About the Program

The RCPSC-EM Residency Program at the University of British Columbia is one of the leading Emergency Medicine training programs in Canada. Drawing upon our commitment to education, multidisciplinary approach, and collaborative culture, our program offers residents an unmatched variety of exposure to develop their clinical skills.

Program Overview

The UBC RCPSC Emergency Medicine Residency Program was established in the 1980’s, and our graduates include many leaders in academic and clinical EM, and EM sub-specialties. Our program offers training to physicians wishing to pursue a career in Emergency Medicine. The program is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is five years in length.

Residents in the program are thoroughly trained in all aspects of emergency care. Upon completion of the program, graduates have consultant level abilities in the management of patients with any illness or injury presenting to the emergency department and are well prepared for clinical, academic or leadership roles in emergency medicine.

The UBC RCPSC-EM Residency Program is one of the largest Emergency Medicine residency programs in Canada. In response to the increasing need for RCPSC-trained emergency physicians in BC and throughout Canada, our residency program expanded in July 2013. The original Vancouver/Lower Mainland site was joined by three new sites: Vancouver Island (including Victoria General and Royal Jubilee Hospitals), Fraser Valley (including Royal Columbian Hospital) and the Interior (including Kelowna General Hospital). Though our residents are primarily based at one program site, the program gives you the opportunity arrange rotations at any of our 4 sites and beyond (including Surrey Memorial Hospital, BC Children’s Hospital) – each with different practice styles and unique patient populations.


Here is an overview of what your 5 years could look like. It can vary depending on your needs as a resident. There is a lot of flexibility R2 to R4. Notice how you will start with 3 blocks of emergency medicine in R1!

Examples of elective blocks include EM in Whistler, CCU in Victoria, or medical education in 5th year. Our Neuroscience block can be Neurosurgery or Neurology. There are also many opportunities for international electives, with residents commonly doing Toxicology in New York City and Trauma in South Africa and Chicago.

Program Sites


As the original site of the UBC Emergency Medicine program, the Vancouver site is home to many experienced staff from all specialties who are experts in their field and dedicated to teaching residents.

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Vancouver Island

The Vancouver Island site provides first-hand access to high acuity medicine. If you would like to combine the outdoors with a fabulous 5 years of training in a tight-knit program, Vancouver Island is for you.

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Based out of Royal Columbian Hospital, the Fraser site is a busy level one trauma centre with a community feel and many talented staff members. Fraser has a strong track record of excellence in teaching… and outdoor adventure!

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Nestled in the Okanagan Valley and surrounded by mountains and water, the Interior site is the only Royal College training program in the BC Interior. Trainees will gain hands-on experience and assume clinical responsibility in a high volume, high acuity centre.

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Program Strengths

The RCPSC-EM Residency Program at UBC is one of the best in the nation. No matter your interests, we are a diverse, flexible and supportive group that is dedicated to personal and professional growth. Click to learn more about our program strengths and why you should choose UBC.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The most unique aspect of the UBC RCPSC-EM Residency Program is the flexibility! No where else in Canada can you practice Emergency Medicine at 4 different sites under 1 program. Whether you match to the Vancouver, Fraser, Interior or Island program, you are still part of one big UBC family and have the ability to easily arrange rotations at any site. This gives you the ability to experience different practice styles, care for unique patient populations and carve out your own niche.

One of the best aspects of the UBC RCPSC-EM Residency Program is the sense of community between residents, staff and admin. Despite having one of the biggest and distributed programs in the country, there is still a strong sense of community. Residents from all sites come together every year for multiple events such as Retreat, conferences, and certain rotations. Whether you like to mountain bike and ski or go for a relaxing spa and massage session on your days off, you will find others who share your interests. No matter where you are from, you will feel at home here at UBC.

This is a common misconception that not only affects UBC residency programs, but other schools as well. Here at UBC, we welcome a diversity of people from all across the country as we believe that people from different backgrounds bring fresh perspectives and strengthen our program. We are looking for candidates that will become excellent Emergency Physicians and propel our great specialty forward.

We understand that it can be challenging for out of province applicants to do an elective at UBC as there are limited spots and UBC electives typically run for 4 weeks. Whether you do an elective here or not has no impact on how we view you as a candidate. If you are interested in our program, we encourage you to apply no matter where you have done your electives.

Research experience is not a necessary prerequisite to match to UBC. We have residents who have published in peer reviewed journals and residents who had no research experience prior to starting in our program. While research experience may enhance your CV, we recognize that not everyone is passionate or interested in research and we celebrate the diversity of skills that our residents bring to the program. Furthermore, during residency, you will have dedicated teaching on how to conduct research in Emergency Medicine and how far you want to take it is up to you!

Simulation (or SIM for short) is a core part of every Emergency Medicine training program. SIM allows us to prepare for scenarios that we may not commonly encounter in real life so that we are better prepared for when we do see a rare clinical occurrence. Furthermore, the delivery of good Emergency Medicine care relies on teamwork between physicians, nurses and allied health care staff. SIM allows us to work on our communication, leadership and collaborative skills so that we can care for a patient to the best of our ability.

Emergency Medicine programs across the country adopted the new Competency Based Design (CBD) curriculum outlined by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada approximately 2 years ago. The curriculum divides residency training into 4 key stages:

  1. Transition to Discipline
  2. Foundations
  3. Core
  4. Transition to Practice

Each stage requires the learner to complete a number of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) in order to advance to the next stage. The EPAs focus on specific skills such as the ability to suture a complex laceration or to manage a patient in a mental health crisis. The goal is to allow staff physicians to give you specific feedback about a task in order to better help you become competent at that skill.

While the Competency Based Design (CBD) curriculum has its challenges, UBC has risen to the challenge of making it the best learning experience possible for our residents. We have incredibly dedicated and passionate staff who want us to succeed in the new curriculum. Each site has a CBD working group that gathers resident feedback about how to better improve the delivery of CBD for residents. Our residents are grateful that almost every staff member they work with recognizes the importance of giving learners specific and constructive feedback. Most staff will offer to do an EPA feedback form without you asking and that goes a long way to helping us grow as future Emergency Physicians.

Meet our Residents

Learn more about our incredible group of residents from all 4 of our program sites.


With four unique program sites, we have something for everyone. Learn more about what makes us one of the leading Emergency Medicine training programs in Canada.

Contact Us

Questions about our program? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us today!