Doctor of Medicine (MD)


Meet the health-care challenges of tomorrow with a career based on evidence-based practice, critical reflection, lifelong learning and the highest standards of professionalism.

Train in communities across the BC Interior as a student in UBC's Southern Medical ProgramTrain in communities across the BC Interior as a student in UBC’s Southern Medical Program.

What You Need to Know

Why study Medicine with the Southern Medical Program?

Extensive hands-on learning
Benefit from outstanding exposure to patients and clinical training experiences.

Enthusiastic preceptors
Learn one-on-one with an engaged community of more than 1,000 health-care 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.

School/life balance
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.

Program Overview

The Doctor of Medicine (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 288 annual medical school seats based at four regional medical programs:

  • 32 students in the Southern Medical Program (SMP); based at UBC's Okanagan campus in Kelowna
  • 32 students in the Island Medical Program (IMP); based at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island
  • 32 students in the Northern Medical Program (NMP); based at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George
  • 192 students in the Vancouver Fraser Medical Program (VFMP); based at UBC Vancouver's Point Grey campus

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 Northern Medical Program and up to 10 positions with the Southern Medical Program.

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 Coordinator, at or 604-875-8298 (ext. 68946).

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.

Infographic: Where are BC’s new doctors?

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MD Undergraduate program is highly competitive. Preference is given to BC residents with only 10 per cent (29 seats) 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.

All Year 1 students spend the first semester at UBC’s Point Grey Campus. SMP students, as well as those from other regional medical programs, relocate to their respective site in January for the balance of their medical studies.

Year 3 

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 participate in either a Traditional Clerkship rotation at Kelowna General Hospital or Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, or 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.

The expected number of SMP students completing their Year 3 clerkship at each site is:

  • Traditional Clerkships: Kelowna, 20 to 24 students; Kamloops, 6 students
  • Integrated Community Clerkships: Up to four students. (Note: ICC positions are open to all Year 3 UBC students to pursue, regardless of program site.)

Year 4
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.

Learn more about the MD curriculum and UBC postgraduate residency training.

Deadlines & Fees

Application Deadlines
Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed in the "Application Timelines" section of the MD Admissions website.

Tuition Fees
When thinking about medical school, you must take into account the expenses you will incur.

Information Sessions

The Southern Medical Program offers monthly information sessions in the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC Okanagan. Sessions are held in room RHS 129 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.

December 11, 2018
January 17, 2019
February 19, 2019
March 12, 2019
April 16, 2019
May 27, 2019

For inquiries, contact Warren Brock, Communications Manager, Southern Medical Program at or 250-807-8601.

How to Apply

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.

UBC Okanagan

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.


Family Medicine and Specialty Programs

  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Dermatology
  • 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
  • Neurosurgery
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Public Health and Preventive Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Urology
  • Vascular Surgery

Subspecialty Programs

  • 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

Special Programs

  • Clinician Investigator Program
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Surgical Foundations

Further Studies

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.

Meet Your Peers and Profs

Find out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about UBC’s Southern Medical Program at
Laura Tamblyn

Laura Tamblyn, UBC Student

"It would be a dream to set up practice in an underserved community here in the Okanagan."

Olusegun Oyedele

Olusegun Oyedele, UBC Professor

"I try to link what students are studying to what is happening in practice."

Travis Thompson

Travis Thompson, Family Practice Resident

"I enjoy the broad spectrum of practice available to family physicians working in smaller communities."

For more stories about the Southern Medical Program, watch our YouTube channel.

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.

Undergraduate Research

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.

For questions about student research opportunities, contact Carolyn Roque, SMP Research & Laboratory Manager, at or 250-807-9827.

Funding Opportunities

  • 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.
  • Dr. 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.
  • Dr. 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 med students.

Student Affairs

Student Affairs offers a supportive and confidential service throughout your training in med 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.

Welcome to UBC's Okanagan Campus

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 Southern Medical 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.

UBC Okanagan

Tour the Campus

  • Get a glimpse into life on UBC's Okanagan campus at
  • 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.

Sports and Clubs

Take advantage of the many opportunities and facilities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and nationally ranked varsity athletics.

Living in Residence

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, features a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.

Find out more about living in residence.

The Okanagan Valley: What to Expect

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.

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.

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Refer to our Help Guide for full application instructions.

Last reviewed shim12/13/2018 4:00:08 PM