University of British Columbia - Family Medicine - Indigenous - Mainland Vancouver


Program Director

Dr. Terri Aldred


Site Coordinator

Carlea Remodo


This residency program is for 2 years.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


This site provides opportunities to develop special expertise in Indigenous health for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous physicians. Please note that this site also includes residents based at Indigenous — Vancouver Island. Information regarding Indigenous — Vancouver Island can be found under a separate CaRMS description.

Our program is relationship-based and engaged with Indigenous communities. We work in collaboration with a number of Indigenous communities and their health care teams to provide educational experiences whereby residents are connected within an Indigenous community for the duration of their training. Over the course of their training residents develop relationships with specific Indigenous individuals, families and their community and see these same clients and their extended family networks in a variety of care settings (ie. primary care clinic, in-hospital etc.). The residents are welcomed and encouraged to participate in community activities and gatherings in order to help them develop trust with the community they are serving. Our program focuses on supporting residents to engage with communities in a respectful way in order to learn about health and healing with and from Indigenous peoples.

In order to enhance the amount of time spent in Indigenous communities, our site has adopted a distributed model. We have residents placed across BC, including Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in the Indigenous — Mainland Vancouver site located on located on unceded x ʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səlílwəta/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. The primary clinical sites for our Indigenous — Mainland Vancouver residents are Vancouver Native Health Society, Sheway, Lu’Ma and starting in 2019, the Urban Indigenous Health and Healing Cooperative (UIHHC). All of our residents also gain experience in remote Indigenous health which is unique to our site. Our primary clinics incorporate longitudinal curriculums that maximize residents’ continuity of care. All sites offer educational experiences to meet accreditation standards.

Academic Days and Research

Due to our small size (ie. 2-4 residents per geographic site), our sites collaborate with other UBC Family Practice sites to deliver academic curricula. Indigenous — Mainland Vancouver site residents participate in the St. Paul’s site academic curriculum (MAC), usually a half day per week. This includes academic teaching which is a mix of clinical case discussions and core topics. Residents are also expected to do presentations. Throughout the program, we stress Evidence-Based Medicine in both academic and clinical areas.

In the first year, residents are required to complete a quality improvement project. Throughout the two years, residents must complete a scholar project and present their work at Scholarship Day.

Indigenous Educational Experiences

In addition to the variety of experiences residents have within their home base community, the full complement of Indigenous site residents meets quarterly for Indigenous academic days. These gatherings occur face to face in our Indigenous home base communities to learn from Elders and participate in local activities. The purpose of these gatherings is to honor and celebrate Indigenous approaches to health and healing. Indigenous academic days also offer an opportunity to reconnect and share stories about the successes and challenges in working in the area of Indigenous health and also to consolidate teachings about cultural safety.

International Electives

Residents can do one month of interprovincial or international electives during their training.

Further Training

Third year training positions are available in the area of Emergency Medicine, Care of The Elderly, Anesthesia, Palliative Medicine, Sports and Exercise Medicine, Clinician Scholars program and a wide range of other category 2 Enhanced Skills programs.


— Site General Information —

Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society — Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society (VAHS) was established in 1991 with a mission to improve and promote the health of individuals with a focus on the Indigenous community residing in Greater Vancouver. Today, Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society delivers comprehensive medical, counselling and social services generally to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Indigenous community. The majority of VAHS clients struggle with overlapping issues and con-current health issues such as substance abuse, mental health, chronic disease, homelessness and poverty.

Sheway — Sheway is a Pregnancy Outreach Program (P.O.P.) located in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The program provides health and social service supports to pregnant women and women with infants under eighteen months who are dealing with drug and alcohol issues. The focus of the program is to help the women have healthy pregnancies and positive early parenting experiences

Lu’Ma Native Housing — Located within Lu’Ma Native Housing Society. The Lu’Ma clinic provides safe, culturally integrated health care that is accessible to families to increase positive health outcomes and remove disparities. The clinic offers a smudging area and medicine bag making materials as well as access to traditional healers and Elders.

