University of British Columbia - Emergency Medicine - Fraser Region

2018 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on October 2, 2019

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Kevin Clark
UBC Emergency Medicine 
11th Floor – 2775 Laurel Street  
Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 1M9
604 875 4111 local 23076
UBC Department of Emergency Medicine
RCH Emerg Website

Program Contacts

Dr. Tom Green
Associate Program Director, Fraser Site
604 520 4253 ext. 526221

April Macapagal
Program Admin

Mira Pandya
Program Manager
604 875 4111 local 23076

General Instructions

Program application language: English

Note: We are asking candidates for the UBC Program to apply to each of the distributed Programs separately.  This includes submission of each of the items listed below to every one of the Programs the candidate is applying to.  The applicants may be very similar, but as each of the four sites will be ranking candidats individually, we ask that each site also receives a complete application, including a personal letter - thank you.

Supporting Documentation

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three letters of reference are required from attending physicians, preferably in the area of emergency medicine. A reference from a senior resident will not be accepted. Late references will not be accepted after the CaRMS reference letter deadline. Although we require 3 letters of reference, we will review up to 2 additional letters, if provided before the deadline.


Canadian Citizenship [Document must be notarized/certified]
Submit one of the following documents to verify your citizenship.

• Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
• Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)

Required documents for ALL applicants

Canadian Citizenship

The province of British Columbia will accept one of the following notarized/certified documents as proof of the citizenship/permanent residency and is required for all types of applicants. Photocopies are accepted but, citizenship documents other than what is listed below are not accepted.  Proof of citizenship/permanent residency must be submitted to CaRMS by the File Review deadline.  No allowances for late submission.

  • Canadian Birth Certificate
  • Canadian Passport
  • Canadian Citizenship Certificate
  • Canadian Citizen Card (both sides)
  • Current Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides)

Language Proficiency
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency.



If you graduated from an English medical school in Canada (including McGill) or the US, you are exempt from providing proof of language proficiency.

Candidates who attended medical school in Quebec or the University of Ottawa where the language of instruction or the primary language of patient care was not English, must fulfill the English Language Proficiency requirements of the College of Physicians of Surgeons of BC as identified below.   This requirement is the same as the IMGs and is required by the start of the Ranking Period.


The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC requires applicants to be proficient in the English language.

The Registration Committee may determine that an applicant has demonstrated English language proficiency if the following conditions are met:

  • The primary language of medical education was English, and
  • The primary language of patient care was English.

Applications received by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC on or before June 30, 2020, who have not met the above requirements will require an IELTS Academic examination for licensing.  As such, applicants must submit the proof of English language proficiency to CaRMS by the start of Ranking Period. Photocopies are acceptable.

  • IELTS - Minimum score of 7 in each component
  • IELTS scores are valid for a period of 2 years from the date taken

Applicants are advised to review the College of Physicians and Surgeons English Language Proficiency Requirements here:


Photo  [Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Personal Letter 

Candidates are required to submit a personal letter describing why they wish to complete a residency in Emergency Medicine, in particular the Royal College residency program.

Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar

Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office

Custom Résumé / CV 

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on November 21, 2017

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  November 21, 2017

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on November 28, 2017

Applications are reviewed by the Selection Committee.  Late applications and references will not be considered, in order to allow appropriate time for application review and invitations for interviews to be issued in a timely manner.



  • January 19, 2020
Details regarding interview dates:

UBC will interview on Sunday, January 19, 2020.

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
The Selection Committee will review applications. Short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview.

Candidates apply to each distributed site separately, and each site will submit a separate rank list.  However, the interviews will be conducted together by representatives of all the sites.  The exact plan for the day will be communicated to applicants invited for an interview.  We make every effort to ensure candidates are given the opportunity to meet staff and residents (where applicable) from each site.  Site visits at the distributed sites are also possible, though not required. 

There is traditionally a social event during the evening for students and residents only. The exact timing of this event varies according to the travel schedule of the students as they travel from West to East or vice versa on alternate years.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be considered in the selection process:

The candidate's academic record.

The candidate should have demonstrated an interest in emergency medicine.

The candidate must have good communication and interpersonal skills.

