Class of 2023

Health and Safety

Reducing Risk of Communicable Diseases (Updated on December 2, 2021)

Dear students,

Part of the personal measures we utilize to reduce the risk of communicable diseases, including COVID-19, on campus, is to ensure students, faculty and staff do not participate in any activities (educational or otherwise) if they are sick.  As a reminder to the previous key message regarding attendance and absences from October 6, 2021 (excerpt below), students are not to attend in-person sessions when experiencing active respiratory/COVID-like symptoms.  When completing your daily self-assessment, make sure to follow the directions provided, get tested as recommended, and self-isolate until you are no longer sick.  This is an important part of our UBC Campus Rules and the Return to Campus Public Health Guidance.

 Attendance and Absences during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated on October 6, 2021)

  • IF a student cannot attend an in-person session due to a requirement to self-isolate due to COVID infection, COVID exposure or presentation of COVID-like symptoms AND is well enough to continue with their studies, mitigation strategies may include permission for students to attend small group sessions virtually. These arrangements would be made in collaboration with your Site Director, see Supplement to Policy 006 Procedure for Unforeseen Absence due to COVID. This document reinforces that there is no expectation for students to attend in-person or virtually if they are unwell.
  • IF a student cannot attend an in-person session due to a requirement to self-isolate due to COVID infection, COVID exposure or presentation of COVID-like symptoms, AND is well enough to continue with their studies but is unable to connect with the respective Site Director to establish an immediate plan, they may reach out to a fellow student and/or their tutor or preceptor to connect to a specific session virtually, using their personal Zoom account. However, this will need to be communicated to the respective Site Director as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Vaccine 3rd (Booster) dose availability (Updated on November 25, 2021)

Students with placements between now and the end of January can choose to register for a COVID-19 vaccination booster dose and select the category that corresponds with their placement setting, by following these instructions:

  • Self-identify as a health care worker for COVID-19 booster dose.  Health care workers in specific settings are a priority for a booster shot, between now and the end of January.
  • In order to receive an invitation for your booster dose when you become eligible, you must be registered in the Get Vaccinated online system and will need to self-identify as a health care worker in one of the five categories.  You will need to select the category based on your current or upcoming placementFor the Classes of 2024 and 2025, Family Practice visits fall in category 5.  The categories are:
    1. Long term care and assisted living staff, physicians and workers (everyone working on site or entering these facilities for work purposes)
    2. Hospital critical care, emergency department and medicine unit staff, physicians and workers (everyone working on site in the listed care areas)
    3. Other hospital staff, physicians and workers(everyone working in areas of the hospital not covered by category 2, including paramedics, hospital based corrections or mental health staff and corporate/administrative staff working on site)
    4. Health authority community staff, physicians and workers(all staff working in non-hospital areas, including corporate/administrative staff not included in categories 1, 2 or 3)
    5. Other community staff, physicians and workers(all non-Health Authority providers, staff and other workers in the community health sector)
  • As soon as possible, follow these steps to self-identify as a health care worker:
    1. Have the following information ready: Personal Health Number, date of birth, date of a previous COVID-19 vaccine (either dose 1 or dose 2)
    2. Go to theGet Vaccinated provincial website for COVID-19 boosters
    3. Use this Health Authority (employer) validation code:Y6383E!
    4. After entering the information above, you will be redirected to a second page to indicate the category you fall into. You will be asked to certify that the information provided is accurate. If any of the information you enter does not match what is on file, you may be redirected to contact the call centre for assistance and to verify your information.
  • Once you complete these steps, you will be notified when it’s your turn to book an appointment. We ask for your patience and cooperation as booster vaccinations are provided based on eligibility. Drop-ins at clinics or pharmacies are not permitted for booster doses.
  • This self-identification link and access code are intended only for identified health care workers at this time. By choosing to self-identify through this service, you are acknowledging that you have received this code from your employer.
  • This link and code are not transferrable. If the code is misused it will be cancelled and the ability to continue with vaccination through this program may be compromised. Anyone booking an appointment who is not eligible will be turned away at the clinic.
  • If you’re unable to register online, you can call 1-833-838-2323. You can learn more about booster doses on the C. Government website.

