University of British Columbia - Anesthesiology - Vancouver


Program Director

Dr. Laine Bosma


Program Coordinator

Jill Delane

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There are opportunities for external electives. The maximum allowed outside the program is 6 blocks, subject to prior approval by the Program.

For 2019-2020, there are 56 RCPSC residents and 4 FPA residents with approximately 250 faculty.

There is a requirement for anesthesia experiences at outlying regional centres. Travel to and from the out of town site, and accommodation is provided by the university.

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University of British Columbia


What qualities do you look for in an applicant?

The program does not spell this out to applicants. Instead, applicants are encouraged to spend some time in the field to understand what qualities are important for a successful anesthesiologist. Applicants are then asked to reflect on their own qualities, and then to compare the two to determine if this is a "good fit". This is to ensure that applicants have made an informed decision regarding their career path. A broad range of electives is felt to be important as a part of this process. If for some reason an applicant does not have an elective in anesthesia, an explanation should be included in the personal letter.

Do you accept applications or documents beyond the PWS opening date

No. This is to ensure sufficient time for selection committee members to thoroughly review all applicants' files within the given time frame.

When will I be notified if I am offered an interview?

In order to allow sufficient time for the selection committee to review all applications, and then to meet and discuss applications, invitations for interview will be sent out sometime in mid-December. All applicants will be notified by email, both those invited for interviews and those who are not.

Why was I not offered an interview?

We generally have approximately 130 applications for 14 CaRMS positions. Not only is the quantity of applicants considerable, the quality of the applicants is also extremely high. Hence, the highly competitive nature of the process. Our selection committee has historically found it extremely difficult to assess the files, and many on the committee comment that if they were competing themselves today for a position, they would be no match against many of the applicants. What was perhaps most difficult was the realization that most of those not offered an interview would make fine anesthesia residents and ultimately fine anesthesiologists. Obviously, UBC cannot train all the applicants, and with only 14 positions, our philosophy is not to offer all applicants an interview. Some have enquired about a "wait-list" in case some of those invited for an interview decline the invitation. The selection committee has decided that we would not have such a short list.

Many applicants have asked us for feedback on their particular application. However, the selection committee is bound by rules we have established that all discussions about candidates are to remain strictly confidential, even to the candidates themselves. All we do is provide you with the following general comments.

The committee looks at predetermined criteria for all applicants; each applicant is reviewed in detail by 4 to 5 members of the committee prior to the meeting of the selection committee. During the meeting, all the applicants are looked at and discussed in detail by the whole committee. The committee is extremely comfortable the process is fair and treats all candidates equally, regardless of which medical school they come from. So while we cannot divulge the particulars of individual applications because of confidentiality issues within the committee, we can say that most of the applicants who we don't train in our program, because of either not being interviewed or not being matched to our program, turn out to be successful anesthesia residents and anesthesiologists.

I still think I would make a good anesthesia resident and ultimately a good anesthesiologist.

Statistics from CaRMS indicate that if applicants ranked anesthesia in their first 3 choices, that they would have over a 90% chance of being successful at getting into an anesthesia residency, albeit not necessarily at their first choice of location. In our opinion, there are more similarities than differences between all anesthesia training programs in Canada. All anesthesia program directors meet twice a year to discuss topics of mutual interest, and there is an overwhelming sense of collaboration and sharing of ideas, resulting in a high quality of training in anesthesia nationally regardless of the site. So the odds are in your favour if you are intent on entering an anesthesia residency program, this is within your means, and you will be matched to an anesthesia training program of high calibre.