Class of 2023

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



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:


  • 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 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

Best Regards,

Dr. Joana Gil-Mohapel, MEDD 421 Course Director

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

While medical students are still expected to be part of the second priority vaccination group (including other hospital staff, community GPs and medical specialists), with an expected vaccine delivery from February to March as per Provincial guidance, some students across the province are being offered vaccinations presently. These decisions are made locally by clinical department heads and Health Authorities, or as opportunities arise when excess vaccines are available. Students are (of course) able to accept these offers if presented which will help control virus spread in our healthcare facilities and communities and as well as help protect you. For students who receive the vaccine, there is no change to PPE requirements or to the UBC guidelines on which patients students can see.  It is also still important to maintain physical distance and stay home when sick.  Finally, please remember that vaccinated people will become COVID antigen test positive but will stay nucleic acid test negative.  BCCDC COVID-19 vaccine resources can be found here.

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 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.

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. 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)


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 (

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.


  • 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 **

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

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.


  • 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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