Non-Credit (Extracurricular) Clinical Opportunities (Updated on October 28, 2021)

As previously announced,  resumption of Noncredit Clinical Opportunities for Years 3 and 4 students will start December 18, 2021.  The link is now open for you to register your activity.

We would like to emphasize that winter break is meant to provide students with time to decompress and pursue personal activities that they enjoy, in addition to spending quality time with their families. There is absolutely NO expectation that students pursue non-credit clinical opportunities. For example, the re-introduction non-credit clinical opportunities may provide a minority of students with additional opportunities that they may have otherwise missed due to COVID-19. Students are not expected to pursue these experiences, just as students are not expected to pursue shadowing opportunities over the holidays

Please be understanding that the ability for preceptors to accept students for extracurricular non-credit clinical experiences may fluctuate due to demands of the pandemic.   Here is what you need to know:

Make sure that you have reviewed Policy 28 Extracurricular Activities – Registration and Approval

Non-Credit (Extracurricular) Clinical Opportunities

Year 3 or 4 students in good standing may seek approval for extra-curricular non-credit clinical opportunities that meet the following criteria:

2.1. The clinical opportunity must only take place during vacation time:

2.1.1. Between Year 3 and Year 4

2.1.2. During winter breaks in Year 3 and Year 4

2.2. The clinical opportunity must take place at a CACMS-accredited Canadian university (for example, through the AFMC Portal) or the clinical opportunity is through an LCME-accredited university – not available at this time

2.3. The clinical opportunity must be undertaken with a physician who is licensed for independent practice and is in good standing with:

2.3.1. the CPSBC within British Columbia, or

2.3.2. another provincial College, or another physician-registering regulatory body.

2.4. Students may only engage in clinical activities within their scope of practice as set out in Policy 031A – Expectations of Medical Students in Supervised Clinical Settings.

2.5. Students must be supervised by the physician or by a health care professional delegated by the physician, who is operating within their scope of practice.

 


Click below to view previous key messages:

Welcome Back! (Updated on July 2, 2020)

Due to the provincial restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, during the Fall 2020 semester, UBC will offer larger classes primarily online, with select smaller classes conducted in-person, while adhering to physical distancing and other public health requirements.

The MD Undergraduate Program (MDUP) is dedicated to ensuring face-to-face instruction where safe and possible to do so, and high-quality online instruction as an alternative. We will share further details about delivery of specific sessions as decisions continue to be finalized.

Year 2 TERM 1/Fall COURSES

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, provincial regulations, health authority and university directives, the current plan is to deliver the various components of the MEDD421 and MEDD 429 as follows:

MEDD421:

  • Lectures and Large/Medium-Sized Group Sessions: To be delivered online either synchronously (through Zoom) or asynchronously (through recordings).
  • Labs: Gross Anatomy (GA)/Neuroanatomy and Histology content will be delivered online either synchronously (through Zoom) or asynchronously (through recordings). Extra-curricular teaching and support, with in-person access to the GA lab is being explored in the context of facility access and building capacities at each site.
  • Case-Based Learning (CBL): Cluster A (September 2 - September 25) will be delivered online via Zoom at all sites. Cluster B (September 30 - October 30) & Cluster C (November 4 - December 4) will be delivered online via Zoom for VFMP Students. For SMP, NMP and IMP Students, Clusters B and/or C may be delivered through a blended model (i.e., a combination of in-person and online sessions) with the goal of each student attending up to one CBL session in person per week. The outcome of this decision will depend on local University (UBC-O, UNBC, and UVic) directives for implementation of provincial regulations.
  • Clinical Skills: The program is committed to providing as much clinical skills in-person as possible. Sessions for which face-to-face learning is critical to achieving learning objectives (i.e. physical exams), to be delivered in-person, where possible. Approval for onsite (in-person) sessions are currently under review by the university. Online sessions are planned for topics that are amenable to being taught in a virtual environment (i.e. where history taking is the focus of the sessions).
  • Family Practice: Family Practice lectures and seminars will be delivered online. The delivery of office visits will be guided by the practice of individual preceptors, with both in-person and virtual/telehealth opportunities.

MEDD 429: In MEDD 429 students will work remotely to create their FLEX Project Plans. All FLEX projects must conform to Provincial and UBC COVID-19 guidelines (check https://entrada.med.ubc.ca/community/ugmecovid19 for updates). Meetings with FLEX Advisors will be online via Zoom.