It is useful to have a reference from an emergency physician working in an academic centre.

Program goals

The UBC Royal College Emergency Medicine residency program aims to graduate exceptional emergency physicians skilled in all aspects of acute care. We pride ourselves on teaching the highest level of knowledge and skill related to the specialty of emergency medicine.  UBC offers a comprehensive training program with a breadth of selection in training site and areas of concentrated expertise. We are looking for future leaders in emergency medicine clinical care, administration, education, research and the related supspecialties. 

Selection process goals

The successful candidate's application demonstrates a well rounded background with an interest and success in emergency medicine and acute care specialty electives.  Scholarly work and interests related to emergency medicine is highly valued. Successful applicants often have a history of varied extra-curricular activities which demonstrate the importance of work-life balance in medical education and training.  Applications are reviewed for examples of the breadth of CanMEDS Skills. Particular attention is focused on Communication and Collaboration as well as Leadership and Professionalism.

File review process

Review team composition : Program Director & Associate Program Directors
Clinical Faculty from 4 teaching sites
Residents from 4 teaching sites

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Breadth of experience in education, medicine and other interests.
Electives Interest in emergency medicine and related acute care specialties.
Extra-curricular All pursuits and interests at the extra-curricular level are appreciated.
Leadership skills Previous experience in leadership roles and how it relates to emergency medicine is noted.
MSPRs Reviewed
Personal letters Personal letters are reviewed for experience and interest in emergency medicine and UBC.
Reference documents Reviewed for the personal skillset and knowledge related to emergency medicine.
Research/Publications Reviewed for research experience and in particular emergency medicine scholarly work.
Transcripts Reviewed

Elective criteria

We encourage applicants to have completed at least one elective in our discipline.
We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

The Selection Committee recognizes that it is difficult for out of province students to obtain an on site elective due to the number of UBC students who are doing their mandatory Emergency Medicine rotation. Students should not be discouraged from applying, as many of our current residents are from out of province, and did not complete on site electives as students.


Interview process

Interview format :

We do not offer other interview formats for applicants unable to attend an in-person interview.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration The candidate can demonstrate a history of collaborative skills inside and outside of medicine.
Collegiality The candidate can reflect on prior experiences that demonstrates collegial working relationships.
Communication skills The candidate demonstrates excellent communication skills throughout the interview.
Interest in the discipline The candidate can clearly explain and rationalize his/her interest in emergency medicine.
Interest in the program The candidate can describe their interest in and reasons to apply to the UBC program.
Leadership skills The candidate can recall experiences that demonstrate leadership skills relevant to emergency care.
Professionalism The candidate conducts themselves in a professional manner throughout the CaRMS process.
Punctuality The candidate demonstrates reliability in their application and interview.
Scholarship The candidate can describe his/her interest in academic emergency medicine.

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

We may consider information gathered outside of the CaRMS application and local interview processes. Specifically, we may consider:

Ranking process

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program :

Program Highlights

Quick Facts

Candidates should apply to all 4 UBC EM sites separately, selecting whichever locations appeal to them. 

The Fraser Program accepts two residents per year, for a total of ten across the 5-year program.

The Fraser Program is based out of Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC, with rotations in other Fraser Hospitals such as Surrey Memorial. 

As you might expect, in an expanding program we realize that the exact distribution of learning events will likely evolve over the coming years. 

Here are some key points about Fraser:

