Admissions Blog

Upcoming Info Session at UNBC

By Admissions on March 10, 2017

Are you a prospective or future applicant who lives in the Prince George area? If so, please check out the poster on the left for details about an upcoming info session at UNBC (click to enlarge). The Associate Dean of Admissions and MD Admissions staff will be available to answer questions and provide information about the program. We hope to see you there!

In addition to Prince George, information sessions are held in Kelowna, Victoria, and Vancouver. Please visit our Information Sessions page for upcoming Vancouver dates and links to dates in other cities.


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2017 Pre-Medical Diversity Symposium

By Admissions on February 17, 2017

The following is a message from the organizers of the 2017 Pre-Medical Diversity Symposium (click poster to enlarge):

Are you interested in a career in medicine, but don’t fit the traditional premed mold? Are you curious or confused about the road to applying to medical school? Do you want to hear from medical students who also come from diverse backgrounds?

Then this symposium is for you!

The UBC Faculty of Medicine invites people of all walks of life to apply to medical school. The Premedical Diversity Symposium is designed to support applicants who identify as “non-traditional” for reasons such as a difficult financial or family background, a non-science degree, indigenous ancestry, rural origin, parenthood, or applying later in life.


March 4th, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Registration and breakfast opens at 9:00 am
Symposium programming from 10 am-3:30 pm

This full day event will feature sessions on:
– The importance of diversity in medicine
– Student stories from current non-traditional medical students
– Q&A breakout sessions in small groups with a medical student
– A brief overview of the UBC medical school admissions process
– How to finance your way through medical school

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided!

Please RSVP at

More information can be found on our Facebook event page:

Where does this event take place?

This event takes place in Vancouver and will be video-conferenced to to Kelowna, Victoria, and Prince George. You may attend this event at any of the following sites:

Medical Student Alumni Centre (MSAC)
2750 Heather St, Vancouver, BC

Room 148, Reichwald Health Sciences Centre
1088 Discovery Ave, Kelowna, BC

Room 246, Royal Jubilee Hospital Coronation Annex
2221-2357 Richmond Rd, Victoria, BC

Prince George:
Room 9-370, Dr. Donald Rix Northern Health Sciences Centre
3333 University Way, Prince George, BC


Contact us at

Thank you and we hope to see you there!

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NMP Site Profile

By Admissions on February 15, 2017

Site Preference forms are due soon and some applicants may still be struggling with their site preference rankings. Other applicants have a pretty good idea of where they would like to go, but may be curious about what it would be like to live and study at a site other than their first preference. Luckily, our lovely medical students have stepped in to answer a few questions about life at each of the sites. Keep reading for a med student perspective on student life at VFMP, IMP, NMP and SMP.

We’ll start with NMP. Thank you to Adrienne and Jarad for giving us a peek into NMP life!

Adrienne says:

  1. What do you like best about your site? The medical community here is small and you get lots of great opportunities such as research (I had a great experience with radiation oncology at our cancer centre), rural weekend shadowing in small rural communities, as well as simply getting to know many physicians, making clerkship less intimidating as there are many familiar faces. We have some great physicians up here who love to teach and it’s easy to find mentorship if you want it. Community members are also very welcoming to us!
  2. What makes your site unique or special? Lifestyle. Being a med student is not easy and being able to afford comfortable accommodations and gain extra time in the day (by eliminating a commute) makes life a lot less stressful. I have a 5 minute commute to the University, 5 minute commute to the hospital, and am 8 minutes to the mountain bike and ski trails! Not to mention the university backs onto a beautiful forest – and lunch hour snowshoeing is an NMP activity. I don’t think any other site offers this. This is all especially key during your clerkship when you are incredibly busy and sleep deprived.
  3. What are some challenges associated with life at your site? There really aren’t many challenges… but one day I had to wait a while before I could go home because there was a moose in the parking lot near my car.
  4. What kind of person would really like living and studying at your site? People who like the outdoors and nature. People who dislike long commutes.
  5. Is there anything else you would like to add? After my interview I changed my site preference to Prince George and don’t regret it. It’s a great community to live and study in.

