 8 to March 5, 2021
  • The Virtual Interview Period: March 8 to March 28, 2021
  • The Second Iteration Match Day being no later than: May 18, 2021.

The ARMC has identified opportunities for process improvements that will support all those involved in match activities. AFMC will work with our faculties and partners to ensure that improvements to processes will enable a successful R-1 match for 2021.
We will be providing regular communications regarding the 2021 R-1 Match as information becomes available. Thank you to our entire medical education community for their extensive engagement and flexibility during these challenging times.

Update to Policy 019: Examination Conduct (Updated March 23, 2021)

Policy 019 Exam Conduct has been updated with a COVID-19 related “red box” which states,

Expectation of Students Writing On-line Examinations

Until further notice, on-line written examinations will not be proctored.

In keeping with the professional standards and integrity expected of medical professionals, the Faculty of Medicine’s expectation is that students must not refer to any educational resources during summative written examinations and that students will take these examinations as they would a traditional in-person examination. Policy 019 and its procedures continue to apply, as appropriate, to a virtual setting.

The time allocation for each examination has been carefully considered and is unlikely to allow activities other than answering the examination questions.

Winter Break (Updated on December 14, 2020)

No regular curricular clinical work is being scheduled from December 21, 2020 until January 4, 2021. In addition, no changes have been made to the suspension of extracurricular clinical activities.

Students should not be present at clinical locations over the holiday unless by direct instruction of their site Regional Student Promotions Subcommittees (IMP, NMP, SMP, VFMP) for the purpose of make-up time.

TiPP and Virtual CaRMS schedule (Updated on December 8, 2020)

As there are no in-person activities for TiPP between February 1 and March 7, 2021, or for the virtual CaRMS interviews from March 8 and 28, 2021, students may work remotely until the start of MEDD 446 on March 29, 2021.  Please ensure that you have complied with any quarantine requirements prior to the start of your elective on March 29, 2021.

Start of Term 2 after Winter Break (Updated on December 8, 2020)

While the start of classes for many programs at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan will be delayed until January 11, the MD Undergraduate program will start as planned on January 4, 2021.

Assessment FAQ (Updated on December 8, 2020)

Answers to your Assessment FAQ re: MCQ’s can be found here.

Site Attendance for MEDD 448 (TiPP) and Year 4 Assessments (Updated September 15, 2020)

MEDD 448 (TiPP) will be almost completely online.  There is a possibility of a simulation session.  You will be required to be at your site for any in person curricular sessions, for the Year 4 OSCE and possibly the written exam.

Options for students who feel that they cannot attend TiPP and Year 4 Assessments at their Site:

  1. Contact their Student Affairs team who can help navigate and support students in accessing program information, thinking through options, sharing experiences, advising and advocacy.
  1. Request a site transfer. Please refer to the UBC Faculty of Medicine policy to determine eligibility(Transfer Between Program Sites, Policy 001). These decisions are based on significant changes in a student’s situation from acceptance of their site to the time of the request and are dependent on maintaining the integrity of learning for the whole group (i.e. capacity and depleting the numbers of learners at a site). Site transfers are only approved for extraordinary circumstances (i.e. personal or family medical issue or emergency). Requests for site switches between students are not possible.
    The next Student Transfer Subcommittee meeting will take place Tuesday October 20, 2020.  We kindly request that transfer applications be submitted to by  Monday October 12, 2020.
  2. While the program assumes students will reside in communities close to their home site, once students have knowledge of their individual curricular and assessment schedules, they may choose to be located elsewhere for the on-line learning components. Students are advised that they must travel to their home site for the in-person curricular sessions and assessments. Students will be responsible for consulting their schedule and ensuring that they attend the mandatory in person curricular sessions, Year 4 OSCE and TiPP exam at their home site at the scheduled times. The program is unable to tailor schedules to accommodate personal choices regarding accessing on-line sessions.

Assessment (Updated on May 21, 2020)

The Block 4 MCQ exam/CWE#2 exam for the Class of 2021 will be delivered at the end of August.  The decision for the exam to be either formative or summative is still to be determined.

  • Year 3 OSCE previously scheduled for May 30 is cancelled. Assessment design to be informed by the format of the blended Year 3/4 curriculum once it has been decided.
  • Portfolio sessions are going ahead via the Zoom virtual platform. The sessions will be held at the same time as previously scheduled. Support is being offered by MedIT on using zoom.

Update to COVID-19 Quick Reference Sheet – Years 3 and 4 Students (Updated on January 12, 2021)

Due to the changing nature of the pandemic and our understanding of the COVID-19 virus, we have updated our guidelines.  We still recommend that students do not participate in the care of patients with known COVID-19.  We added that once the patient is outside of the period of communicability, students may participate.  In addition, previously we recommended that students not participate in the care of patients who are high pretest probability for COVID-19 and the result is pending.  We found that there is considerable heterogeneity about what constitutes "high pretest" and so we have left this decision up to the team which includes the student.

