Class of 2025

Curriculum Delivery Update (Updated on January 21, 2022)

Dear members of the MD Undergraduate Program,

We are aware of some confusion regarding the status of curriculum delivery for the MD Undergraduate Program for Winter Term 2.

For clarification, we continue to offer a blended virtual and in-person education delivery approach for the MD Undergraduate Program that will operate up until to February 7, 2022, pending confirmation by the University. This interim arrangement is pedagogically based, with the intention of maintaining academic continuity and student experiences, and is fully aligned with the University’s policies and approach for the return to in-person education delivery. The University has committed to providing an update on the return to in-person learning during the week of 24 January.

Yesterday, we shared with you a key message document dated January 20, 2022, from the UGME PEP Task Force, representing some of the conversations we’ve had recently, including curriculum delivery updates. However, the document suggested that decisions have been made that are still subject to discussion and approval by the Faculty of Medicine. We are continuing to work with the Office of the Dean to ensure broader and full alignment with the Faculty and University’s approach for return to in-person education delivery. In the meantime, we are asking members to set aside the curriculum delivery updates and recommendations contained in the document to allow for further discussions to take place.
We continue to recognize and hear concerns and questions from students, staff and faculty. We wish to reassure you that we remain fully committed to working together to enable the full return to in-person education delivery in alignment with the University’s overall approach.

Sincerely,
Dr. Cheryl L. Holmes
(she, her/s)
MD, FRCPC, MHPE Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education
Clinical Professor and Head Division of Critical Care
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia

Dr. Paul Winwood
Regional Associate Dean Northern BC, UBC
Associate Vice President, Division of Medical Sciences, UNBC
University of Northern BC
3333 University Way
Prince George, BC V2N 4Z9

Gross Anatomy Labs (Updated on January 11, 2022)

Dear Years 1 and 2 Students:

We understand that there are some concerns regarding the decision to hold in person Gross Anatomy Labs. Given this, and in the spirit of transparency, we’d like to reiterate here the rationale behind this decision and also address some of the suggestions/concerns that have been brought forward by your Class Presidents:

Rationale for Decision Making:

As per the Faculty of Medicine Memorandum sent on December 22nd: “In-person experiential learning and practical/clinical experiences will continue in WT2, including: clinical skills training, clinical practicum, clinical rotations and practical laboratories.

Given this, the Regional Associate Deans at all Sites agreed that from all Labs, the GA Labs are those that most benefit from being delivered in person. The reasons for this are two-fold:

  • cadaveric dissection cannot be replaced virtually and
  • virtual GA labs were poorly received last academic year by both the Classes of 2024 and 2023, who felt very disadvantaged by missing out on the opportunity to learn anatomy through hands-on cadaveric dissection.

Therefore, the MDUP Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness (PEP) Task Force has decided that the practical objectives of gross anatomy labs are best delivered in person when/where possible and thus all four sites will be returning to in person delivery of gross anatomy labs after the first three weeks of Term 2.

Safety Measures:

We do wish to reassure students that we continue to follow all PHO and UBC/UVic/UNBC safety measures, as we have been doing since the start of the pandemic. These measures have been very successful in ensuring safety and minimizing spread in the past. If at any moment these change, we will update our GA lab delivery plans accordingly.  We follow public health guidelines in healthcare environments for which medical masks and hand hygiene are deemed appropriate.  See also:

Brooks JT, Beezhold DH, Noti JD, et al. Maximizing Fit for Cloth and Medical Procedure Masks to Improve Performance and Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Exposure, 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:254–257. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7007e1

Further to this, and to ensure students will NOT come to in-person labs if they are feeling unwell OR if for whatever reason they do not feel safe/comfortable attending in-person Labs, we will NOT be officially tracking student attendance at the labs and students will NOT be asked to submit absence forms.

Additional Resources Provided for Studying:

As we do not have the resources to provide simultaneous in-person AND virtual Labs, all virtual resources that were created last academic year are still available and can be freely accessed by all students. These include:

Please note that regardless of whether students attend the in-person labs or choose to study independently using the resources listed above, students are responsible for the objectives associated with each lab, and that content will be assessed in the Lab Exams.