  • The Fraser Health Region is part of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. It consists of 12 hospitals serving 1.7 million people. Across the region, there are 700,000 emergency visits/year.
  • The Royal Columbian Hospital is a 440 bed hospital that sees 75,000 EM visits/year. It is also the referral centre for many services across the Fraser region. Therefore, our hospital sees high volume and acuity, yet because of the relatively smaller number of learners, there is ample opportunity for learning.
  • Royal Columbian Hospital is the Trauma referral centre for all of Fraser, and is among the busiest trauma hospitals in all of Canada. We recently received the designation of a Level-One Trauma Centre. The Trauma Service is run jointly by Emergency Physicians, Surgeons, and Anesthesiologists. Despite having a designated team, however, when a trauma comes to the department, the resuscitation is often done jointly with the trauma team as well as the emerg team. There is a trauma fellowship at our site.
  • We see approximately 15 – 20% pediatrics in our department at RCH. We also send our residents to Surrey Memorial to do peds EM, because they have a designated peds shift there.
  • Royal Columbian Hospital also is the referral centre for Cardiac Surgery and cardiac catheterization.
  • We are the regional stroke centre.
  • Some services, such as PICU, Burn Unit and Spinal Cord rehab are only located downtown, in Coastal Health Region.  As a result, UBC residents from all 4 sites are able to do rotations in Coastal to gain exposure to these specialized areas as required.  
  • Surrey Memorial Hospital is the other large hospital within Fraser, and sees 150,000 EM visits/year. The facility is brand new, and our residents do Pediatric EM as well as ICU there. There is a state-of-the-art sim centre there, and our residents do approximately 6 sessions per year each in small groups.
  • RCH and VGH are geographically quite close (about 30 minutes). This means that residents from Fraser and Vancouver are closely integrated. They are easily able to do rotations at each others’ sites. Academic day activities take place both downtown and at RCH, so residents from VGH and Fraser are often together at these times.
  • Most of our residents live downtown and can easily take the skytrain, bike or drive to Royal Columbian Hospital. The fabulous city of Vancouver and all its wonderful amenities are within easy reach.
  • Many of the staff at RCH (both EM and off-service) are recent grads themselves and are very happy to be involved with teaching Specialty Emergency Medicine residents. Our residents are made to feel welcome and every effort is made to make sure their learning needs are met.
  • In their first year, our EM residents form part of the group of first-year interns at Royal Columbian Hospital. This program has been running for decades and has graduated more than a thousand interns.
  • In contrast, there are only two FRCPC Royal College Programs being run out of Fraser at this time (the other is Psychiatry), so beyond first year, our residents have much less competition for learning opportunities than they might in other centres.
  • One of the biggest benefits of being a resident in a distributed program like ours at UBC is that it is very easy to do rotations at other UBC sites. As a Fraser Resident, not only do you reap the all the benefits listed in this description about Fraser, but you can easily take advantage of learning opportunities available at the other UBC EM sites.  If you read on in our curriculum section below, you will see that this concept is built into our program.  

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 5 year(s)

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


This residency program is 5 years duration. The UBC FRCP emergency medicine program curriculum has transitioned to a Competency by Design (CBD) format in July 2018. The anticipated rotations under the new program are as follows:

Year   Emergency Medicine Off Service Specilty Rotations


(13 blocks)

Transition to

Discipline (3 blocks)

2 blocks of EM + 1 block of Peds EM    
  Foundations (10 blocks)

2 blocks

  • Internal Medicine (2)
  • General Surgery
  • Obstetrics & Gyne
  • Psychiatry EM
  • Trauma
1 block POCUS/Ultrasound

PGY 2 -4

(39 blocks)


17 blocks of EM +

4 blocks Pediatric EM

  • Jr ICU at SMH
  • Sr ICU at SMH
  • CCU (Coastal)
  • Anesthesia (2)
  • Ortho
  • Neurology
  • Plastics
  • Toxicology
  • Pediatric ICU (Coastal)
  • Pediatric Anesthesia (Coastal)

1 block each of:

  • Emergency Health Services
  • Nerd/Research
3 blocks of electives
PGY 5 Transition to Practice 13 blocks

5 blocks +

1 block Pediatric EM


6 blocks Area of Concentrated Expertise (ACE)

1 block Medical Teaching/Education


ACE – Area of Concentrated Expertise

Under the previous curriculum, UBC residents have pursued many areas of interest, including: sports medicine, disaster medicine, wilderness medicine, clinical epidemiology, public health, medical education, pre-hospital care, hyperbaric medicine, ICU and anaesthesia. Our goal is to tailor the program to the needs and expectations of the senior resident, with an emphasis on subspecialty interest and future career goals, while continuing to fulfill the CBD curriculum.


Residents get protected full academic days on Wednesdays. The lectures are video-conferenced with Vancouver and other UBC training sites. Each UBC site takes turns hosting academic day. RCH hosts once per month, and VGH usually attend in person. Fraser residents usually attend downtown in person as well, except when we're at SMH for Sim.