In addition, students may participate in aerosol-generating medical procedures IF COVID-19 is not suspected or the patient is COVID-19 test negative.

All patients should be screened for suitability before students are involved with in-person care. At the discretion of the attending physician and medical team, students are permitted to participate in in-person care of patients in the groups identified by a green check mark provided appropriate PPE is available. Students always have the right to refuse work they feel, from their own perception, is unsafe. Any guidelines specific to a student’s hospital site or Health Authority still apply.

See the Faculty Development Safety page for more information.

COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide (Updated on October 22, 2020)

We have updated this document to reflect the current practice that we are now allowing students to see patients with low-moderate (NOT high) pretest probability of having COVID-19 but test pending or negative.

Research Elective guidelines (Updated September 10, 2020)

Students are approved to undertake Research Electives in clinical settings and will apply for opportunities in One45. This includes self-identified research opportunities that will be reviewed and approved by the student’s Site Electives Director. A new tab in the MEDD 441-446 page on Entrada will have a complete set of instructions shortly, and an email will be distributed to the Class of 2021 when the details and the application form have been posted.

Clinical duty protection for the weekend between MEDD 431 and MEDD 441 (Updated on July 30, 2020)

MEDD 441 starts on Monday August 31.  All clerkship directors and site directors have endorsed the recommendation that students be excused from MEDD 431 clinical duty from 5 pm on Friday August 28.  This allows students time to travel to their first elective which commences Monday August 31.

Rural Electives (Updated on July 23, 2020)

The pandemic is a fluid situation and there may be changes in the upcoming months. Because of COVID, we cannot "guarantee" any electives; we will simply try our best to be transparent and to communicate changes in as timely a manner as we are able to.  If a rotation needs to be cancelled, affected students will be informed and alternative arrangements will be made.

Students will be informed of the current level of lockdown before they go to communities in different situations than the norm in the Province.  The Haida Nation has sent out a recent directive that medical students will be allowed to attend their rotations in Haida Gwaii but will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.  Essentially, this means avoiding indoor public areas other than the workplace (while donning PPE) or place of residence. We understand that groceries would be delivered. If you are going to Haida Gwaii, please read the following directive from Dr. Caroline Walker, Chief of Staff here.

Non-UBC Electives (Updated on July 9, 2020)

Dear Class of 2021,

We hope that you are all enjoying your return to clinical learning this week!  We have heard from some of you that you would like to apply for a non-UBC elective.  Please be aware that we are still working very hard to add more UBC electives offerings and that this is currently a top priority for us.

We wanted to provide clarity on what is eligible for a non-UBC elective so that you do not misuse your time.  Please refer back to the AFMC portal and understand that it is AFMC, not UBC, who grants out-of-school electives.  The specific wording is as follows:

AFMC Board statement re: Visiting Electives for the Class of 2021  

“Exceptions will be considered for visiting electives when a home school cannot provide any clinical experience in a specific discipline. For example, school X is in a region that does not have any plastic surgeons. All patients with plastic surgery issues have to be transferred to a different region for management. Student A is interested in plastic surgery as a career. Consideration would be given for student A to do a visiting elective in plastic surgery at a different centre”.

At UBC, we do provide clinical experiences in disciplines such as ophthalmology, dermatology and plastic surgery.  Therefore, these are examples of specialties that will not be eligible for a non-UBC elective application to AFMC. We understand elective offerings have been limited in certain specialties and will continue to add new electives in the coming weeks as they are approved. Please contact Student Affairs or the Year 3 CEAT if you have any further questions or concerns.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter and appreciating that this was not an easy decision at the national level during this time of global pandemic.

Examinations (Updated on May 28, 2020)

  • Year 3 Block 4 and CWE2 MCQ Exams will be delivered as low stakes but mandatory formative assessments.
  • The purpose of a formative exam is for learners is to test themselves and identify gaps in their learning and knowledge base. The learners should use their exam performance as a guide to seek further learning as needed. Hence referring to appropriate available resources after the examination is ideal. Learner conduct during the examination should be in keeping with the above objective of the formative exams.
  • Conduct during the exam should be focused on your learning and completing the learning cycle and not on scoring a high mark
    • We expect students’ highest form of professionalism to maintain the exam bank integrity
    • The exam will not be invigilated, and open resources are allowed but do not include asking another person for answer
  • Details on exam delivery: 
    • Both exams will be delivered through ExamSoft
    • The exam can be completed at the student’s home, or location of their choosing
    • The Block 4 and CWE2 MCQ exams will be on August 28 (time to be determined but will be the same for all students writing this exam).
  • Exam accommodations: Please contact Student Affairs if you have concerns regarding exam accommodations.
  • Academic support: Modified criteria will be used to identify students in academic difficulty.  Students in academic difficulty will be offered academic support through usual RSPS and SADS processes

Faculty Development (Updated June 18, 2020)

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

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

Health and Safety (Updated on April 14, 2021)

As the province has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the UGME COVID-19 Task Force Community would like to acknowledge potential concerns from MDUP students.  New variants of concern (VoC) have proven to be more transmissible, and a younger provincial demographic has been shown to be susceptible to more serious illness.