We hope this addresses your concerns and explains the rationale for the decisions that were made. We understand and recognize these decisions are not ideal, but given the circumstances, we believe this plan provides a good compromise to address the current situation while preserving opportunities for in-person learning that cannot be easily replicated in the virtual environment.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Joana Gil-Mohapel, Associate Director of Curriculum, Years 1&2

Updates to Curriculum Delivery – All sites: (Updated on January 4, 2022)

Further to our key messages on December 23, 2021, we are continuing with virtual/online delivery until January 24, 2022.

What this means for the Years 1 and 2 of the MDUP:

Until January 24th 2022 the various curricular components will be delivered as follows:

Lectures/Large Group Sessions/Seminars/Workshops: virtual synchronous delivery over Zoom at all 4 Sites.

CBL/FoS/FLEX/Portfolio Small Group Sessions: virtual synchronous delivery over Zoom at all 4 Sites.

Histopathology and Neuroanatomy Labs: virtual synchronous delivery over Zoom at all 4 Sites.

Gross Anatomy Labs: IN PERSON delivery at SMP, IMP and VFMP starting on January 10th.  VIRTUAL delivery at NMP until January 24th; NMP students will be contacted separately.

Clinical Skills and Family Practice: IN PERSON delivery at all 4 Sites (with the exception of most Family Practice Seminars, which will be delivered virtually; please refer to your Site-specific schedule for more details).

 


Click below to view previous key messages:

Updates to Curriculum and Assessment Delivery - all sites (Updated on December 21, 2021)

The Faculty of Medicine (the Faculty) recognizes that we are entering a period of maximum uncertainty with respect to the evolving pandemic situation. The Faculty is actively engaged in the development of a number of response strategies and plans so that we can continue to deliver high-quality education programs while maintaining the safety, health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, patients and the communities we serve.

Therefore, following the UBC Broadcast sent yesterday, the Faculty announced implementing a precautionary WT2 blended virtual and in-person approach that will operate until January 24, 2022, for all Faculty of Medicine educational programs – with the exception of postgraduate medical education residency programs, and programs whereby graduate students and postdoctoral trainees work in research laboratories.

This interim arrangement is pedagogically based, with the intention of maintaining academic continuity and student experiences during the rapidly evolving pandemic situation. Ultimately, the goal is to enable the eventual transition back to fully in-person learning and instruction later in WT2.

As per the announcement, both UBC academic campuses will remain open and all libraries, student housing and services will be available.  Research and scholarship activities on UBC campuses continue within current safety plans.  The Faculty will continue to monitor the situation and is committed to providing further updates as new information becomes available in the new year.

What this means for you:

Curriculum:  Case-based Learning (CBL), lectures, tutorials, seminars (including Family Practice seminars) and labs including gross anatomy labs will be delivered virtually.

Clinical Skills will continue provided that all participants and attendees will satisfy all public health requirements including the use of appropriate PPE, medical masks, as well as the PHO Order on mandatory vaccination as the OSCE will take place on care locations as defined by the Order.

Family practice office visits will occur and are anticipated to be delivered in person at the discretion of the Family Practice preceptors.

While the decision has been made to move curricular activities online, students are still required to be at their sites starting January 4th as clinical experiences (Clinical Skills and Family Practice) will continue to be delivered in person.  These sessions cannot be made up.

Assessment:  The January 6 Progress test will move online.  Supplemental and deferral exams will remain in person.  The Assessment team will send out a separate communication.

Extra-curricular Experiences (Shadowing) is on hold for Years 1 and 2 students as of today until further notice, as we assess the readiness of our clinical preceptors and their workload.  We will update you mid-January.

Vaccination:  Please register for the 3rd (booster) dose of  the COVID-19 vaccine 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 the Get Vaccinated provincial website for COVID-19 boosters 3. Use this Health Authority (employer) validation code: Y6383E!

