We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we provide care is the traditional territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations.
Victoria, BC is home to Vancouver Island’s 5-year Royal College Emergency Medicine program. The Vancouver Island site is 1 of the 4 Emergency Medicine programs within British Columbia.
- Two recently renovated emergency departments that see approximately 110,000 patients per year combined
- Recently renovated simulation centre with 2x high fidelity simulations per month, including “in situ” scenarios done in the trauma bay with multidisciplinary teams
- Regular oral exams with staff physicians to help residents prepare for the Royal College exam. This includes early involvement in residency with R1s participating quarterly, to more vigorous preparation for senior residents in the spring
- Dedicated ultrasound blocks in R1 and R3
- Trauma Team Leader call opportunities for our residents throughout their 5 years of training
- Local radiology rounds, ECG rounds, and journal clubs
- Annual local resident retreat: sailing in Tofino, camping on Rathtrevor beach, houseboating on Cowichan Lake, and hiking on Saltspring Island are just some of the things we have done!
- Monthly resident family dinners
- Regular ice-cream rounds
- Multiple teaching opportunities with residents and medical students through the UBC Island Medical Program
- Low staff-to-learner ratio, which affords access to multiple learning opportunities and independence early in training
- Support and access to training opportunities within the other UBC training sites
For more information, please refer to our program description on the CaRMS website
Victoria General Hospital
This emergency department was rebuilt in 2009 and sees 55,000 patients annually. Victoria General Hospital specializes in neurology, neurosurgery, pediatrics and obstetrics, and is also a level-2 trauma centre. Victoria General Hospital is the trauma referral center for Vancouver Island with all trauma resuscitations being led by emergency physicians as the TTL. EM Residents also have the opportunity to do Trauma Team Leader call shifts as soon as they start their EM rotations on the island. Approximately 25% of the annual visits to Victoria General Hospital are pediatrics. The hospital has both a pediatric and neonatal ICU, as well as a variety of pediatric specialists including ICU, anesthesia, cardiology, and general surgery. All pediatric resuscitation and trauma is also led by our emergency physicians.
Royal Jubilee Hospital
This hospital is in the centre of Victoria and has about 55,000 emergency department visits annually. As the inner-city hospital, it serves a wide variety of patient demographics including an older population from nearby nursing homes as well as an inner city population with homelessness, substance use, and infectious disease issues. The Royal Jubilee Hospital is the interventional cardiac, vascular, and thoracic center for Vancouver Island, and there is also a dedicated Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) space attached to the main emergency department.
Our residency program follows the Competence by Design (CBD) format set forth by the Royal College. The program is 5 years in duration and an example outline of the curriculum can be found below:
Welcome to Victoria, BC!
Over 350,000 people call the Greater Victoria area home! We are lucky to enjoy a unique mediterranean climate and hours of sunshine throughout the year. Did you know that Victoria is the 6th sunniest city in Canada, and that it receives less annual precipitation than nearly 82% of Canada’s 41 largest urban areas? Some would say it’s a nice place to live! BC’s capital city has historic buildings at every turn, enough restaurants/cafes/pubs to keep you busy for years, an extensive system of bike lanes and regional trails for riding, sandy beaches with mountainous landscapes for lounging, and dense greenery everywhere you look.
The University of Victoria is the primary degree-granting institution in Victoria, and was founded in 1903 as an affiliate of McGill University. It is now fully independent and consistently ranks in the top three most comprehensive universities across Canada. The metropolitan area of Victoria also hosts Camosun College and Royal Roads University, which is home to Hatley Castle and was previously a military college. The Greater Victoria School District operates a variety of elementary and high schools, french immersion programs, private and charter schools, and specialised schools.