At this time, there has been no further provincial or federal guidance related to variants of concern (VoC).  The safety measures that are in place, both in academic and clinical settings, are still effective at preventing transmission of both the wild-type virus and all VoC.  We know that robust safety programs, including physical distancing – especially in eating/drinking areas where PPE has been doffed, hand hygiene, daily self-assessments, and appropriate PPE, of which supply is steady, have worked to continually prevent transmission.  Should guidance change, the MDUP will broadly communicate any procedural updates.

Students, regardless of immunization status, are still not to assess or care for patients who have been confirmed communicable for COVID-19.  If necessary and in accordance with their local facility policy, students may enter a COVID ward or area to attend a patient that has not been confirmed as communicable for COVID-19.  We will continue to update you as the pandemic situation evolves.

Students always have the right to refuse work they believe is unsafe.  Please take any safety concerns to your preceptor, local faculty or program member, or Nick Steel, your Health & Safety Advisor.

COVID-19 Vaccinations FAQ (Updated on March 18, 2021)

Q 1: Re: COVID-19 Vaccine - will it become "required" for student placements or otherwise be collected as prerequisite for certain placements in Summer or Fall?

A: At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is an opportunity, not a requirement. If guidance changes, this will be communicated. The PPE requirements and all other pre-vaccine COVID-19 pandemic guidance remains in place.

Q 2: Are the Health Authorities (HA) requiring Programs to collect/maintain record of students COVID-19 vaccination?

A: There is no requirement at this time for the program to collect COVID-19 vaccine status of students.

Although our program is not required to collect vaccination status, it is almost certain that vaccination status will need to be reported by the student to the AFMC/Health Authorities for out of province electives and/or clerkship. For instance, out-of-province electives may not be offered to students who do not report that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Q 3: Will the group size limits/room occupancies be adjusted back to pre-COVID levels in Fall, 2021?

A: Not at this time, as all of the pre-vaccine COVID-19 pandemic guidance remains in place, including physical distancing, mask use in health facilities, etc. In Dr. Henry’s recent letter to post-secondary institutions, she expressed confidence that physical distancing restrictions will not be necessary for instructional sessions in the fall, which could allow campus room occupancies to be adjusted to pre-COVID levels.

We will continue to follow the guidance and will update capacity accordingly if there are any changes in the months ahead.   See the UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules here.

Non-vaccinated Healthcare Workers:

Provincial guidance on what precautions non-vaccinated healthcare workers will be required to take is expected and can inform our procedures moving forward.


If there is an outbreak, the Practice Education Guidelines are clear:

In the event of a vaccine preventable communicable disease outbreak in the HCO [health care organization]:

  • Any unvaccinated student or faculty will be required to leave the practice education setting and not return until determined safe by the HCO Occupational Health and Safety / Infection Control staff.
  • Any student or faculty who is unable to provide proof of immunity status when requested will be required to leave the practice education setting until required records are available and immunity status is determined.
  • Collaboratively, the HCO and Faculty will endeavor to seek alternate, appropriate practice placement experiences in unaffected work areas within the organization, to avoid interruption/suspension of the practice experience. These alternate placements cannot be guaranteed.

COVID-19 Vaccinations - Second Dose (Updated on March 8, 2021)

BC is now in Phase 2 of its Immunization Plan, which includes all students in the MDUP.  As distribution of the vaccine differs at each Health Authority, look for local communications with instructions to book 1st dose appointments.  Because the interval between doses of the vaccine has now been extended to 4 months, 2nd dose appointments for students who have already received their 1st dose are no longer available.  Public Health is expected to provide guidance to those waiting for their 2nd dose as the 4-month interval approaches.  Public Health’s statement on the deferral of the 2nd dose can be found here.

For students interested in evidence supporting delayed second dosing of COVID-19 vaccines, the following is an excellent overview from Dr. Danuta Skowronski at the BCCDC, presented on January 2021: key evidence is presented between minutes 36:00 to 43:00.

Eye Protection (Updated on March 8, 2021)

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), in its latest guidance, recommends for droplet and contact precautions a full face shield that covers the front and sides of the face or well-fitting goggles.  If safety glasses are used, ensure that there are no gaps between the glasses and the face so that you are protected from all splashes and droplet spray.

COVID-19 Vaccinations - Student FAQs (Updated on March 2, 2021)

Q 1: There have also been questions around social media and confidentiality of receiving the vaccine as a UBC Medical Student. Does UBC have a position on this?

