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Degree Requirements for Students Who Entered the Program in 2014/15 or Earlier

The medical course extends through four academic sessions. All students in the distributed program will follow the same course of studies at the geographically separated campuses. All students will be based in Vancouver for the first half of first year, after which students in the Island Medical Program, Northern Medical Program, and Southern Medical Program will move to their respective campus to continue their studies.

The first half of the first year begins with a one-week orientation in which students are introduced to the problem-based learning (PBL) method, receive instruction in medical informatics and are oriented to the profession of medicine and the components of the curriculum. Following the orientation phase, Principles of Human Biology continues for 14 weeks. This course has the PBL tutorial as its primary teaching methodology with supporting lectures and labs. The underlying purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the core concepts, basic principles, and the language of medicine. This will then enable students to participate effectively in the next component, the Foundations of Medicine. Basic science material is taught in the context of clinical cases and the material learned is interdisciplinary and integrated. The courses in this segment are Host Defenses and Infection, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, and Fluids, Electrolytes, Renal, and GU. Clinical Skills I allows students to acquire effective communication skills and to learn how to conduct an interview of a patient. History taking and physical examination skills are learned in relation to the body systems covered in the Foundations of Medicine courses. Family Practice Continuum exposes students to patients and physicians in a medical office setting where they learn and practice clinical skills. This is supplemented by small-group tutorials. The Doctor, Patient, and Society course focuses on the scientific basis for the humanities and deals with issues of population health, health care systems, ethics, and the doctor-patient relationship.

In the second year of the curriculum, students continue with the Foundations of Medicine component. The courses in this year are Gastrointestinal, Blood and Lymphatics, Musculoskeletal and Locomotor, Endocrine and Metabolism, Integument, Brain and Behaviour, Reproduction, and Nutrition, Growth and Development. Clinical Skills II, Doctor, Patient, and Society and Family Practice Continuum also run as continuums through the second year in conjunction with the Foundations of Medicine blocks.

The third year is a clerkship and consists of 12 months of clinical studies.

The fourth year consists of senior electives and a Preparation for Medical Practice block.

Protected academic time for independent study has been set aside to allow and encourage students to take responsibility for their own progress in meeting the broad objectives for the undergraduate medical course.

The first two years of the program are given mainly at the university campuses of UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan, UVic, and UNBC. Clinical instruction is given in affiliated teaching hospitals and community resources throughout the province.


Equipment, instruments, and supplies will be required throughout the four-year program. It is recommended that no purchases be made until details concerning the necessary equipment are provided at the beginning of classes by the courses concerned.


Information regarding textbooks will be provided before the start of each course.

Courses Leading to the Doctor of Medicine

Departmental and interdepartmental courses offered by the Faculty of Medicine are listed in detail in Courses.

The subjects in which instruction is given in the four academic sessions leading to the Doctor of Medicine are as follows:

First Year

Three longitudinal courses: Clinical Skills; Doctor, Patient, and Society; Family Practice Continuum.

Six sequential courses:

  • Orientation
  • Principles of Human Biology
  • Host Defences and Infection;
  • Cardiovascular;
  • Pulmonary;
  • Fluids, Electrolytes, Renal and GU

Second Year

Three longitudinal courses: Clinical Skills; Doctor, Patient, and Society; Family Practice Continuum.

Eight sequential courses:

  • Gastrointestinal
  • Blood and Lymphatics
  • Musculoskeletal and Locomotor
  • Endocrine and Metabolism
  • Integument
  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Reproduction
  • Nutrition, Growth and Development

Third Year

Clinical Clerkships: Anesthesia, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Medicine; Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Ophthalmology; Orthopaedics, Pediatrics; Psychiatry; Surgery (including sub-specialties); Rural and Underserved Community Practice.

Fourth Year

Senior Electives and a Preparation for Medical Practice course.

Information concerning elective offerings may be obtained from the Dean's Office, Undergraduate Education. In addition to formal courses offered by the Faculty of Medicine elective programs arranged by the student may be permissible in individual cases, subject to approval by the Faculty.

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