Location: Students are expected to be at their designated sites on August 31, 2020.

Academic Calendar: The Academic Calendar is available in Entrada here. Please note individual schedules for Family Practice will be available in mid-August and the first face-to-face sessions will be scheduled in September.

Shadowing: Current policy and restrictions due to COVID-19 do not allow for ANY medical student shadowing of physicians by Year 1 or Year 2 students.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to UBC MD student affairs at md.studentaffairs@ubc.ca

Best Regards,

Dr. Joana Gil-Mohapel, MEDD 421 Course Director

Social Gatherings (Updated on October 28, 2021)

With the holiday season fast approaching, starting with Halloween, we want to remind everyone that the size of social gatherings remains restricted in some Health Authority regions.

As members of the UBC Faculty of Medicine, it’s important that we continue to follow the public health requirements set out by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer.

For more information on restrictions and requirements for your region, please visit this website.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety of our collective community and the communities we serve.

COVID Task Force Chairs, Paul Winwood and Cheryl Holmes

Vaccine Mandate Order for Health Care Workers in BC (Updated on October 26, 2021)

To comply with the Hospital and Community (Health Care and Other Services) COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures PHO Order, UBC will be verifying student vaccination status within the Thrive platform, which was used for the rapid testing program.  Please ensure you have completed your vaccination declaration on Thrive and have uploaded a picture of your BC Vaccine Card (the QR code, not the wallet card).

Vaccine Mandate Order for Health Care Workers in BC (Updated on October 21, 2021)

The Hospital and Community (Health Care and Other Services) COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures PHO Order was published on October 14, 2021.  While UBC is clarifying some elements of the Order with the Ministry of Health, it is clear that, starting October 26 2021, students “must provide an operator [of a care location] with proof of vaccination, or an exemption, on request from an operator”.  Proof of vaccination is defined as a vaccine card, while care location includes hospital, Provincial mental health, and residential facilities, along with public health clinics, urgent and primary care centres, and community health centres.  Please see the order for full definitions and locations.  Guidelines for requesting an exemption are listed here.

Starting October 26,2021, please be prepared to show proof of vaccination or an exemption when attending a care location as defined in the Order.  If you are not fully vaccinated, this will have a significant impact on your studies and your career going forward. 

Information on how to get vaccinated is here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register.

 Helpful Resources

If you have questions or you are feeling hesitant about the vaccine, we encourage you to:

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Student Affairs (md.studentaffairs@ubc.ca) with any questions or concerns.

Process for Obtaining N-95 Mask Alternatives (Updated on October 6, 2021)

The MD Undergraduate Program (MDUP) is working to update the current respiratory protection process for students who are unable to wear typical N-95 masks for various reasons (i.e., unable to shave beard for religious reasons).

The current process for MDUP students who are unable to wear typical N-95 masks

  1. Contact Health & Safety Advisor to advise of inability to wear typical N-95 masks (prior to clerkship – as instructed in respirator safety lecture in TICE)
  2. Remove themselves from any clinical activity that would require the use of a respirator
  3. Remember that their exemption from such training will not affect their academic evaluations
  4. Contact Health & Safety Advisor for assistance if they wish to personally purchase alternative respiratory protective devices such as powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs), that are effective with full beards

The MDUP is looking to procure PAPR devices for appropriate students to use during their clerkship years.  Shortly, a survey will be distributed to determine the number of PAPRs needed.  If you are not able to wear typical N-95 masks, please indicate so on the survey.

Process for Obtaining N-95 Mask Alternatives (Updated on October 6, 2021)

The MD Undergraduate Program (MDUP) is working to update the current respiratory protection process for students who are unable to wear typical N-95 masks for various reasons (i.e., beards, turbans).  The current process for MDUP students who are unable to wear typical N-95 masks

  1. Contact Health & Safety Advisor to advise of inability to wear typical N-95 masks (prior to clerkship – as instructed in respirator safety lecture in TICE)
  2. Remove themselves from any clinical activity that would require the use of a respirator
  3. Remember that their exemption from such training will not affect their academic evaluations
  4. Contact Health & Safety Advisor for assistance if they wish to personally purchase alternative respiratory protective devices such as powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs), that are effective with full beards

The MDUP is looking to procure PAPR devices for appropriate students to use during their clerkship years.  Shortly, a survey will be distributed to determine the number of PAPRs needed.  If you are not able to wear typical N-95 masks, please indicate so on the survey.