Kilala Lelum — a collaboration between Indigenous Elders, physicians and allied health professionals to provide a safe and healing space for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This centre officially opened in June 2019, to provide care to over 3000 individuals of all nations who face the challenges of inner-city living.

St. Paul’s Hospital — St. Paul’s is the home of one of only two active Family Practice teaching wards in Canada, modeling comprehensive and continuous care in a metropolitan setting. Majority of primary care inpatient and specialist training takes place at St. Paul’s Hospital, a tertiary referral hospital of 480 beds including Family Practice Ward, Obstetrics, and a very busy Emergency department. St. Paul’s has been a teaching hospital for residents and interns for over 70 years and has a proud reputation for the quality of its teaching programs.

Victoria / Pacheedaht/ Beecher Bay/ Tsartlip — Victoria site, traditional Lekwungen and WASANEC territory, is the largest city on Vancouver Island and the capital of BC. The site utilizes full service community family practices, inner city clinics and the 950 acute care beds of the Island Health Authority at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General Hospitals. There 3,000+ deliveries, over 100,000 emergency room visits, and 36,000 surgical procedures carried out each year. Residents based in Victoria collaborate with the Victoria Family Practice site for academic days and in-hospital rotations so will have a large cohort of peers (44 residents). Our FP preceptors are based at Cool-Aid, an Inner City clinic with outreach to Pacheedaht and Beecher Bay Indigenous communities and a full service FP clinic with maternity care and outreach to Tsartlip. We also have a full scope GP that residents will spend time with to round out training and for maternity care training.

Duncan/Cowichan Tribes — Duncan is the heart of the Cowichan Region. It is located half-way between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Remarkably, the town of Duncan hosts the world’s largest collection of outdoor totems. It has a population of 5,000 and a larger catchment area population of 38,000. Cowichan Tribes is the largest First Nation in BC with close to 4600 members. Hul’q’umi’num Mustimuhw refers to those people who speak the Hul’q’umi’num language. Cowichan Tribes are part of a larger group of First Nations, the Coast Salish people.

Cowichan District Hospital is an acute care facility with 95 beds. It serves a population of 80,000 people. Services offered include: Adult Mental Health and Addiction (Acute Inpatient Care), BC Cancer Agency Community Services (Communities Oncology Network), Cardiac Medical Tests, Cowichan Maternity Clinic, Emergency Services and General Laboratory Tests.

Residents based in Duncan collaborate with the Nanaimo Family Practice site for academic weeks and certain in-hospital regions — see below for information about the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Ladysmith/Stzuminus/ Snaw Naw As First Nations — Ladysmith is located on the eastern shores of spectacular Vancouver Island. It features all the warmth and charm of small town living with a full range of services and amenities. Ladysmith has a population of ~8,500 and is only 100 km north of Victoria and 25 km south of Nanaimo. Stzuminus First Nation’s traditional territory on east Vancouver Island includes four reserves of more than 1,200 hectares, much of it bordering the Strait of Georgia and Ladysmith Harbour. Stzuminus First Nation has 1,300 members. Snaw Naw As is a 90 home community located on 54 hectares just north of Nanaimo. The community opened a Health Care Centre in 2011 and now has doctors and residents rotating through it weekly.

Residents based in Ladysmith collaborate with the Nanaimo Family Practice site for academic weeks and in-hospital rotations. The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital provides service at the primary care and secondary referral level. It serves an immediate population of 90,000 and a referral population of 160,000. Current acute care bed allocation is 224 and annually there are 76,487 acute patient days, 12,828 admissions, 11, 116 in-and-outpatient surgical operations, 48,000 visits to emergency and 1,179 deliveries. There are 208 physicians on active staff.