A:  There is no policy nor restriction on students’ personal media accounts.  Students are advised to be aware of how their posts may come across to members of the public who may be waiting to receive the vaccine.

Q 2: When will IMP, SMP, NMP students be offered vaccinations?

A:  Distribution of the vaccine differs at each Health Authority.  We are awaiting word from VIHA, IH, and NH to inform us when our students will be eligible in their regions.

The logistics of vaccine distribution are unique in each health authority, as are the amount of people in each priority population within a health authority.  As such, those invited to be vaccinated in Phase 2 will receive their invitation when it is most appropriate, given vaccine scarcity in their area.  It may not be perfectly synchronized, but be rest assured the province public health team is aware that learners in one health authority may receive vaccine invitations ahead of others. 

If you are not at your home site when you receive your offer for vaccination, please let your site Student Affairs office know.

Q 3: How does the delay in Pfizer vaccines impact the rollout process? Additionally, when do you expect the J&J and Novavax vaccines to be approved by Health Canada?

A:  The former delay in the Pfizer vaccine required brief refocus of Public Health on offering second doses for our most vulnerable populations in the province (i.e., long-term care residents).  This delay has now passed.  Moreover, extended time between the first and second doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is not expected to impact the efficacy of either vaccine series. Additionally, the AstraZeneca was approved 26 February. We don’t have any information on where the J&J and Novavax vaccines are in the approval process.

Q 4: Are we as medical students able to request to delay our vaccination?

A:  We recognize the personal health choice of each student regarding whether they wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Once students are eligible for the vaccine, they are always eligible, which means students can receive the vaccine during Phase 2, 3 or 4 – see the “Moving between phases” section on the BC Immunization Plan site.

Students are not mandated to receive the vaccination.  All current Health & Safety policies and procedures are still in effect regardless of immunization status.  Guidance will be provided for unvaccinated students, which could include the mandatory wearing of PPE at all times in the practice education setting, as well as specific procedures in the case of an outbreak.

As per the Practice Education Guidelines for BC for Immunization, UBC is required to maintain and store records of students’ immunization status for most communicable diseases, including influenza.  Clarity is being sought re: COVID-19 vaccine.

Q 5: How will medical students be notified when it is our turn to get the vaccine?

A:  Vaccination teams in each Health Authority will contact students when they are ready.  Again, students need to notify their site Student Affairs office if you are not at your home site when you receive the offer.  The program can help communicate Health Authority messages if necessary.

Q 6: Can we return to in-person classes in August once we are all vaccinated?

A:  UBC will continue to follow Provincial and local Health Authority guidance on in-person education sessions.  Any changes to the current practices will be broadly communicated.

Q 7: What will travel restrictions on medical students look like in the future?

A:  UBC will continue to follow Federal, Provincial and local Health Authority guidance on travel restrictions.  Any changes to the current practices will be broadly communicated.

Q 8: When booking vaccination appointments, what sites are available for students?

A:  Any clinic that is not designated as “Staff Only”.

Future communications will include information around receiving a second dose, and COVID-19 vaccine tracking update.

COVID-19 Vaccinations (Updated on February 2, 2021)

Public Health is tracking who has received vaccine, the type administered, and when people will be invited to receive their second dose. This information is held in a single provincial database, which allows all health authorities across B.C. to collect consistent data in a timely manner. This data helps inform the province’s COVID-19 planning and forecasting. Individuals can register for Health Gateway to access Proof of Immunization, in addition to paper copies issued at the clinics.

Health Authority vaccine implementation teams are meeting regularly with one another across the province. Further details on booking for a second dose (across health authorities) will be available soon. Additionally, we are continuing to follow the responsibilities in the current Practice Education Guideline on Immunization, whereby it is a student’s responsibility to provide proof of immunity status on request.

We continue to work with Public Health and provincial Health Authorities to facilitate vaccinations to all our students as efficiently as possible and will update you as information becomes available.

Return to Work Guidance Updated (Updated on February 2, 2021)

The Interim guidance on return to work for health care workers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 was updated last week.  Please use this guidance document when assessing when you can return to clinical experiences after being sick.

COVID-19 Vaccinations (Updated on January 21, 2021)

We understand the frustration that medical students are feeling with the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and regret that on occasion students have met with difficulties in attitude.  Medical students are still expected to be part of the second priority vaccination group (including other hospital staff, community Family Physicians and medical specialists), with an expected vaccine delivery from February to March as per Provincial guidance.

Although we are doing our best to prevent exposure of medical students to patients who are communicable with COVID-19 (see guideline), 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.

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.

Your Year 4 Rep will reach out to you to collect your FAQs about the vaccine and the roll out.