Guidelines for MDUP Student Shadowing (Years 1 and 2) during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated on October 6, 2021)

Shadowing for students in Years 1 and 2 is an observational activity only as per  Policy 028. Students must not actively engage in or perform any clinical activities; however, the following document provides guidance on participation in shadowing experiences that involve patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Students may observe the clinical care of community members with COVID-19.  However, this excludes observing any situation where a respirator (N95 mask) is required, including Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures (AGMPs) involving COVID-19 suspected or confirmed patients, as students will not yet have not undergone respirator fit testing.

We recommend and acknowledge that:

  • Individual health authorities, hospital sites and department guidelines still apply
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and appropriate clinical supervision must be available (Students have not received respirator fit testing and so no participation in any activity that requires an N95 mask)
  • The decision lies with the clinical Preceptor/Attending Physician and team
  • Students have the right to refuse unsafe work without fear of academic penalty
  • We recommend students NOT observe on COVID wards or wards under an outbreak
  • Students may be required to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status in accordance with Provincial Health Orders

Please see our Guidelines for MDUP Student Shadowing (Years 1 and 2) during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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

  • All students need to register online at getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca 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.

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: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/travel/current.

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.

Outbreaks

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 2 Rep will reach out to you to collect your FAQs about the vaccine and the roll out.

Year 2 Students’ Participation in Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures (AGMP) (Updated on January 12, 2021)

The UGME COVID-19 Task Force does not endorse Year 1 and 2 students participating in aerosol generating medical procedures (AGMPs).  Students in Years 1 and 2 have not been mask-fit tested to N95 respirators and would thus not be able to utilize appropriate precautions for patients who may have the COVID-19 virus.  Students will have opportunities in Years 3 and 4 to safely participate in AGMPs.

Some procedures that Year 1 and 2 students may encounter in their Family Practice Office visits include:

  • nasopharyngeal scoping
  • direct laryngoscopy

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 educational activities, 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 educational activities.

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

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 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.

Mask Use in Health Care Facilities (Updated on November 10, 2020)

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.

Extracurricular Clinical Experiences Update (Updated on September 28, 2021)

We are pleased to announce the resumption of Noncredit Clinical Opportunities for Years 3 and 4 students starting December 15, 2021. 

Please be understanding that the ability for preceptors to accept students for extracurricular clinical experiences may fluctuate due to demands of the pandemic.   Here is what you need to know:

Make sure that you have reviewed Policy 28 Extracurricular Activities - Registration and Approval

Non-Credit (Extracurricular) Clinical Opportunities

Year 3 or 4 students in good standing may seek approval for extra-curricular non-credit clinical opportunities that meet the following criteria:

2.1. The clinical opportunity must only take place during vacation time:

2.1.1. Between Year 3 and Year 4

2.1.2. During winter breaks in Year 3 and Year 4

2.2. The clinical opportunity must take place at a CACMS-accredited Canadian university (for example, through the AFMC Portal) or the clinical opportunity is through an LCME-accredited university - not available at this time

2.3. The clinical opportunity must be undertaken with a physician who is licensed for independent practice and is in good standing with:

2.3.1. the CPSBC within British Columbia, or

2.3.2. another provincial College, or another physician-registering regulatory body.

2.4. Students may only engage in clinical activities within their scope of practice as set out in Policy 031A - Expectations of Medical Students in Supervised Clinical Settings.

2.5. Students must be supervised by the physician or by a health care professional delegated by the physician, who is operating within their scope of practice.

With the exception of non-credit clinical opportunities offered through UBC Faculty of Medicine Global Health or at an LCME-accredited university, non-credit clinical opportunities that take place outside Canada will not be approved. Students engaging in unapproved non-credit clinical opportunities must obtain independent liability insurance.

Further information regarding extracurricular clinical opportunities will be provided prior to December 15, 2021 via the COVID Task Force Key Messages.

Shadowing/ Non-Credit Clinical Activities: (Updated on May 5, 2021)

Shadowing in Years 1 & 2, and Non-Credit Clinical Activities in year 3 & 4 are currently on hold due to the severe situation many hospital and preceptors are facing around the province due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This situation has recently been reviewed and we will continue to review it as the circumstances around the Pandemic change.  We next plan to review the possibility re-establishing of Shadowing and Non-Credit Clinical Activities in August 2021.

