MD Undergraduate Program
Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Why study medicine in the BC Interior?
Extensive hands-on learning
Benefit from outstanding exposure to patients and clinical training experiences.
Learn one-on-one with an engaged community of more than 1,500 healthcare professionals.
Close-knit learning environment
Foster close professional relationships with faculty, staff and classmates at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
Beautiful British Columbia
Train in 30 different small and rural communities throughout the BC Interior.
Experience playtime and downtime in BC’s Interior, exemplified by great four-season weather, some of Canada’s most stunning landscapes, and boundless recreation opportunities.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW
The MD Undergraduate Program is designed to educate and train students in communities across British Columbia where there is an urgent need for more physicians, particularly in rural, northern and island areas.
The Faculty of Medicine’s distributed education model provides 308 annual medical school seats based at four regional medical programs:
- 36 students in the Southern Medical Program (SMP); based at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna
- 36 students in the Island Medical Program (IMP); based at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island
- 36 students in the Northern Medical Program (NMP); based at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George
- 200 students in the Vancouver Fraser Medical Program (VFMP); based at UBC Vancouver’s Point Grey campus
In 2024, the annual number of seats will expand to 40 at each distributed site and 208 at VFMP for a total of 328 seats provincially.
In addition to our general admissions process, the Faculty of Medicine offers several additional pathways for suitable applicants:
Northern, Rural, and Remote Admissions: Complete the Rural and/or Northern Training section of the online application to be considered for the NMP, up to 12 (14 in 2024) positions with the SMP, up to 3 (4 in 2024) positions with the IMP, and up to 2 (4 in 2024) with the VFMP Fraser Cohort.
Indigenous Admissions: Self-identified Indigenous students can apply either to the general admission process or the Indigenous pathway. Supplementary documentation and an additional interview is required. To learn more, contact James Andrew, Indigenous Student Initiatives Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-822-8291.
Black Student MD Pathway: Students who self-identify as Black, or Black multiracial and identify with your Black ancestry can apply through this pathway. Assessment and evaluation of your pre-interview application will be conducted by the Black Student MD Admissions Subcommittee, which includes Black physicians, faculty members, medical students, members of the Black community, members of the MD Admissions subcommittee, and faculty from across our distributed program. To learn more, contact Donneil McNab, Black Student Initiatives Manager, BlackPathway.MD@ubc.ca.
MD/PhD Admissions: The combined MD/PhD program is a seven-year program offered jointly by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The program is designed to recruit and support students who want to pursue a career as clinician scientists.
Learn more about the MD Admissions Pathways.
Admission to the MD Undergraduate program is highly competitive. Preference is given to BC residents with only 10 per cent of the annual seats available for out-of-province applicants. To be eligible to apply and enter the MD Undergraduate Program, applicants must have the following:
- Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada status
- a minimum of 90 university-transferable credits (with grades) completed by April 30 in the year of program entry
- a competitive Overall (or Adjusted) Academic Average to receive a full file review consisting of a full academic evaluation, a non-academic evaluation and, where appropriate, an Aboriginal Essay and/or Rural Remote Suitability Evaluation
- a valid Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) with minimum scores
- a minimum of 6 credits of prerequisite courses (or equivalents) in English
Courses in Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry are strongly recommended, but not required. Visit the MD Admissions website for complete overview of admission requirements and timelines.
The four-year MD Undergraduate Program is designed to prepare students for postgraduate residency training by providing a foundation for socially responsible practice, lifelong learning and excellent medical care.
Years 1 & 2
Years 1 and 2 of the MD undergraduate curriculum are heavily lecture-based combined with early clinical exposure. SMP students divide their time between the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC Okanagan, the Clinical Academic Campus at Kelowna General Hospital, and the family physician offices in the greater Kelowna and Vernon areas.
Year 3 provides students with core and elective clerkship experiences. Diverse fields of medical practice include clinical and academic learning opportunities in ambulatory, hospital-based and rural/remote settings.
SMP students are not guaranteed to participate in Year 3 clerkship in Kelowna. Students will participate in either a Traditional Clerkship rotation at Kelowna General Hospital or Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, or they may apply for an Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC) rotation based at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, or one of four other ICC sites across the province.
With the phased expansion to 40 students admitted annually, the expected number of SMP students completing their Year 3 clerkship at each site will be as follows:
Traditional Clerkships: Kelowna 24 students; Kamloops, 8 students
Integrated Community Clerkships: 4 students. (Note: ICC positions are open to all Year 3 UBC students to pursue, regardless of program site.)
See Education Sites for more information.
Year 4 continues with elective clerkship experiences and preparation for postgraduate residency training. Students complete electives across BC and Canada while returning to Kelowna for some coursework and exams. Near the end of Year 4, students participate in the CaRMS (Canadian Resident Matching Service) matching process placing them with their postgraduate residency training program.
Upon earning your medical degree, you will graduate to postgraduate residency training for the next two to seven years (depending on specialty) to become a fully-licensed physician.
It is highly recommended that students own or have access to a personal vehicle. Training sites in the SMP are distributed throughout the Interior region, and travel between sites will be required. In years 1 and 2, students will travel from the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC Okanagan to the Clinical Academic Campus at Kelowna General Hospital, as well as family practice offices throughout the greater Kelowna and Vernon areas.
The Southern Medical Program hosts virtual information sessions for prospective medical students via Zoom.
Learn about the admission requirements, application process, and how the UBC Faculty of Medicine is training the next generation of physicians for our province.