COVID-19 Holiday Note (Updated on December 17, 2020)

We are wishing you all a restful, relaxing and well-deserved holiday season. As you all know during this time of the COVID pandemic it is very important to follow the public health recommendations to keep your families safe. During your holiday time it is also very important to follow the public health recommendations so that when you return to your clinical duties you are able to keep your patients and colleagues safe. As healthcare providers and healthcare leaders we have the added responsibility to demonstrate the importance of following the guidelines and be examples to our families and communities through our behaviour. Please be healthy and safe on your holiday so that you are healthy and safe when you return to your clinical duties.

Best regards,
Dr. Cheryl Holmes, Associate Dean Undergraduate Medical Education
Dr. Sarah Brears, Regional Associate Dean Southern Medical Program
Dr. Bruce Wright, Regional Associate Dean Island Medical Program
Dr. Paul Winwood, Regional Associate Dean Northern Medical Program
Dr. Amil Shah, Regional Associate Dean Vancouver Fraser Medical Program

Physical Examination Skills of 4th Year Students (Updated on December 17, 2020)

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.

Update on 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 attending clinics or classes, now need to directly confirm to their preceptor/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 Anyone experiencing symptoms must follow the guidance provided in the self-assessment tool.

Health and Safety (Updated on 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.

Mitigation Strategies for Students Needing to Self-Isolate During Elective Time and are Otherwise Well – Specific Strategies (Updated September 17, 2020)

Preamble: Medical students have needed to self-isolate during their elective time.  Our strategy is to support you in your learning so that you are able to obtain credit for your elective, continue on your learning trajectory and gather CaRMS application letters of reference.  The following is the order of preference of activities we can offer you if you are feeling well.

Option 1: Convert Learning to Virtual

  1. Enquire whether the elective owner can accommodate the student virtually in any capacity.
  2. We are creating and drawing on our list of volunteer preceptors who would be willing to take a student virtually. Dr. Arthur Skotnicki, General Internal Medicine at KGH, is our first volunteer.  Preference for these positions goes to students needing to complete parts of MEDD 431.

*** note that both of these options could be approx. 1 – 2 hours of virtual learning plus assigned reading.  There is not the expectation that the preceptor would take the student for the entire day***

Option 2: Other Elective Experiences: Encourage students to be self – directed!!!

Examples include but are not limited to:

  1. Radiology Elective (Dr. Darras requires 24 – 48 hours’ notice and can tailor the elective
  2. working on 811 line
  3. literature reviews tailored to the elective
  4. working on virtual cases eg Aquifer/MEDSKL/Cyberpatient

Mitigation Strategies for Compressed Clinical Curriculum Year 3 (Updated September 8, 2020)

View document here

Mitigation Strategies (Updated August 27, 2020)

Mitigation Strategies for Compressed Clinical Curriculum for Years 3 and 4 have been identified, and will be implemented as needed. The mitigation strategies document will be available on Entrada.

Students miss major components of MEDD 431

  1. Complete components of MEDD 431 virtually in real time if possible. See Appendix for MEDD 431 milestones including those that may be able to be completed virtually [highlighted]. (This is only feasible if student is well. Works better if for example student can zoom in on team discussion). Keeps students on track for their MCQ block examination where possible (there is no Year 3 OSCE for this class).
  2. For those students who have missed clinical time, the RSPS may consider offering (for this class ONLY) make-up MEDD 431 competencies during elective time. This has been approved by the MDUP.

Students miss major components of an elective

  1. If students are feeling well, they can be moved into an educational activity that be completed from home, exactly as we did for the class of 2020 when they were removed from clinical learning midway through their final elective.
  2. Consider using time over the winter holiday to complete competencies.
  3. May need to consider supplemental clinical time at the end of year 4 and rolling graduation.

Promotion to Year 4: (Updated on May 26, 2020)

This Motion passed at UGMEC on May 25:

“Students in the Class of 2021 with missing elements or not meeting MEDD431 competencies, be granted provisional promotion to Year 4 and complete MEDD431 competencies during Year 4.

Decisions regarding course standing (pass, incomplete, fail) and requirements for remedial time will be determined on a case-by-case basis, through existing FoM policies and SADS/RSPS/SPRB procedures”.

Contact Student Affairs if you have questions.

Student Affairs (Updated June 18, 2020)

First, congratulations to the Class of 2020 who heard Chancellor Gordon tell them yesterday that they were officially “admitted”.  We wish them well on the next stage of their careers.

The College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC has extended the access to the Canada QBank for all our 2020s.  Some have emailed about not receiving access: check your spam folder first, email me janette.mcmillan@ubc to check that we got it right and then email the library at

All levels of UBC FOM and all national organizations are fully aware of the ongoing problems with MCCQE1 administration.  We are willing to hear and compile the issues directly, but all irregularities should be reported directly to their account.

Thank you to Dr. Leigh Hunsinger-Chang who has served two terms over the past eight years as the NMP Student Affairs Assistant Dean and to Dr. Carol Ann Courneya who has served seven years as a VFMP Student Affairs Assistant Dean.