Students should not engage in self-funded liability insurance for Shadowing or Non-Credit Clinical Activities during their summer vacation as this goes against current UBC policy.  For further clarification, please refer to Policy 028 or contact your Assistant Dean Student Affairs or Assistant Dean Curricular at your site.

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.

Term 2 Schedules (Updated on December 14, 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 4th, 2021 at all Sites. At this time, we would like to provide you with an update on the plans for Term 2. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, provincial regulations as well as health authority and university (UBC, UVic, UNBC, and UBC-O) directives, the current plan is to deliver the various components of the Term 2 Courses found here.

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.  The Term 2 detailed plans will be available next week.

The Virtual Cup of Coffee (Updated October 29, 2020) 

Student Affairs is excited to announce a new career exploration initiative for our 1st- and 2nd-year students. The Virtual Cup of Coffee welcomes students from across the province to meet with physicians in diverse specialties in a small group setting to learn about their experiences in their field. Each month, you will be invited to register for a 45-minute virtual chat with the goal of providing greater exposure to specialties that you may be interested in.

We will slowly roll out the program during November and December and we expect high demand for these sessions. For this reason, we are limiting availability to 1 session per student, although you will have the option for registering for an unlimited number of wait-listed sessions. After your session, you’ll receive a brief survey to help us improve on the program going forward.

Please note the following:

  1. These sessions are an opportunity to learn more about a physician's specialty. They are not to be used to seek mentorship opportunities or clinical activities.
  2. This is not a lecture. Please come prepared with questions for your host.
  3. Ensure your webcam is turned on and be an active participant of the session.
  4. Demonstrate professional behaviour by dressing appropriately and joining from a clean, quiet environment.
  5. NotifyStudentAffairs@ubc.ca if you are unable to attend a session you’ve registered for.

The registration page will be available via Entrada starting Sunday, November 1st at 11am. You can find it via this link, or via the Student Affairs page, with the Virtual Cup of Coffee link located under Career Planning. Please note that the registration page will not be accessible before 11am on Sunday. You can find a list of sessions at the bottom of this email, which I encourage you to review and prioritize as they may fill up quickly and you may not be able to register for your first choice. We will accept registrations for December sessions in late November.

If you have any questions, please contact me or Awss Dabe, VFMP Coordinator.

Clinical Shadowing (Updated October 29, 2020)

The MD Undergraduate Program is aware of your desire to shadow.  As shadowing is a Career Planning activity, it is housed in Student Affairs.  Student Affairs has engaged in a consultative process with Curricular Leads in Years 1 & 2, and 3 & 4, UBC Faculty of Medicine, Health and Safety and the UGME COVID-19 Taskforce to evaluate shadowing in second semester.  The pros and cons have been weighed and at this time it has been decided that shadowing will remain on HOLD due to a variety of limitations and concerns, including PPE use and Preceptor availability. Here are the principles for reinstatement of clinical shadowing.

As an alternative to shadowing, Student Affairs has been working hard to develop a new program called the Virtual Cup of Coffee which will begin in November 2020 and be available to Years 1 & 2.  We will next re-evaluate the Shadowing Program in March of 2021 determine the best time to reinstate it.  We understand this is a priority to student and will work hard to have shadowing back as soon as it is possible.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Clinical Skills (Updated September 15, 2020)

Although several clinical skills sessions that focus on developing physical examination skills will be offered in-person in the 2020-2021 academic year, there remains the potential for individual students to miss these sessions due to mandated self-isolation, quarantine, as well as illness, resulting from potential COVID-19 exposures by the students themselves or their close contacts. Our goal is to preserve promotion and timely entry into clinical years where possible, without compromising students’ education.

If you have any COVID-19-like symptoms or are in self-isolation for any reason, please do NOT attend your in-person Clinical Skills sessions.  The alternatives are to reschedule or to ask if there are virtual opportunities you can participate in.  The mitigation strategies are found here.  The procedure for unforeseen absence due to COVID-19 exposure, COVID-19 infection or COVID-19-like symptoms is found here.