Victoria is the main ‘jumping-off point’ for adventurers looking to experience Vancouver Island. The city itself boasts kilometres of bike lanes and dedicated regional trails, such as the Galloping Goose Trail, so that cycling to work earns you praise rather than road rage. If you’re a mountain biker, you can find adrenaline-pumping single track within Victoria itself, at Bear Mountain, or at Hartland/Mount Work Regional Park – all of which are only a short drive from downtown Victoria. Surrounded by ocean on three sides, Victoria is an ocean sport mecca, and there is never a shortage of kite surfers, kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders, and sailors. Surfers are a short drive away from Jordan River, Sombrio and China Beaches, and only a few hours away from world-famous Tofino. Victoria is also home to many marinas (many of which boast excellent restaurants and cafés), including the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and Oak Bay Marina. Do you like golf? Well Victoria arguably has some of the nicest golf courses in North America. Check out Victoria Golf Club (url: https://www.victoriagolf.com/) or Bear Mountain Resort (url: https://bearmountain.ca/)
Food & Drink
Victoria boasts a multitude of fine dining options, and is home to more than a dozen craft breweries. If you like something more challenging than Coors or Labatt’s, then Victoria’s craft brewing scene is for you. With more breweries per capita than anywhere else in Canada, you can be sure to find your favourite new beverage. Food options range from fine Italian dining at Il Terrazzo to French delicacies at Restaurant Matisse, from seaside pub eats at Spinnakers Brewpub to delicious sushi at Sen Zushi! If you are in need of something quick, a food truck is never far away.
Vancouver Island is also home to 38 licensed wineries, many of which are in the immediate vicinity of Victoria. In addition, Victoria hosts many great coffee shops and several roasteries such as Fernwood Coffee and Caffe Fantastico. No matter what taste, preference, or style, it can be found in Victoria’s thriving foodie scene!
Arts & Culture
Known as the cultural hub of BC and possessing old-world charm, Victoria is called the most British city in Canada. Music lovers of all varieties can find almost any music style ranging from the Victoria Symphony to Rifflandia Music Festival. The Victoria Fringe Festival, Belfry Theater, and many other performing arts venues make for a great (and sometimes interactive!) night out. For those with a more discerning taste, a morning at Butchart Gardens chased with afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel gives a decidedly tranquil and recharging experience.
Prior to the arrival of European sailors and mappers in the 1700s, southern Vancouver Island was home to various Coast Salish peoples. The city itself was incorporated in 1862, and its long and rich history is readily apparent around every corner. The world-famous Royal Victoria Museum is located on the inner harbour and hosts a series of fixed and rotating exhibits. Directly opposite are the neo-baroque BC parliament buildings, first built in the 1890s and home to the BC legislature. And then there’s the historic Empress Hotel, which was built in 1908 and is considered one of Canada’s grand railway hotels. Victoria’s chinatown is the oldest in Canada, and the second-oldest in North America, and it continues to be a vibrant cultural hub. Around the city are a variety of sculptures, statues, historic sites, and castles that provide for endless exploration.
“The Vancouver Island Program is special because of the residents. We are like a big family. The staff are great, the ER physician group is stellar, there is a lot of high acuity and really interesting medicine, but the residents themselves are what really makes this program special.” – Dr. Helen Ross
“For me it comes down to three things: the people, the place, and the program, and we’ve got it all!” – Dr. Nathan Ashmead
“As a graduate from this program, I think I have a pretty good inside view. It’s a program that provides fantastic training, you get to know all your staff really well and they get to know you really well. There is a lot of time and effort put in to make sure that we have all of the various facets of Emergency Medicine covered in our training.” – Dr. Tristan Jones
“The group here is still nice and small, which allows for more opportunities for each learner” – Dr. Gina Gill
“We’re not jammed packed full of trainers… so for the stuff that comes in, you get to see and you get to do” – Dr. Kahla Albert
“I really like working in Victoria specifically because it’s a referral center for peds, trauma, and cardiac… you see a lot of great acuity, but it’s small enough that you know all of your colleagues really well… and you know your consultants too” – Dr. Rob Brunelle
Brandon Evtushevski, aka Chevy, hails from the small town of Lich, Germany, which also happens to be the birthplace of his favourite wobbly pop. Years after growing up on diet centered around Schnitzel and beer, Chevy made his move to Kelowna, BC where he enjoyed skiing and mountain biking up and down the large steep […]
Colin Sedgwick is a born and bred BC boy. Just prior to being born in Vancouver, his mother obtained an ultrasound that showed him reading the Rosen’s textbook in the womb. Shortly after being born, he interpreted his own fetal rhythm strip and decided that the Vancouver life was causing too many decelerations, so he […]
Hilary grew up on the North Shore but has since steeped in many different towns including Sackville NB where she completed her undergraduate degree at Mt. Allison, Nelson BC where her family calls home, and Whistler BC where she learned to shred ski slopes. She has since wandered throughout BC for her medical training as […]