We are officially welcoming Dr. Tammy Attia to the NMP Student Affairs and Dr. Sara Junaid to the VFMP Student Affairs.

All Student Affairs faculty and staff have been working with the curricular teams on the Year planning, with national organizations on timelines and best practices, and together on our own Student Affairs curriculum, to make sure that UBC MDUP students well placed to meet competencies and to achieve their career goals.

We have made several decisions to support our students moving forward:

  • Tara Adirim who has been serving in the Career Advisor position will increase her time available to us. This means more face-to-face time for students for a very different residency match, and more time for the career exploration initiatives we have been working on over the past three years.
  • Fraser Black, our IMP Student Affairs Assistant Dean, will be taking over the Student Affairs role in the Well-Being curricular theme from Dr. Courneya sharing this responsibility with Dr. Schrewe.

The Student Finances in COVID Working Group has completed the first two tasks:

  1. Planning for and adjudicating the applications for the CMAF funding. We are awaiting approval of the contract and funding transfer to us before we can release funding to the applicants.
  2. Adjudicating the funds for relocation of the ICC and Kamloops students. Roger Wong has authorized release of more funding to meet this need.

Completion of Year 3 and Year 4 will likely be a blended model of completion of core rotations and electives, consensus is coming from all the AFMC schools. Details re: cancellation of electives will come out centrally from the AFMC

  • Recommend that Family Practice Placements to come home.
  • Recommend that ICC students may stay in the community if that is home.
  • FLEX: We are moving MEDD 449 ahead to off-load curricular requirements when students resume clerkship and to facilitate student scholarship during the pandemic.
  • Suspension of Electives
    • UBC will cancel all Visiting Electives at UBC until at least September 27 when the AFMC Portal is currently scheduled to re-open.
    • UBC will ensure our C2021 students continue to have first priority to select UBC Electives.
    • Please notify the UBC electives team if you do NOT receive a full refund for cancelling an OOP elective.

Financial Support for Rural Family Practice travel (Updated on June 11, 2020)

The following applies to students who were pulled from RFP during COVID and are now returning to complete RFP or to students who had upcoming RFP rotations cancelled and weren’t able to get a full refund for travel or accommodations.  Please apply via the channels listed on Entrada

  • REAP will fund these students (up to regular amounts-see Entrada) for RFP in REAP communities. For those returning to REAP communities, REAP has made a commitment to providing a second allotment of funding for travel and accommodation costs, even if you already needed to apply for the maximal amount as a result of costs incurred during your first two weeks.
  • Department of Family Practice will fund students (up to regular amounts-see Entrada) for RFP in non-REAP communities, and will also provide a second allotment for those who are returning.

Students having any difficulties are invited to contact:

Registration (Updated on May 19, 2020)

In preparation for the return to Clinical studies, you are responsible for online registration at for the upcoming 2020/21 academic year. Registration must be completed to continue eligibility for Government Student Loans, UBC Bursaries and Awards & Scholarships.

Students will need to register for the following courses:

  • MEDD 431 – This will start on July 6th, 2020 and is registered in the 20S session. Registration will be available June 08, 2020 and must be registered by June 21, 2020. This is to complete the core clinical rotations for Year 3.
  • MEDD 441, 442, 443, 444 – These are the first 4 Electives of Year 4. The first Elective will begin on August 31, 2020 and is registered in the 20W session. Registration will be available June 08, 2020 and must be registered by June 21, 2020.
  • You were already registered for MEDD 449 in the 2019 Winter term.

Please note: you must submit the $100.00 fee deposit and clear all financial holds before you can register for both summer and winter sessions. If you do not pay the deposit first, you will not be able to register.

Fee Payment

Information on the payment of fees is available online at   Tuition is $ 18 472.69 for the 2020/21 academic year.  Please refer to the enrolment services website for information on payment deferrals for student loan recipients, àsearch: tuition fee deferral.

Government Student Loans

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

Clerkship Schedule FAQ (Updated on June 18, 2020)

Thank you for sending your comments and questions re: the clerkship schedule - click here for the answers to your questions.

Key Timelines (Updated on June 16, 2020)

Thank you for sending your comments and questions re: the clerkship schedule - we are working to provide detailed answers to your questions.

Please note that the timeline of important dates, which includes a timeline of the new electives lottery, was referenced in the “C2021 Welcome Back” email from Dr. Cary Cuncic.  A lottery-specific communication is scheduled to go out in the near future.

Clerkship Micro-Schedules (Updated June 2, 2020)

Dr. Cuncic presented the clerkship schedules templates for the Class of 2021. More information will be release as it becomes available.


  • Schedules are not identical between and within sites, but we have achieved comparability taking into account administrative and capacity constraints
  • Schedules at the sites have been endorsed by their Regional Associate Deans
  • Rural Family Practice will remain a 4-week experience, including those in tracks with 2 weeks remaining. Details on placements coming.
  • We are leveraging the strengths of the sites and the rotations.