FLEX Activity COVID-19 guidelines (Updated September 10, 2020)

The link to the guidelines for MEDD 429 can be found on Entrada > MEDD 419/429 > FLEX Guidelines and COVID info.

Expectations for Site Attendance (Updated on July 9, 2020)

Context:

This year, due to provincial restrictions imposed by the pandemic, curriculum delivery will be very different in all 4 years of the program compared to previous years. Those of you who committed to medical school before the pandemic began will have different learning experiences.

Students in the Class of 2023 will be expected to attend in-person sessions at their home sites. The decision to have students attend at their home sites is based on the following:

  • The UBC Medical Undergraduate Program (MDUP) is located in British Columbia, and has a social accountability mandate to address the current and future health care needs of British Columbians;
  • Matriculating students are offered a position at one of the 4 sites (that they ranked) and it is very clear when the offer is made that they are committing to attend UBC MDUP at that site. As such, students in the C2023 belong to one of the 4 distributed sites within the MDUP;
  • In the 2020/21 academic year, much of the curriculum will be delivered virtually but there are key sessions that are being planned in-person which students must attend in person at their respective sites;
  • There is no capacity to have additional students at any of the 4 sites for in-person sessions.

Decision Making:

The UBC MDUP is governed by the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Committee.  During the COVID pandemic, the UGME COVID-19 Task Force has been empowered to make nimble decisions for the MDUP.  This Task Force includes student representatives from each of the classes as well as program faculty leaders, administrative teams and all of the site Student Affairs Assistant Deans. In addition to contacting Student Affairs, you may also contact Armaghan (Army) Alam, Class President for the C2023, directly if you have any questions or concerns (armaghan.alam@alumni.ubc.ca).

Approaches to Curriculum Planning/Delivery:

  • The Faculty of Medicine leadership, faculty, staff, and students are committed to delivering a solid educational experience where all students will meet MDUP exit competencies and are well prepared to enter residencies and future careers;
  • In consultation with faculty and student reps, we are trying to maintain as many in-person activities as possible, with the knowledge that in-person curricular and extracurricular activities are the very best for many kinds of learning, for feeling a part of a class and a site, and for maintaining a sense of community;
  • Each site is working hard to establish creative ways of maintaining a sense of community from the outset, taking into account the current limits on in-person interactions and specific university and hospital rules.

Options for students who feel that they cannot attend the 2020/21 Academic year at their Site:

  • Contact their Student Affairs team who can help navigate and support students in accessing program information, thinking through options, sharing experiences, advising and advocacy.
  • 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;
  • Request a personal leave of absence. Please note, requests for personal leaves are not automatically granted and are approved by the Regional Associate Dean in accordance with MDUP Policy 002.  Please discuss this with your Student Affairs Assistant Dean.
  • While the program assumes students will reside in the communities close to their academic site, once students have knowledge of their individual curricular schedules, they may choose to stay at their homes, where they are comfortable, for on-line learning components and travel to the site for in-person activities.

Please note, this approach will require knowledge of individual curricular schedules which will not be ready until at least mid-August and could be subject to change with possibly 24 -hours notice. The program cannot tailor schedules to accommodate this type of living arrangement. Additionally, it may be more stressful for students to move to their site after their studies have started.

We understand there are downsides to all of these choices, and the “unfairness” of uncertainty imposed by the pandemic impacts us all.  That said, the policies are based on the underlying principles of UBC’s Distributed Medical Education Program (MDUP) that have not changed because of COVID.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility during these difficult times. We recognize that this year may not be what you were expecting; however, many hours of hard work and deliberation have gone into ensuring a high-quality medical education.

Family Practice (Updated September 15, 2020)

While we recognize the significant challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses to our students, we anticipate that this year, students will have a lot more flexibility and opportunities to complete your family practice sessions in their entirety.

If you have any COVID-19-like symptoms or are in self-isolation for any reason, please do NOT attend your in-person Family Practice Seminars or Office visits.  The alternatives are to reschedule or to ask if there are virtual opportunities you can participate in.  The mitigation strategies are found here.  The procedure for unforeseen absence due to COVID-19 exposure, COVID-19 infection or COVID-19-like symptoms is found here.

If you experience any challenges with scheduling sessions with preceptors, please contact the site program assistants for further assistance and direction.