Information sessions held from 12:00 to 1:00 pm:
September 28, 2023
October 26, 2023
November 23, 2023
December 14, 2023
January 25, 2024
February 22, 2024
March 28, 2024
April 25, 2024
May 30, 2024
June 27, 2024
To register, please contact Carri Folk, Student Affairs and Admissions Coordinator, Southern Medical Program, at email@example.com.
For additional sessions, visit the MD Admissions Office information session calendar.
Applicants must apply centrally through the MD Admission Office. The entire admissions process—including initial screening, interviews, final selection and offers—takes approximately nine months. Review timelines for the next application cycle.
Start your application today! The Online Application System opens in June each year.
YOUR CAREER OPTIONS
With clinical training widely distributed throughout British Columbia, we offer a unique approach to postgraduate medical education and support our learners to pursue lifelong learning opportunities and build lasting community connections.
UBC offers Family Medicine, together with 70 specialty and sub-specialty training programs recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The duration of training varies from two years for Family Medicine to four to seven years for other specialties and sub-specialties.
- Cardiac Surgery
- Diagnostic Radiology
- Emergency Medicine
- Family Medicine
- Family Medicine – Emergency Medicine
- Family Medicine – Clinician Scholar Program
- General Surgery
- Internal Medicine
- Laboratory Medicine – Anatomical Pathology
- Laboratory Medicine – General Pathology
- Laboratory Medicine – Hematological Pathology
- Laboratory Medicine – Medical Biochemistry
- Laboratory Medicine – Medical Microbiology
- Laboratory Medicine – Neuropathology
- Medical Genetics
- Neurology – Adult
- Neurology – Pediatrics
- Nuclear Medicine
- Obstetrics & Gynecology
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery
- Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
- Plastic Surgery
- Public Health and Preventive Medicine
- Radiation Oncology
- Vascular Surgery
- Adolescent Medicine
- Cardiology – Adult
- Cardiology – Pediatric
- Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
- Clinical Immunology and Allergy – Adult
- Clinical Immunology and Allergy – Pediatric
- Colorectal Surgery
- Critical Care Medicine – Adult
- Critical Care Medicine – Pediatric
- Developmental Pediatrics
- Emergency Medicine – Pediatric
- Endocrinology & Metabolism – Adult
- Endocrinology & Metabolism – Pediatric
- Forensic Psychiatry
- Gastroenterology – Adult
- Gastroenterology – Pediatrics
- General Internal Medicine
- Geriatric Medicine
- Geriatric Psychiatry
- Gynecologic Oncology
- Gynecological Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility
- Hematology – Adult
- Hematology/Oncology – Pediatric
- Infectious Diseases – Adult
- Infectious Diseases – Pediatric
- Maternal Fetal Medicine
- Medical Oncology
- Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
- Nephrology – Adult
- Nephrology – Pediatric
- Pain Medicine
- Pediatric Surgery
- Respirology – Adult
- Respiratory – Pediatric
- Rheumatology – Adult
- Rheumatology – Pediatric
- Thoracic Surgery
- Clinician Investigator Program
- Palliative Medicine
- Surgical Foundations
OPPORTUNITIES AND SUPPORT
Becoming a physician is no small undertaking, but the MD undergrad experience is fostered by a UBC community and partners who root for your success. Learn more about research, funding and student-support opportunities that can help you reach your goals.
Explore new ideas and other research opportunities with these options:
- Summer Student Research Projects (SSRP): First- and second-year students are eligible to apply for research funding from the Faculty of Medicine or Southern Medical Program to support their participation in eight weeks of supervised research occurring between June 1 and August 31.
- Studentships with the BCCA-SAHCSI or British Columbia Cancer Agency, Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Central Southern Interior: Students are eligible to apply for studentship awards to support their involvement in cancer research. Students generally participate in these cancer research projects in the months of May through August.
- The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation Studentships at the BCCA-SAHCSI: Thanks to the Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation, students can apply for an award to support their participation in cancer research in the Central Southern Interior of BC.
- Reichwald Family Foundation SMP Award: Two $10,000 awards offered to SMP students in Year 2 with first-class academic standing and demonstrated financial need.
- Mark Antel Memorial Award: A $1,500 award offered to a SMP student in Year 3 or 4 who has expressed interest in practicing in the Okanagan upon completion of his or her MD.
- Thomas R. Greer Memorial Scholarship: Scholarships totaling $3,000 for SMP students in Years 1 to 4 from BC, with preferences given to students from the Okanagan Valley.
- Gary Randawa Memorial Scholarship: Scholarships totaling $1,300 for SMP students in Years 1 to 4, with preferences given to students with records of community service in health care.
Learn more about available scholarships, bursaries and grants for medical students.
Student Affairs offers a supportive and confidential service throughout your training throughout medical school. The SMP Office of Student Affairs maintains an open-door policy and an “arms-length” relationship with the academic team to:
- support students through all stages of their medical education, from orientation to graduation
- provide advice and advocacy for academic, personal, medical and financial issues
- assist with career planning in a timely, step-wise fashion
- support student initiatives that promote well-being (student-driven interest groups; health and wellness research, activities and events) and involve the community such as with charitable events.
See Current Students for more information.
WELCOME TO UBC OKANAGAN
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the psychology program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.
- Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at you.ubc.ca.
- Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
- Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
- Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
* Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox
Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.
Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.
Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support.
UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.
Find out more about living in residence at you.ubc.ca.
UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.
More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.
UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.
A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.
Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at you.ubc.ca.