Clerkship FAQ (Updated June 2, 2020)

The Class Reps were thanked for gathering concerns from the C2021 regarding their clerkship schedule.  Answers to the FAQs are posted here.

Students Reps have put together another form to gather any unaddressed concerns or feedback.

Feedback on Return to Clerkship Timetable (Updated on May 4, 2020)

Comments and concerns raised by the Class of 2021 and 2022 on the Return to Clerkship Timetable were presented to the Task Force this morning and discussed. There was broad recognition of the importance of these concerns, and the Faculty along with student representatives will be working together to find solutions. In particular, the issue of student safety continues to be a top priority, and we are working to address risks and develop safety plans.

Return to Clerkship (Updated on April 30, 2020)

The Transition to Clerkship Working Group has drafted the following “Principles to Adapt Curricula for C2021 and C2022” Here is a link to the document that outlines the guiding principles which the Working Group will be following.
We are currently planning for a July 6th start date. Students are still strongly encouraged to continue self-study of remaining block 4 rotational materials (ex. Academic Half Days) on Entrada in anticipation of this start date. Here is a link to the clerkship model currently under discussion and for approval at UGME Committee on May 11, 2020:

Student Rep Message:

Hi everyone, we hope this message finds you well!

Entrada updates have been posted with a proposed curricular timetable for Year 4 combined clerkship and elective schedule. We, Year 3 council and COVID-19 Implementation Task Force student rep members, wanted to give you additional context and avenues to reach out with concerns and questions via the Google Form survey linked above and posted here.

The proposed timeline was developed in consultation with student reps across all years on the COVID-19 Implementation Task Force and Year 3/4 Curriculum Restructuring Working Group as well as various faculty, staff, program directors, and departments. Decisions were made integrating student feedback, challenges at a local, provincial and national level, and the Faculty’s ability to functionally implement this timeline while delivering a robust clinical education to produce competent physicians.

The new clerkship timeline for the classes of 2021 and 2022 has been posted, with the following key points:

  • Compresses completion of MEDD 431 to 8 weeks from 10 weeks for the class of 2021
  • Maintains 24 weeks of elective time with maximum weeks of electives prior to the CaRMS application deadline (While CaRMS dates are still not set, the timeline incorporates an anticipated delay.)
  • Winter break preserved and prior to CaRMS application deadlines
  • Avoids the Classes of 2021 and 2022 overlapping in MEDD 431, which would dilute learning and clinical staff do not have the capacity to accommodate
  • Maintains graduation timelines and entry into residency for July 1, 2021
  • Delivers the core curriculum (MEDD 431) before electives, thus ensuring the MSPR will be completed before CaRMS and students who had scheduled important rotations later will have a chance to complete them

Other issues being considered:

  • The schedule and content for each block in MEDD 431 is not yet finalized
    • ICC curriculum will be determined at a later point in time, completed in parallel with completion of MEDD 431
    • Challenges and costs associated with return to home sites, rural family practice, and ICC have been considered and the faculty is committed to supporting students at this time
  • Nationally, the Post Graduate Medical Education Deans (for residency programs) are in active consultation with the Undergraduate Deans to ensure a successful and equitable CaRMS match
  • The revised CaRMS timeline has not been finalized, but is tentatively pushed back with applications due in February and interviews in March. Look to the CaRMS website and Entrada for official updates
  • Planning is underway to accommodate students who for a variety of reasons need additional time to complete their competencies
  • Out of province electives are suspended until at least September 26, 2020. Please check the AFMC Student Portal for updates. Nationally, Undergraduate Deans are working collectively to ensure equity amongst provinces for visiting electives. While CaRMS and visiting electives are being discussed at the national level, each school must develop their own timeline for return to clinical duties

We also recognize that the new model probably raises many questions for you. So far, the faculty and the student reps have worked on delivering the entire year 4 curriculum in a compressed timeline and there are still many details specific to each block that need to be sorted out. These decisions will be influenced by various factors and stakeholders in the coming weeks, e.g. capacity at various sites, order in which rotations need to be completed, and recognition that c2023 also needs to enter MEDD 431 eventually. From what the student reps have seen, we feel reassured by the tremendous amount of thought and care put into every decision. We appreciate your patience through the uncertainty we are facing collectively.

As always, please feel free to reach out to any of us listed below. We will be collecting your concerns formally via the following link to take to faculty tomorrow, and hopefully get as many answers as we can. Please be advised that specific details may not be known until closer to our return.

