University of British Columbia - Internal Medicine - Vancouver Island


Program Director

Dr. Jim Spence


Program Administrator

Kristen Stanbridge

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The Vancouver Island Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is a distributed site of the program based at UBC in Vancouver. As such it shares some features with Vancouver, but differs in other ways:

  • Our aim is to provide core training in Internal Medicine that is equivalent, but not identical, to that provided in the main program.

  • The majority of the training will be delivered on Vancouver Island, largely at the two teaching hospitals in Victoria (Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital) but also at other sites on Vancouver Island such as Duncan, Nanaimo, Comox and Campbell River. There are some mandatory blocks of experience at teaching hospitals in Vancouver (St Paul's Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital) in the first year.

  • The Vancouver Island IM residents spend their protected academic time over the three years learning medicine in a different format than those in Vancouver. Just like all the new R1s in Vancouver, our R1s start off with two weeks of Boot Camp in Vancouver in July. Next is a series of lectures on all aspects of basic medicine that is videoconferenced every Wednesday afternoon from August to January. In February, our R1s join our R2s and R3s in the IM Academic Full Day series that runs on Thursdays ever two weeks. The academic program is partially resident-driven and covers all aspects of medicine according to a two year repeating schedule. Academic Full Days are protected from clinical responsibilities. Residents are excused when they are out of town, but may VC in if available.

  • Five days of conference leave every year.

  • Our residents also have paid access to NEJM+ online training during the 3 years of training.

  • It is a policy that education is emphasized over service.

  • We do encourage our residents to join academic and social activities put on by the main program in Vancouver such as the Whistler Retreat, Resident Research Day and other social events. In addition, we have developed some activities for local Residents only: the Summer Retreat, Winter Dinner and end of year Resident Grad Night.

The Vancouver Island training site will offer some features in addition to those at the Vancouver site:

  • There is a mandatory longitudinal outpatient medicine clinic (UMAC RJH) for all residents that gives them "real life" experience in outpatient Internal Medicine supervised by IM Staff. Each resident has their own patients to assess and follow in a clinic block assigned to them every two weeks (except during out of town blocks).•Most of the mandated sub-specialty blocks will be delivered on Vancouver Island, largely in Victoria at one of the two main hospitals. Fewer trainees per block will allow for a much more personal learning experience with excellent access to the Attendings.

The program has numerous other features which should attract applicants

  • Annual Summer Welcome Retreat

  • Grad Night in June

  • Winter Research Dinner

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When will I be notified of an invitation to interview?

All applicants, whether successful or not, will receive notification on March 1, 2021.

Will I know who my interviewers are prior to the interview?

You will not have information with respect to your interviewers prior to the morning of your interview.

Is there a chief resident or another resident I can contact with respect to program-related questions?

The program offers opportunities for networking with residents during the actual interview day. Currently, with respect to any questions involving the overall program you can contact: Kristen Stanbridge by email Kristen will direct your questions to an appropriate resident for response.

If I am not shortlisted how can I appeal to have my file reviewed again?

Generally, files are not re-reviewed. The Department of Medicine receives a large number of excellent candidates and it is extremely difficult to develop a shortlist. We do feel, however, that we have developed excellent criteria for development of a shortlist. We receive many requests from applicants asking us to review their files again and out of fairness to all applicants will decline to do this except for very extenuating circumstances.

My referee has not sent my reference letter to carms by the deadline date. Can I send you a hard copy?

We do not take hard copies of any file materials. The selection process is completely electronic. No paper copies are printed andour faculty work directly from the electronic CaRMS site.

I note your program does not require any additional documentation other than noted on the carms site. Would it be beneficial to submit any medicine clerkship evaluations or medicine elective evaluations.

Yes — it would be beneficial to submit medicine clerkship evaluations and medicine elective evaluations.

I will be in vancouver for an elective prior to the interview dates. Is it possible to set up an interview at that time?

No interviews will be set up prior to the shortlisting process or the formal interview dates. Our process is intended to be equitable to all applicants

Is there any specific criteria for the personal letter?

The personal letter should demonstrate an awareness of Internal Medicine, the UBC program and its distributed site here on Vancouver Island.

If my personal letter is longer than the requested one page will it negatively impact my application?

No — UBC, however, receives almost 200 applications each year and we are attempting to keep the paperwork down to a minimum for the file reviewers. Please keep your personal letter to one standard page, single spaced. The Vancouver Island program receives a large number of applications and we appreciate your skills in being brief.

Will the interviewers have access to my file on the interview day?

No -the files will already have been reviewed and scored. The interview scoring is based solely on the interview.

I have heard a rumour that UBC ranks their own trainees first. Is this correct?

No — UBC has never had a policy of ranking their students first. We believe in ranking the best applicants we can regardless of where they trained

Is it easy to find research mentors and opportunities?

Our research office assists residents in connecting with faculty with related research interests.