Why UBC?

Our Program

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. Learn more about what makes our program unique:


  • Where else can you practice Emergency Medicine at more than 4 different sites under 1 overall program? Residents are easily able to 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.
  • Quarterly review meetings determine the value of each rotation and our rotations can vary based on resident input.
  • Your schedule can vary depending on your needs as a resident. There is a lot of flexibility from R2 to R4. Residents 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.

Exam Preparation

  • Starting in R1, residents write a nationally standardized practice exam that mimics the Royal College exam. This allows you to track your progress throughout the years and get an idea of what your future preparation needs might be.
  • Practice oral exams that mimic the Royal College exam also take place several times a year. R1s are given the opportunity to observe their seniors participate in the orals before attempting it themselves from R2 on.
  • Each resident receives a curriculum fund that covers the costs of textbooks, podcasts, medical apps and conferences in order to enhance your learning experience.


  • We do a lot of EM from day 1. You get 5-6 months of EM in 1st year and 5-6 months in 2nd and 3rd year. This means that you don’t spend large amounts of time off-service without coming back to your home service.
  • We usually only have one learner per shift, which means that it is just you and the staff working one on one. You will not only get a feel for department flow, but you’ll have an optimal teaching/learning environment that is centered around your learning objectives.
  • Our ER shifts are designed to be overlapping, which guarantees you’ll always see smiling faces of your fellow residents around the department for added encouragement.

Academic Full Day

  • We will say it loud and clear – Academic FULL Day! We have dedicated ECG, radiology, Patient Safety and Quality Rounds, pharmacology and trauma rounds in addition to our Rosen’s sessions.
  • R1s have their own seminars, entitled ‘Foundations,’ that allow us to grasp the basics of EM. R2s to R5s participate in ‘Core’ seminars that are designed to prepare them for the Royal College Exam.
  • Each seminar is designed to be interactive and provide clinical pearls that you simply cannot get from merely reading a textbook.
  • Each week, we have 2-3 residents and a staff present interesting cases/topics during rounds. R1s start with a 10 minute presentation that allows us to practice our presentation skills before moving on to Grand Rounds presentations in the later years.

Teaching Skills

  • Each resident will have several opportunities to present over the year at journal club, grand rounds, academic rounds and M&M rounds, with senior residents also having the opportunity to teach a Foundations seminars to first years.
  • As an off-service junior, you will have the opportunity to teach medical students directly under your supervision. We have various opportunities for you be involved in extra-curriculars such as leading suturing sessions.
  • Senior residents have the opportunity to request shifts with junior learners so that they can practice managing the department and teaching simultaneously – a critical skill that is needed as a future staff member.


  • Ultrasound proficiency is key in Emergency Medicine and our program introduces ultrasound training within months of beginning residency.
  • We have a dedicated POCUS block in R1 that allows us to gain basic skills before we move on to dedicated ultrasound shifts in our later years.
  • Opportunities for more advanced ultrasound training are available in upper years – through further EDE courses or a formal ultrasound fellowship.

Mentorship & Coaching

  • Despite our large number of residents, we are an especially tight—knit group. From weekly sushi lunches during Academic Days to our annual UBC EM retreat, seniors are juniors regularly share their experiences and provide guidance to one another.
  • In R1, each site has different ways of pairing you up with mentors or coaches to help track your development during residency and support your learning goals.
  • In R2, you are encouraged to select a staff mentor whom you can turn to for invaluable professional and personal advice (and they usually pick up the beverage tab!)


  • Each site has a dedicated Simulation Training Centre. All UBC EM residents will participate in several formal high-fidelity SIM sessions throughout the year.
  • R1s also participate in a 2 day POEM course – a SIM session with all the Surgery and Anesthesia R1 residents. This is an exciting way to get to know your colleagues and share different skill sets.
  • The VGH Emergency Department will host weekly interdisciplinary simulation codes in the ED Trauma Bay which residents will participate in during their EM blocks.

EHS Block

  • Who doesn’t want to ride along in an ambulance with its lights and sirens blazing? In R2, you will have a dedicated EMS block that will allow you to practice medicine in the field, alongside your EMS colleagues.
  • This allows you to practice medicine without all the resources of the ED behind you and promotes quick thinking and adaptation skills in order to best care for your patients.


  • Residency is full of ups and downs (with many more ups than downs!) and it is important to know you’ll have supportive staff and faculty. Here at UBC, we have a light-hearted group of staff and residents who also happen to have a lot of fun doing what we love.
  • This is evident in the many incriminating photos from conferences, holiday videos, and even rounds. In all seriousness, the staff at all four sites are incredibly invested in resident well-being and safety. Though difficult to describe in words, it’s worth experiencing. At the end of the day, there’s no shortage of support.

Our Location

It’s no secret that BC is a beautiful province. Whether you are in Victoria, Kelowna, New Westminster or Vancouver, you’ll be set amongst a stunning scenic backdrop, surrounded by a medley of sophisticated restaurants, dog-friendly parks and pubs of every shape and form; you will be amazed at the opportunities for you to choose your own adventures during your weekends/weekdays off. For the land lovers, your adventures might include rock climbing in Squamish or outlet shopping Seattle. For all those sports aficionados, whether it’s the Whitecaps, Lions or Canucks, there’s no shortage of bandwagons to jump on. Of course, for the art scene enthusiasts, Vancouver is home to one of the most vibrant art scenes with its street festivals, outdoor concerts, art galleries galore, and music scene that can satisfy any musical palate. Here in BC, we have something for everyone, and we can’t wait for you to experience it all.

A Message From Our Residents

Here at UBC, you will find both the staff and residents incredibly passionate and dedicated to Emergency Medicine. In the Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Interior, and Fraser sites, you will be exposed to large volumes of diverse patients with unique and challenging pathologies. You will work with residents and staff who have interests in toxicology, wilderness medicine, sports medicine, palliative care, pre-hospital care, clinical ethics, ultrasound, hyperbaric medicine, critical care, epidemiology and more! No matter your interests, we are a diverse, flexible, and supportive group that is dedicated to your personal and professional growth. Regardless of age, background or interests, once you match here, you become part of our family. We depend on each other through all the ups and downs during residency, and we are excited to welcome new members to our family!

– The UBC Emergency Medicine Residents


Applying to our program? Learn more about the application process and register for one of our virtual meet and greets.

Meet our Residents

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

Contact Us

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