For more information about the booster shot process, please see our previous key message here.

Travel: Please note that the Public Health Agency of Canada is advising travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, to avoid non-essential travel internationally.  For more information, visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/226

Health and Safety

Guidelines for Patient Encounters for Years 1 and 2 Students in the MD Undergraduate Program (Updated on December 13, 2021)

The COVID-19 guidelines for Year 1/2 Family Practice visits aligns with the Guidelines for MDUP Student Shadowing (Years 1 and 2) during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  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.

We recommend and acknowledge that:

  1. Provincial, Individual health authority, hospital sites and department guidelines still apply, including wearing face coverings in public indoors spaces and wearing medical masks when in health care facilities.
  2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and appropriate clinical supervision must be available (Students have not received respirator fit testing and and must not participate in any activity that requires an N95 mask).
  3. The appropriate patient encounter decision lies with the clinical Preceptor/Attending Physician and team.
  4. Students have the right to refuse unsafe work without fear of academic penalty.
  5. We recommend students NOT participate on COVID wards or wards under an outbreak.
  6. Students will be required to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status in accordance with Provincial Health Orders.

What Patient Encounters can Year 1 and 2 MDUP students participate in during their clinical experiences?

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.

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.

Health and Safety FAQs (Updated on August 30, 2021)

  1. Will we need to wear masks while we are sat in lecture, or only when we are moving in the lecture hall?

Yes, while sitting in lectures – non-medical masks are required for all indoor public areas at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms, and labs. See campus rules.

The same guidelines are in effect at UVic (IMP) and UNBC (NMP) and non-medical face masks are mandated indoors (including when sitting in lecture theatres) at IMP and NMP.

  1. When will shadowing officially be allowed? And what does the process of shadowing look like?

We know shadowing is very important to your experience and to your career planning decisions.  Student Affairs has worked hard over the summer break to recruit many more physicians in a variety of careers.  We had hoped to re-institute shadowing very soon, but we are still experiencing severe outbreaks in some of our facilities.  We will keep you posted.

  1. Does UBC have a plan for if a student tests positive? For example, if a student in your CBL group tests positive, will all members have to isolate?

Public Health will continue to oversee contact tracing. Notification of COVID-19 cases, and potential exposures within our community is managed by public health.  See here: https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/covid-19-contact-tracing/

  1. If classes go online, how much notice will students have?

If we need to pivot to online teaching, we will notify students as soon as possible. We follow guidelines from the University and the Provincial Health Officer.  We pivoted to online within 48 hours in March 2020 and were able to deliver a great educational experience for the students and faculty, and our students all met promotion and graduation timelines.  We will support you; we can do this!

  1. Q: Is there any flexibility if students wanted to do CBL (for example) from home out of personal concern for their safety, is that an option? Alternatively, if a student gets ill, can they Zoom into their sessions?

Please see Policy 006 Attendance and Absence and the SUPPLEMENT to Policy 006, Attendance and Absence  Procedure for Unforeseen Absence due to COVID 19 exposure, COVID 19 infection or COVID 19-like symptoms, which outline the principles and mechanisms by which students in the MD Undergraduate Program navigate all forms of absence. In the current era of COVID 19, the prevalence of unforeseen absences may increase due to requirements for self-isolation due to COVID 19 infection, COVID 19 exposure or presentation of COVID 19-like symptoms. Students in these situations will not be able to attend required, in-person curricular activities. The program is committed to allowing students in this situation, if able and willing, to continue with their virtual studies and provide mitigation strategies to “make-up” missed in-person learning experiences, where possible.

Attendance and Absences during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated on October 12, 2021)

We recognize that these unprecedented times have resulted in new and unexpected challenges for students. The Faculty is prepared to support students in overcoming such challenges to the extent that we are logistically able. As adult learners and medical professionals, our expectation is that students will collaborate with the program to ensure that their needs are met while also meeting standards of professionalism. This involves following  attendance procedures and communicating with appropriate faculty and staff when extenutating circumstances arise.  This also involves not coming in sick or if the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool (Thrive) indicates you should be isolating.