All the best,

Class of 2021 Student Reps:
Madelaine Beckett, Christina Botros, Mitchell Mammel, Khash Hanjani, Dakota Peacock, Privia Randhawa, Annette Ye, and Alec Yu

Clerkship Timetable (Updated on April 27, 2020)

The curricular timetable is being developed with broad collaboration between the Y1&2 Curriculum Subcommittee, Y3&4 Curriculum Subcommittee, program managers, faculty, clerkship directors, and student representatives. These have been created in accordance with the guiding principles of the COVID-19 task force and the curricular working group, with the acknowledgement that all models are bound to the guidelines of health authorities and of AFMC medical schools and residency programs.
There will be ongoing discussion around the clerkship timetable and its implementation in the upcoming days.
Details of the tentative class of 2021 and class of 2022 timetables will be made available to students when approved.

“Principles of Equity” Letter to UGME Deans from Student Presidents (Updated on April 27, 2020)

MUS President Zach Sagorin presented a letter drafted by the student presidents at 13 medical schools across Canada.
The letter can be found here

Key themes of the letter included:

    • Equity in elective opportunities (advocating for consistent national policy regarding visiting electives)
    • Equity in CaRMS reference letters (advocating for fewer letters required and allowing letters from non-traditional specialties)
    • Equity in CaRMS interview opportunities (advocating for consistent policy of exclusively virtual interviews)
    • Equity in how COVID-19 initiatives are perceived by CaRMS (advocating for there to be no interview questions probing student activities during the pandemic)
    • Ensuring there is adequate time between end of medical school and start of residency for transitioning between medical school and residency.

Year 3-4 Risk Register (Updated on May 7, 2020)

The program management team is working with clerkship directors to compile a registry of stud7ent activities in the clinical environment. There is ongoing analysis of the likelihood and impact of each risk event paired with consideration of current mitigation strategies and additional strategies that could be implemented. The document is undergoing iterative review by Regional Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, and Administrative Directors. Course leads, Student Affairs and student representatives will also be providing feedback.

Rapid Antigen Testing in Long Term Care Project  (Updated on January 12, 2021)

The Medical Student Response Team (MSRT) is leading a Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) in Long-Term Care (LTC) homes project, under the supervision of Dr. Mary Kestler. MD Students were thanked for their ongoing dedication to community support during the pandemic, and Alec Yu and Jason Lee were thanked for leading the RAT LTC project. It has been identified that the majority of COVID infections in LTC homes are brought in by staff and visitors from the community, unknowingly. Rapid Antigen Testing aims to help reduce instances of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic transmission.  The project is being modeled after a similar West Jet pilot project conducted at Vancouver International Airport.

There is a written plan, and all students received a formal, and observed, donning and doffing training, and were observed in the donning and doffing process. In addition, students preformed self-assessments of their competencies. Students will be required to complete their own self-assessment.  The safety plan includes tight training and PPE protocols.

For this project, we have confirmed with the Medical Health Officer medical students are exempt from the provincial one-site LTC policy and are able to go to any LTC facility.  From a public health standpoint, students may go to an outbreak LTC facility site.

Appendix A

The FLEX Activity COVID-19 guidelines have been updated based on principles from the UGME COVID-19 Task Force:

          1. Safety of patients and vulnerable populations
          2. Safety of our students including immunocompromised students and their families
          3. Preservation of promotion and graduation timelines
          4. Compliance with Government of BC and Canada COVID-19 Guidelines.
          5. Alignment with University of British Columbia and Health Authority guidelines


          1. Students should work on their projects from home where possible.

Starting March 16, UBC has instructed those faculty, staff and students who are able to work from home should do so, in conjunction with job appropriateness and in discussion with their manager, research lead, or principal investigator.  Please discuss with your Activity Supervisor whether you are able to complete your planned Flex project remotely while working from home.

          1. Students must not enter hospitals or clinical spaces.

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.

Please be aware that arranging remote access to electronic health records may take time as IT services has to focus on work related to direct patient care.

          1. Travelling outside BC or Canada

The Canadian government strongly advises against all non-essential travel  outside of Canada and between provinces.  The Dean’s office has stated that travelling for FLEX projects and clinical electives is considered non-essential.  Students should also consider the possibility of borders closing, transportation becoming unavailable, and the availability of support should they become ill while they are away from home if they travel.

BC has prohibited gatherings of more than 4 people.

          1. Laboratory based Research Projects

UBC is shutting down its labs effective Tuesday March 24.  Students are not able to work in a research lab at this time either at UBC or other institutions, but they can switch to a literature review, data analysis or other activities that they can do from home.

UBC is shutting down its labs effective Tuesday March 24.  Students are not able to work in a research lab at this time either at UBC or other institutions, but they can switch to a literature review, data analysis or other activities that they can do from home.


          • The revised FLEX schedule permits final activities to be submitted after the revised exam dates.
          • Students can start their 419 and 429 FLEX blocks during the former exam week, to free up a week at the end of the FLEX block to study for their exams.
          • Students are not expected to commit more than 32 hours per week on FLEX projects to allow for 8 hours protected study time.
          • The Class of 2021 has maximum flexibility to complete the 128 hours of FLEX activity between April 8 and June 26.

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