Jarad says:

  1. What do you like best about your site? I enjoy the maturity of the class, I enjoy the wilderness around Prince George. When you go out to the woods, there is just so much space that you are going to be the only one there.
  2. What makes your site unique or special? Each site has their unique opportunities. More than anything is the involvement and by in from the medical community and the community at large. I have been thanked for being a medical student up at the NMP more times than I can count, at the grocery store, helping someone out on the highway, at city hall…
  3. What are some challenges associated with life at your site? Shadowing opportunities are at times limited because all the physicians are already SO involved we try not to burn them out.
  4. What kind of person would really like living and studying at your site? PG is a city and has all the amenities you could ever ask for, but it’s not the big apple. Someone who enjoys community, likes being in some true wilderness and may be looking for a place to set down some roots will thrive here.
  5. Is there anything else you would like to add? No, that’s all.

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SMP Site Profile

By Admissions on

Thank you to Mike, Hannah and Drew for responding to our questions!

Mike says:

  1. What do you like best about your site? Kelowna itself is a beautiful city with all you need for living, shopping, and things to do. Downtown is right on Okanagan Lake, but in an hour’s drive you can be up at Big White for a day of skiing or snowboarding. Having said that, my favourite part about the Southern Medical Program has to be the small class size of 32. It makes for a really supportive environment when you know each one of your classmates by name and they all know you. With this smaller group, it’s possible to have social events where the whole class of 32 is invited, but you also build relationships with your classmates through small group work because 32 people can only be split so many different ways. This is great for finding people you work well with and can study with as you move forward.
  2. What makes your site unique or special? We’re the newest site which means we have beautiful new facilities to work out of, both on campus at UBCO and by the hospital at the Clinical Academic Campus. We also have a really positive team of faculty and staff that support us along the way and go out of their way to get to know us personally. The building that we have classes in at UBCO contains almost exclusively SMP faculty, staff, and students. This makes for a really positive environment that’s conducive to everyone knowing each other and feeling at home.
  3. What are some challenges associated with life at your site? The first year is a whirlwind as we do our first semester in Vancouver and then move up to Kelowna in the winter. It’s a challenge to find a place to live for only 4 months in Vancouver and it’s a challenge to organize finding a new place to live in Kelowna as you adjust to your first semester of medical school. However, the second year students can be really helpful in providing some direction as you navigate these moves. Further to that, we go back and forth between UBCO and the Clinical Academic Campus by the hospital and may also travel as far as Vernon for clinical experience at family practice offices. These are some of the most interesting learning experiences we have, but it is quite difficult to get yourself where you need to be if you don’t have a car accessible to you.
  4. What kind of person would really like living and studying at your site? I’ve emphasized some of what Kelowna has to offer with respect to outdoor activities, but it’s a big enough city that there is something for everyone. We’ve had large groups go out to do activities ranging from painting nights and wine tasting to salsa dancing and axe throwing (not at the same time)! I think the kind of person that would really enjoying being a Southern Medical Program student would be someone who really values knowing the people who are studying alongside them as well as the faculty and staff that are supporting them along the way. Many students have expressed that they feel less stressed learning in this environment, despite a curriculum that is identical between sites.
  5. Is there anything else you would like to add? I am not originally from the Interior, but I haven’t second-guessed my choice to move to Kelowna once. I could have chosen to stay closer to my family and friends, but I’ve found that medical school takes up the majority of my time regardless. It’s been exciting to explore a new city and it wasn’t hard to make a great group of friends within my class who are all going through what I’m going through.

Hannah says:

  1. What do you like best about your site? I like the small student to preceptor ratio and the ample opportunities for hands on learning. I enjoy that I know each physician and staff member personally.
  2. What makes your site unique or special? Often it is just you on a rotation which means for many patient encounters and procedures you are the first assist. Additionally, many of the physicians moved here to achieve a balanced lifestyle and thus encourage students to pursue hobbies and activities outside of medicine that will allow you to be healthier and happier mentally and physically.
  3. What are some challenges associated with life at your site? The lack of residents can make it challenging to “figure out” each rotation. Residents and senior students are valuable for helping navigate clerkship and for teaching. Also, we do not have exposure to all specialties which can make it difficult for those interested in pursuing certain career paths.
  4. What kind of person would really like living and studying at your site? A mature, enthusiastic, ambitious student who appreciates and enjoys new experiences and learns from stepping outside their comfort zone at times.
  5. Is there anything else you would like to add? I believe at SMP we are extremely fortunate as students for our staff and physicians really go above and beyond to provide us with the best education and training in the country. With the addition that you are not a number, you are known and valued as an individual, which becomes invaluable when inevitably “life happens” and you have the support you need.