With the return to in-person learning for CBL, Clinical Skills and other small group sessions for the 2021-22 academic year, the Program expects that students will attend these sessions in-person when they are offered in this format. While recruitment challenges have required the program to keep some small group sessions in a virtual format, the program is not able to offer the option for both in-person and virtual attendance within the same small group session due to administrative and logistical limitations related to  the set-up of most rooms where small-group sessions take place.

  • IF a student is not able to attend in-person due to personal or extra-curricular events, an absence form is required (i.e., negotiated absence, including personal days) and we ask that students not make individual arrangements with fellow students, preceptors, tutors or administrative staff to attend virtually.
  • 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.
  • For Clinical Skills - you must contact your Clinical Skills Admin Team first and not fellow students to discuss connecting virtually, as Volunteer Patients are involved and we need to ensure their consent and comfort with a student connecting virtually.
  • Site Director and Admin contact info can be found here: Entrada >> Program Information >> Year 1 / Year 2

Shadowing over the Winter Break and Out of Province (Updated on October 6, 2021)

As discussed in our previous Key Message, we anticipate opening shadowing for Year 1 students in mid-January, 2022.  Please note that “observerships” (shadowing experiences) are currently under suspension at all AFMC Medical schools in Canada; see announcement from the AFMC on April 18, 2021.  Therefore,  liability insurance coverage is not available to students through the MD Undergraduate Program for any shadowing over the 2021 winter break, including out of province.  See: “Extracurricular Activities - Registration and Approval”, Policy 028.

Shadowing Update (Updated on September 28, 2021)

We are pleased to announce the resumption of Shadowing for Year 1 students starting January 11, 2022.  Student Affairs has heard from students how important shadowing opportunities are and has spent the summer recruiting more than 100 preceptors to expand shadowing across the province, which are now listed in Entrada.

Before your activity takes place, prepare by watching The Bread and Butter of Medical Specialties from UBC MedIT. It covers some key questions to ask while shadowing or even just having coffee with a physician!

We will update you with guidance on how to register for shadowing and how to find preceptors in the first week of January, 2022.

Please - Make sure you register your eligible shadowing activity here (not before January 11, 2022).

Finally - please do contact your Student Affairs Coordinator for any questions.

Fall plans 2021 (Updated on June 29, 2021)

As previously approved by the UGME COVID-19 Task Force on May 20th, 2021, the Years 1&2 curriculum will be delivered through a Blended Model during the Fall of 2021.

All efforts will be made to offer IN-PERSON instruction where and when possible, with some exceptions and allowing for some flexibility (particularly with regards to didactic lectures and large-group sessions).

Comparability among Sites will be ensured with regards to session objectives, but some variability in modes of delivery among (and within) Sites is expected, depending on local restrictions (particularly with regards to utilizing Health Authority teaching spaces) and recruitment efforts (of both Faculty and Volunteer/Standardized Patients) at each of the four Sites.

Planning assumptions and guidance for returning to campuses and in-person instruction will be informed by a continued commitment to protecting the health, safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. We will remain mindful of the importance of adaptability as conditions change.

Please see this document for specific courses and delivery.  Have a safe and happy summer everyone!

Plans for Years 1&2 Curriculum Delivery during the Fall Term - FAQs (Updated on June 1, 2021)

Thank you for your great questions!  Please refer to the answers to your questions found here.

Term 1 for the Class of 2025 (Updated on November 19, 2020)

Medical students in the Class of 2025 will be welcomed by their sites of acceptance in August 2021.  This is a continuation of a COVID-19 adaptation with the same curricular plan and implementation processes as happened for the Class of 2024 in August of 2020.  Students will need to attend their registration activities in person at their site of admission and be ready to start, having complied with any governmental travel requirements for self-isolation or quarantine.  In-person registration activity may take place in the week prior to the first day of classes.

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