Indigenous Pathway

We believe your unique skills and experiences are vital to a vibrant medical community. At the Faculty of Medicine, we care deeply about creating a respectful and inclusive educational experience for Indigenous students throughout their academic careers. We want you to feel welcome from the moment you join our community so that you can make a difference in the world — to communities, nations, and relations.

We are a community that celebrates our learners’ diverse views on healthcare and Indigenous ways of knowing. Feeling a sense of belonging is essential to thriving and we want to connect Indigenous students with opportunities to join a healthcare community that honours traditions and knowledge while inviting diverse perspectives.

You Belong

Did you know less than 1% of doctors in B.C. and Canada are Indigenous — First Nations, Metis and Inuit? We want to help bridge this gap and ensure that the medical doctor profession has an equitable representation of Indigenous medical doctors.

At the Faculty of Medicine, there are dedicated resources for Indigenous students, including a mentorship program, Year 1 orientation, annual Indigenous medical education gathering, Elder support, and more. Becoming a doctor might seem like a big commitment, but we are dedicated to your wellbeing and academic success throughout your degree.

Applying Through the Indigenous Pathway

We encourage people who self-identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit to apply to the program. As an Indigenous applicant, you will be required to provide additional documents at the time of application:

Proof of Ancestry

  • A scanned copy of the front and back of your Indian Status Card or Tribal Enrolment Card, Métis Membership/Citizenship Card, Inuit or Inuvialuit Tribal Corporation Number or Inuit Registry, or
  • A letter from an official representative of your First Nations Band, Treaty, Tribal, or Traditional Council, Inuit land/territory organization, Métis settlement or community organization, or a recognized Indigenous organization. This letter must be on organizational letterhead and sent directly to the Admissions office by mail or email to

If you are not sure if your proof of ancestry is accepted or you do not have proof of ancestry, please contact us and we can help you navigate what you need for the admissions process

Meet Our Students

Nolan Chem

Many of my most memorable experiences come from medical school. Take the time to connect with your classmates. Keep an open mind when going through your clinical rotations because you never know what might catch your eye! Medical school can get busy at times and can be stressful, so try and develop healthy habits early in medical school like exercising, mindfulness, and connecting with friends or family.

Nolan Chem, Métis Nation, from Langley, BC (born and raised in Winnipeg, MB) started the MD Undergraduate Program in 2018

Meet our students

Indigenous Personal Essay

The essay should be approx. 750-1000 words and should be written as a narrative or story in your own words. It should include:

  • Your background and history, including your family, clan, Nation, etc.,
  • Your involvement with and contribution to your Indigenous community,
  • Why you want to be a doctor,
  • Your hobbies, interests, activities, traditional and/or cultural practices you engage in,
  • Any other relevant information that you would like the Indigenous MD Admissions Subcommittee to be aware of.

Indigenous Panel Interview

Your application is a combination of previous life experiences and academic history. Our focus is on the whole person, and while academic performance has a place in our evaluation, non-academic elements of your application are equally valued.

Your complete application will be reviewed by the Indigenous MD Admissions Subcommittee, and you may be offered an interview with the Indigenous Interview Panel.

The Indigenous Panel Interview takes place around the time of your MMI, at the UBC First Nations Longhouse (if interviews are in-person), or over Zoom (if interviews are virtual). All panel interviewers are Indigenous and the panel is usually made up of an Elder and 2-3 other members.

Unique Perspective

Consider what has brought you to this moment, all of the determination and focus, compassion and caring you’ve demonstrated in a variety of settings—these qualities have already prepared you for the application process. Sharing these experiences in your application and going through an interview with our Indigenous interview panel are opportunities to bring your unique perspective to the application process.

Since 2002, we’ve been dedicated to welcoming Indigenous Peoples into our faculty and supporting them as they commit to studying medicine. We look forward to learning more about you through the application process and encourage you to reach out with any questions or concerns at any point as you work your way through your application to the MD Undergraduate Program.

Did you know we can help you find a mentor?

Through our Medicine Cousins mentorship program, we connect prospective Indigenous applicants with a current Indigenous MD Undergraduate Program student based on shared interests. Ask your mentor about their experience applying to the Faculty of Medicine, the site they chose to study at, and the admissions process.

Our team will pair you with a mentor with similar interests within 1-2 weeks after you apply.

Sign up for Medicine Cousins

Learn More

Explore our brochures to learn more about the Indigenous Pathway to the MD Undergraduate Program and about our annual pre-admissions workshop for Indigenous pre-med students where prospective students, including postsecondary and high school students can explore what it means to embark on a journey to becoming a healthcare professional.

Connect With Us

Please reach out to us for a conversation; we’re here to help you with any questions you might have about applying to the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. 

Meghan MacGillivray, Métis Nation
Indigenous Student Initiatives Manager