Alert Bay / ’Namgis First Nation — This friendly community is well known for its magnificent scenery. Located on Cormorant Island, off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, it is approximately 180 miles by water from Vancouver. Alert Bay has been the traditional home of the 'Namgis' First Nations people and was once a native burial ground. Alert Bay has a population of approximately 550 residents.

UBC Family Medicine

Family Medicine training in BC presents you with many unique opportunities. We are a fully accredited distributed program with 20 training sites. In an effort to meet the evolving needs of our society, each site provides a solid foundation in the knowledge and clinical skills of Family Medicine so that our graduates are prepared to practice in a variety of settings. While our program offers diversity of training, it is based on common goals, learning objectives, and assessment standards.

All residents are required to do a mandatory 2-month rural rotation in Family Medicine in their second year. Residents in the Coastal, or rural programs in the Okanagan or the North complete longer rural placements. Residents can also apply to participate in Enhanced Rural training for a total of 4-6 months in rural communities.

There is extensive academic and administrative support for the entire residency program. Our central program administrative team is based in Vancouver on UBC campus. At the site level, leadership teams are made up of a Site Director, Site Faculty, Chief Residents and administrators. Lead Program Faculty provide provincial education support in the areas of curriculum, assessment, faculty development, scholarship and behavioral medicine.

The Family Practice Postgraduate Education Committee has representation from all sites to ensure a connected, distributed program that fully meets accreditation standards. Residents are represented at all levels of governance.

A wide range of amazing recreational and cultural opportunities are at your doorstep, as well as a collegial community of residents and physicians with whom you can learn, grow, and play. We want your experience to be in BC to be a positive and enjoyable one.

Training Sites: Overview

Visit the UBC Family Medicine Postgraduate website for a detailed overview of each of the 20 sites and their surrounding communities. Each site provides opportunities to experience Family Medicine in their unique context, offering special opportunities to gain experience and skills unique to the area where you are training.

The following is a list of our sites and their base community/hospital. Each site serves the surrounding community (see training sites for full details).

Greater Vancouver / Lower Mainland

  • Abbotsford-Mission

  • Coastal (North Vancouver, Lion’s Gate Hospital)

  • Chilliwack

  • Indigenous (Greater Vancouver and rural Indigenous communities)

  • St. Paul's (Downtown Vancouver, Inner City)

  • Surrey South Fraser (Surrey Memorial Hospital)

  • Vancouver Fraser (New Westminster, Royal Columbian)

Interior Region

  • Kootenay Boundary (Trail, Nelson, Rossland, Castlegar)

  • Kelowna Rural (Kelowna R1 year; rural communities across BC in R2 year)

  • Kelowna Regional

  • Okanagan South (Penticton)

  • Kamloops

Vancouver Island

  • Indigenous (Victoria, Duncan, Ladysmith and rural Indigenous communities)

  • Nanaimo

  • Strathcona (Comox, Campbell River and Courtenay)

  • Victoria


  • Fort St. John (Northeast)

  • Northern Rural (Prince George R1 year; rural communities across BC in R2 year)

  • Prince George

  • Terrace (Rural Northwest)

IMG positions are offered at the following sites:

  • Abbotsford-Mission

  • Chilliwack

  • Coastal

  • Fort St. John

  • Kamloops

  • Kootenay Boundary

  • Nanaimo

  • Okanagan South

  • Kelowna Rural

  • Kelowna Regional

  • Prince George

  • Strathcona

  • St. Paul’s

  • Surrey South Fraser

  • Vancouver Fraser

  • Victoria

Resident Support

Resident resilience and wellness is our top priority. Important resources have been developed by our program to support our residents throughout the course of the training.

All UBC programs are allocated a fixed amount of funding per resident for Resident Activities. This funding is used to provide educational support to residents during their 2 years of training. This includes funding for residents to attend program-wide courses and events. Additionally, residents may identify conferences and educational materials that would supplement their training experience. A discretionary, per resident funding will also be allocated to the sites for a similar purpose at the site level.

The program information on this website is in the language that the program is offered in.