Master Corporal Jamieson Ward, is not your average EM resident. First of all, he’s a father of two beautiful girls, he once lived on the island and then actually left it (there’s a published case report about this rare event), and he’s also ex-military. He was born in Montreal, QC before he embarked on a […]
Larissa was born and raised in the wilderness of Bancroft, Ontario. Growing up on a lake she spent almost all of her time swimming, jet skiing and ripping clappers from the point during (what were otherwise) friendly games of pond hockey. If you have any further questions about her childhood, please refer to LetterKenny Season […]
Hailing from Vancouver (where she did both her undergrad and medical school), Lulu has decided to ditch the traffic and noise of the big city and instead pursue her passion of chasing after 5 foot stingrays off the island’s coast. Oh, and she’s also kind of interested in Emergency Medicine! With her amazing voice and […]
This young buck was born & raised in Richmond, BC. He finally found his footing at the age of 17 and wandered over to Vancouver Island, never to leave again. He completed a BSc in Kinesiology at the University of Victoria, followed by his MD through UBC. A thrill seeking free spirit that skydives & […]
Nathan is the program’s first True Islander, having grown up in Nanaimo, BC: a stone’s throw from Victoria. Growing up in the sleepy town of Nanaimo, he spent much of his time combing the beach looking for moon shells and enjoying the nighttime phosphorescence. Nathan, while being an avid traveler, has never actually left the […]
Rod Vafaei grew up on B.C.’s beautiful North Shore and acquired numerous nicknames from his rugby days including Hot Rod, the Persian Rifle, and… less savoury ones that only his therapist has heard about. After perfecting the delicate art of being the class clown and clamming up whenever his crush walked by in high school, […]
Drafted first round into the Vancouver Island Spikeball League, Sam is another born and bred Island boy, if you couldn’t tell from his luscious facial hair and permanent tan. Sam has five, yes FIVE sisters. Somehow, he survived his early years of having his hair done in braids and moving between urban Victoria and a […]
Seany P is the more muscular, and some might say shorter, half of the Sham-Wow pair. Standing a full 5ft 7inches tall, what he lacks in height he makes up for in spunk and his ability to bench press Donovan. Although technically another Alberta boy, having grown up in the frozen tundra of Edmonton, he […]
Victoria Emergency Medicine offers a 4 week elective for medical students in their final year of training that provides the opportunity to gain exposure and competence in managing a wide variety of clinical presentations in a busy emergency department. Students start by working with an experienced emergency physician on dedicated four-hour teaching blocks, where the physician is scheduled exclusively to teach rather than trying to manage the department. This is then followed by normal emergency department shifts where you work one-on-one with knowledgeable, enthusiastic physicians with a passion for teaching. Students will have the opportunity to participate in emergency procedures such as suturing, orthopedic reductions, casting, intubation, central lines, chest tube placement and trauma management. They will also have the opportunity to work alongside senior emergency medicine residents. Additional learning opportunities include involvement in weekly academic days with the EM residents, monthly EM journal clubs, weekly grand rounds, and simulation sessions.
For more information or to inquire about arranging an elective, please contact Theresa McInally at email@example.com. For questions regarding the elective itself please contact Dr. Jim Goulding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Out of province students are also welcome! For more information about the UBC visiting student elective program, please check the UBC visiting student elective page.
Applications for electives are submitted online via the One45 system. There are deadline application dates for each elective block, and your application must be approved by the elective organizer for successful placement.
Applications for electives are submitted online.
Applicants to UBC electives are selected on a first come, first serve basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply and pay as close to the 7 month mark as possible.
Note that while you may complete the application process early, the placement process may start several months later, as this is dependent on the UBC student schedule.
Unfortunately, UBC cannot guarantee that all applicants will receive a confirmed elective due to capacity limitations.
UBC will continue attempts at confirming a rotation for you up until 2 months prior to the elective start date. After that time, they will close your application to provide you with enough time to arrange an elective elsewhere.
You will receive regular communications throughout the process to ensure you are aware of the status of your application.
Students with confirmed electives in Victoria can contact Angela Dawe at email@example.com for accommodation options.
Associate Program Director – Vancouver Island Site
Dr. Helen Ross
For general inquiries, please contact our program admin:
Theresa McInally, Site Program Administrator – Vancouver Island Site
+1 (250) 519-7700 Ext. 13424
If you’re on the Island for any clinical rotation, or out of province and interested in getting to know our program, please reach out to our chief residents as we’d love to meet you and chat!