Drew says:

  1. What do you like best about your site? The best thing about the Southern Medical Program is the passionate faculty and staff that we have here. The preceptors that we have give the students a lot of autonomy on the wards which makes for a fantastic learning experience during our clerkship year.
  2. What makes your site unique or special?
    – Kelowna’s hospital is a 5 minute walk from Lake Okanagan, 45 minute drive to Big White Mountain.
    – The SMP is a site where you get to know your colleagues as well as the faculty and staff very well.
    – Few learners (residents and fellow clerks) in the hospital meaning you get involved in lots of interesting cases, and get to take on a lot more responsibility during clerkship.
  3. What are some challenges associated with life at your site? First 2 years are spent at UBCO, which is 20 minutes away from downtown. The drive can get tedious but it is a good chance to get to know your classmates through carpooling, listening to medical podcasts, or you can ditch the car and commute by bike which a lot of students do as a group!
  4. What kind of person would really like living and studying at your site? If you are outgoing and adventurous, the Okanagan is going to be a perfect place for you. There is so much outdoors to explore that there will be something for everybody to get involved in. If outdoors isn’t for you, we have a lot of arts and culture as well. Tons of music, art, comedy and festivals of all kinds throughout the year. There is certainly something for everybody in Kelowna to take your mind off of medicine for a while.
  5. Is there anything else you would like to add? We a close knit group here at the SMP, and we look forward to welcoming you into the family!

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IMP Site Profile

By Admissions on

Thank you to Riley for sharing his thoughts about life at IMP!

  1. What do you like best about your site? The medical student community here on the island has always encouraged me to maintain a balance of work with self-care. This balance will be tremendously important during our careers, and something that I feel is necessary to establish. I have felt very supported by the faculty, fellow students, and the natural and peaceful environment conducive to learning, here in Victoria. On top of that, a smaller class size is more conducive for my learning style, and it really proves valuable during small group clinical skills sessions with tutors. Finally, you will find that the medical community is well-established here. Physicians are very willing to connect with students and offer mentorship, which has been fantastic for my professional and personal development.
  2. What makes your site unique or special? The Island Program is uniquely able to offer a small-group style of learning, with a tight-knit, friendly community, while still providing sufficient opportunities in many areas of medicine. I have not felt restricted in regards to participation in extracurricular activities and clubs, shadowing opportunities, and exposure to specialties in which I am interested. When deciding on a site, one should really take a trip out to Victoria – the surrounding nature, beaches, and mountains speak for themselves!
  3. What are some challenges associated with life at your site? It’s hard to me to think of any at this point, near the end of my second year – I hope that is saying something! The transit system in Victoria can often be unpredictable and infrequent. However, most students live within a 15-minute drive to the school, and a large proportion of the students bike to class or sessions at the school or the hospitals. The transit system may be something to consider during clerkship, or family practice shadowing sessions in areas further outside of Victoria.
  4. What kind of person would really like living and studying at your site? A person who can thrive in a smaller learning group setting (often 2-4 students per preceptor) should consider the distributed sites. Some may find that the smaller group size can be intimidating in some sessions, but has forced me to demonstrate my knowledge more often and develop my learning. The majority of students in this site frequently enjoy an active lifestyle. Lunchtime runs to Mt. Tolmie and Cadboro Bay (in between lectures), weekend camping and hiking trips, yoga sessions, multiple intramurals, and many more activities have been pastimes of students in the Island Medical Program. Some students have even gone surfing in Jordan River during the week!
  5. Is there anything else you would like to add? We are excited to welcome future students to the Island! You won’t regret it!

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