Family Practice Office Visits (Updated on June 4, 2020)

The Family Practice team is planning an exciting fall term for you.  You will be paired with a Family Doctor and will have more flexibility in scheduling the family practice office visits based on mutual convenience with a preceptor.  However, you can still use your dedicated family practice time on your schedule if that works. The number of visits required will be indicated to you by your site program assistants.  Visit types will also be flexible (depending on preceptor practices and availability) and suggestions will be provided in the preceptor and student manuals.  Some of these include:

  • In-office visits
  • Telehealth/virtual visits
  • Deeper history taking with select patients (e.g. vulnerable populations, etc.)

Please note that you are still responsible to attend all of the scheduled in-person and synchronous learning activities.

More details will be provided in the student manual.

Assessment FAQ (Updated on December 8, 2020)

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

Assessment

  • OSCE previously scheduled for April 18 – cancelled
  • MEDD 412 Lab Exam 2 –June 10, 2020 is low stakes and formative
  • The score on these exams this year will not be used to make a Pass/Fail decision, however attendance is mandatory.
    • Results on these exams may guide academic advising.
    • In the Assessment package:
      • Formative means: Assessment activities that provide feedback to students and the program with the aim of improving student learning, e.g., formative OSCE, and progress tests. These activities are low or no-stakes; however, completion of some formative assessments is required for advancement and promotion.
      • Summative means Assessment activities that indicate whether a student has achieved course learning outcomes and/or year-level milestones. Successful completion of summative assessments is required for advancement and promotion.
  • The final MEDD 412 MCQ Exam 3 on June 8, 2020,   will have the same format as previous MCQ Exams, but with the option of open book resources.
  • MEDD 412 deferral, Exam 2 & 3 - June 11, 2020.
  • The Lab Exam will be taken in ExamSoft. It will include a mix of MCQs and short-answer questions w/ images. The number of questions per Lab discipline will be proportional to the number of contact hours for each discipline. Assessment will be sending a detailed e-mail to the
  • Class with information on the exam format.

 

Promotion (Updated on April 23, 2020)

“All students in the Class of 2023 will be promoted to Year 2 upon successful completion of the modified Year 1 requirements, see April 6th updates under the 2023 cohort tab on the UGME COVID-19 landing page.

** Passed by Student Promotions and Review Board on April 21, 2020 **

“The Classes of 2022 and 2023 are deemed to have met all academic requirements for promotion provided they have completed all summative and formative assessments (including MCQ, WBA, and Portfolio).  Students in academic difficulty will be offered academic support through usual RSPS and SADS processes”.

** Passed at UGME Committee on April 6, 2020 **

Mitigation Strategies for Missed Clinical Learning (Updated on June 17, 2021)

Due to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, our students have returned to a compressed curriculum.  In addition, students have not had as many in person sessions in years 1 and 2 and therefore may lack confidence and social connections.

We have developed mitigation strategies for students who may need to miss additional clinical learning opportunities in this already condensed curriculum. We have maintained a robust amount of clinical learning time (64 weeks c2022, 70 weeks c2023). We need to anticipate the very real possibility that a given student may spend multiple weeks self-isolating due to potential COVID-19 exposures which includes community exposure. Our goal is to preserve promotion and graduation timelines where possible, without compromising clinical learning.

See our updated Mitigation Strategies document found here.

Townhall FAQ (Updated September 10, 2020)

You can view the C2023 Townhall at the link found here and the answers to the FAQ can be found here.  If you have any further questions be sure to contact your Class rep:  Army Alam armaghan.alam@alumni.ubc.ca

General Updates (Updated on March, 2020)

  • Effective Monday March 16, all in-person gatherings cancelled.
  • CBL restarted March 18, using ZOOM – Virtual attendance is expected – policies apply.
  • Lectures – priorities:
    • Archive materials – all being linked into the schedule
    • Camtasia – Faculty doing voice over – supported by MEDIT
    • Lecturers may come in and host recorded lecture
  • Family Practice seminars proceed using ZOOM.
  • Labs have transitioned to on-line.
  • Students cannot go into anatomy labs.
  • Clinical Skills- Digital Resource Guide now accessible on Entrada in the Clinical Skills Community
  • FLEX: See Appendix A


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.

  1. Please practice physical distancing (formerly called social distancing).

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.

flex_03-23-20

  • 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.

Return to the top