Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

UBC Program

Guest Nehpets

Recommended Posts

Guest Nehpets

Hi everyone,


I was wondering if there was a thread on UBC's program and its strengths and weaknesses? I couldn't find one using the search feature. If there isn't, can anyone comment on the program?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had some of the same concerns. i checked on the UBC website and although it gives a brief summary of years 1, 2, 3, 4 it doesn't really tell us enough about what is unique about UBC med. (I don't even think it mentioned problem based learning on the website or I am looking in the wrong sections). Could somebody who has more knowledge on this, pls share what they know about the programs in the UBC undergrad that make it unique and interesting? Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think UBC's program is similar to other schools. From current experience, I'd say its a decent balance between self directed learning, lecture style classes, anatomy and histology spread throughout the first two years, with clinical skills, family practice visits, and social/ethical issues to boot.


I like how UBC gives a brief overview in the first semester, then focuses on blocks concerning different systems. So far, they seem to progress in a logical way (we do infectious diseases first because we'll encounter them again and again in different blocks). We do cardio and pulmonary side by side, makes sense since they're related systems.


I like how anatomy is spread throughout the two years (i think in 4th year - not sure - there's an opportunity to hit the anatomy lab and refresh one's memory). In the first semester, we get a brief overview of the head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Then it's repeated in the respective system blocks. the same goes for histology. Meanwhile, we get a head start on clinical skills (first we learn how to interview patients, then we learn how to perform physical examinations) and make visits to the family doctors office to see how things are done.


All in all, it's hard to say what's unique, except for the fact that we have a brand new building, some cool technology, and our virtual slide box for histology - you can few slides online and not have to depend on pulling out the microscope. Overall, its quite the integrative program, and employs different learning styles. Self directed learning is one of the major focuses of the program, but its not the only one. Personally, I like it that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest TKP 123

Being a first year med student, I am amazed that the cirriculum is delivered in a systemic order. Say, when you learn the cardio system, you learn the histology, anatomy, clinical skills, pathology, basic science related to that system. I am not sure if other schools are doing the same, but I am pleased with the way that UBC delivers the lecture. Most of the lecturers, physicians, and PBL tutors are very experienced. E.g. in your infectious diseases block, most of the lecturers and PBL tutors come from that background. In your cardio block, a lot of them are researchers/physicians from that field. So, you never get the same instructor across different sections (except for gross anatomy and histology, which are delivered by excellent instructors).


The new anatomy lab, histology lab, and lectures with the video conference technology is an exciting part of this school. The new LSC building houses most of the scientists from various disciplines: biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy (and immunology too). There is a lot of seminar/ poster-demonstration going on on Friday evenings.


In the second term of 1st year, we have more classes at VGH. I heard that there will be a new building @ VGH next year for the MD students. That will be another new building for the incoming medical students.


The only drawback for UBC is the lack of parking spaces if you decide to drive. All the parking lots are gone for new buildings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Kels2004

You guys gave a great overview already, so I'll give the second year viewpoint...


We start the year with GI, and then move on to blood and lymphatics, musculoskeletal, and then endocrine and metabolism. Term 2 is derm, brain and behavior, reproduction, and growth and development. I think that's it... ;) Anyways, I enjoy the system-based organization of the curriculum, as it makes sense and helps me organize my learning.


PBL continues, (not my favorite, but hey, that's what you get going to a PBL school!), but as the above people noted, there is some small group work, lectures, and 2-on-1 preceptor teaching clinically as well.


The clinical skills sessions at UBC are very good, although you have different preceptors during the various blocks (ie a neurologist during neuro block) so the experience varies from group to group.


There is a longitudinal family medicine course over the 2 years in which we shadow family docs around the lower mainland that I find an excellent way to learn interviewing/history/physical exam skills etc. Again, experiences vary with the preceptor, but mine have been excellent. THe best part is term 2 of second year - you do "focussed family practice" and work alongside family docs that have specialized their practice. I have 3 weeks of maternity, 3 of ER, and 3 of forensic psych... it's again a great way to see patients, learn from great teachers, and build upon your clinical skills.


After year 2, you do a 4 week rural practice placement over the summer, at a town within BC. I don't know how many schools have a similar program, but I have heard that it is a pretty unique experience, and most people learn a lot!!!


Hope this info is helpful!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ewon2003

here's what I heard from upper years who've done electives with students from other schools for comparison:


-UBC has the longest 3rd year clerkship program, starting with rural family practice in summer of 2nd year. Most schools don't do non-major rotations like anesthesia, dermatology, emergency med, or opthalmology in 3rd year. These are manditory in UBC.


-UBC appears to put much more emphasis on anatomy and neuroanatomy. We spent more lecture and lab time than other schools. School like Calgary don't even do gross anatomy dissection. This can be good or bad, depending on personal preference.


-PBL receives mixed reviews among classmates. Some people feel it's a waste of time, and prefers a shorter "case of the week" model in Western Ontario.


-Pathology lectures, for me at least, tends to be pretty poorly taught and integrated in the curriculum. UBC has cut down pathology course from 6 hours per week in the old curriculum to perhaps 6 hours per block. I typically enjoy most lectures. But in path lectures, I've gotta make a real effort to stay awake. The lectures are good speakers, but it's just the path lectures seem to be out of context, and hard to follow with obscure terminology. This is also true for radiology.


-To be fair, I find the pathology LABS to be very useful. These are quick case discussions that helps with understanding the week's objectives.


-UBC goes by organ system. So you start a block with an organ such as the cardiovascular system, and learn everything about it, including clinical skills. This makes a lot of sense in my opinion. But schools like Toronto and majority of US schools don't do it that way, and they have good reasons for doing so. Instead, they would learn all the anatomy, biochemistry and physiology of all organ systems in 1st year, and then come back to the pathophysiology later in 2nd year.



When I was applying I've never really looked into the curriculum of different schools and how it would suit one's learning style. Yet once you get in, you'll have to live with it for your entire pre clinical training.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...