Updates relevant to ALL classes


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.

Health and Safety

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

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

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

Assessment (Updated on November 10, 2020)

Term 2 Assessment Plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key points:

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

Health and Safety (Updated on November 10, 2020)

Mask Use in Health Care Facilities 

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

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

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

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

Mask Use in Classrooms

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


See previous Archive updates relevant to ALL classes


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