University of British Columbia - Family Medicine - Nanaimo


Program Director

Dr. Tony Zuccaro


Site Coordinator

Lisa Ripka


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.


The Nanaimo Site offers a learner centered curriculum with strong educational focus. A wide spectrum of family physician and specialist colleagues offer preceptor based experiential learning in an environment of mutual support and respect. Each resident is connected with a family practice clinic with multiple family physician preceptors. Residents achieve their own patient population and follow patients throughout their 2 year program. The academic curriculum is accomplished during full academic weeks interspersed throughout the year. Residents are not in rotations and are not on call for another discipline during academic weeks. There is elective opportunity in the R2 year. There is learner centred self- scheduling for holidays, call responsibility and daily schedules.

Purpose / Objectives

The Vision of the Nanaimo site is to train Family Physicians to have knowledge, attitudes and skills to improve health and wellbeing of patients, care providers and communities. This site will contribute to the research and application of all CANMed’s FM roles for the learners, faculty, and communities.

Our Mission is to provide a postgraduate family practice residency program as a community-based UBC, Affiliated Regional Medical Training Centre, in collaboration with the UBC Postgraduate Residency Training Program, Island Medical Program and the Island Health. This site will assist learners, enhance the professional environment for the faculty and staff, and will improve the health care of central Vancouver Island citizens.

Site Objectives

  • The Nanaimo Site will provide a central Vancouver Island Family Medicine Residency Program that is based on CanMEDS-FM roles, with an integrated rotational approach.

  • The graduating residents will provide their knowledge, attitudes and skills in comprehensive family medicine in rural, regional or urban settings.

  • The learning environment will be focused on family practice problem-solving skills and based on principles of effective adult education.

  • The residents will be part of a community network of health care providers and will become skilled collaborating team members and team leaders.

  • The graduating residents will have expert knowledge of the wide range of common problems of patients in these communities and of the less common but life-threatening and treatable emergencies in patients of all stages of the life cycle.

  • The excellent training will be a cooperative venture between this community-based training site and the resident.

  • Family Medicine will be taught by family physicians whose philosophy and practice are consistent with the aims and aspirations of College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Academic Days and Research

Residents attend mandatory academic week activities. 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 June of each year, residents will come together for a mandatory Site specific Scholarship Day.

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

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 —

Located on central Vancouver Island, Nanaimo, known as the Harbour City, is Vancouver Island's second largest city with a population of 94,000. It is a regional service centre and supports a diversified economy, with tourism being a major contributor. There are excellent recreational opportunities in the central Vancouver Island region.

Residents should expect to live in the area as the majority of the clinical work will occur in that community.


The Nanaimo Site offers a good balance of responsibility and education in a community that strongly supports the UBC Postgraduate Family Practice Residency Program. A wide spectrum of family physician and specialist colleagues eagerly offer preceptor based experiential learning in an environment of mutual support and respect. Each resident is assigned a community family practice clinic with multiple family physician preceptors. Residents achieve their own patient population within their community family practice clinic and follow those patients throughout their 2 year residency program.

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.