Academic Sessions include: Rosen's based "Foundations" junior resident seminars and "Core" senior resident sminars, Radiology Rounds, Pharmacology Rounds, Trauma Rounds, Simulation Sessions, Research Rounds and Provincial Grand Rounds.


Residents can choose from a wide selection of electives. Electives in the past have included research, sports medicine, ophthalmology, radiology, hyperbaric medicine and trauma in major urban centers in the United States and South Africa. Toxicology is a core rotation offered in Vancouver; however, many residents elect to complete this rotation at the New York City Poison Centre or at Oregon Health and Science University.


Journal Clubs are held locally on a monthly basis. Recent relevant emergency medicine articles and topics are review, critiqued and discussed. We follow a province wide curriculum for article selection and review, and collaborate with the other UBC sites in critical appraisal.


$1500 from UBC for conferences and courses

$500 from the RCH EM for textbooks and courses


Residents write two nationally standardized practice exam in a short answer format similar to the Royal College exam each year. Marks are collated across the country. Residents are then able to benchmark their progress. Practice oral exams are given twice per year. Senior residents will receive more practice oral exams as they approach the end of their training and prepare for the Royal College exams.


All residents are required to complete two scholarly projects during the course of their residency. There is considerable flexibility in the types of projects undertaken. In general, residents are expected to complete one case report or topic review with an analysis of the literature, and one piece of original clinical or educational research. These projects are undertaken with a faculty adviser in an area of mutual interest. Excellent research support is available through the department's Emergency Medicine Research Division.

The newly developed research design block, specifically targeted for our junior residents, allows them to start on the research/scholarly activity that is now mandated by the Royal College.

Senior residents are encouraged to present their research projects at the annual CAEP Conference or the annual UBC Department of Emergency Medicine research day.


First year residents go to Vancouver in July to complete the introductory ultrasound course. They are also given the opportunity to learn more advanced ultrasound skills.


Senior residents complete a four-week elective in medical education. It introduces the resident to some of the topics relevant to bedside teaching (e.g. one minute preceptor, how to provide effective feedback, how to teach procedures), and also incorporates teaching shifts allowing the residents an opportunity to put the techniques into practice.  There are small group sessions for discussion and debriefing.


Training Sites



The Royal Columbian Hospital is a large (450 bed) community hospital located in New Westminster, southeast of Vancouver. The emergency department census is in excess of 75,000 per year with a full spectrum of all types of adult and pediatric emergencies.

Our hospital was recently awarded the designation of a Level One Trauma Centre. We are among the busiest trauma centres in Canada. 

There are only two Royal College Residency Programs based at our site – Fraser Psychiatry and Fraser Emergency Medicine. Residents from other programs rotate here as well. 

Royal Columbian Hospital is the referral center for Stroke, Cath Lab, and Cardiac Surgery and Trauma.

There is a Clinical Teaching Unit service for Internal Medicine, and there are often senior residents on GenSx and OBGYN, but other services, such as Neuro and Plastics, are run by attending physicians so our residents get one-on-one teaching with a focus on learning rather than service.

Royal Columbian Hospital is in the midst of a major site redevelopment with a new Emergency Department planned for 2022.


Surrey Memorial Hospital has an annual census of 150,000 patients. Fraser Residents go there for Peds EM because their recently renovated emergency department has designated peds shifts.  Fraser residents also do rotations in the ICU there. 

The hospital has a state of the art sim centre and Fraser residents do sessions there regularly.

Residents will have opportunity to complete rotations at other UBC Emergency medicine training sites. Please see each site’s description for details about the respective hospitals.

            Vancouver General Hospital

            St. Paul’s Hospital

            BC Children’s Hospital

            Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital

            Kelowna General Hospital

As all training sites are part of the UBC program, electives at any site are easy to arrange.

Additional Information

If you'd like to know more about to come to Fraser for your EM Residency, rest assured that you will gain the skills necessary to practice EM anywhere, and have a great experience at the same time. UBC is a large program, but we’ve managed to maintain the “family” feeling both within each site, but also across the program as a whole. 

If you’d like to know more about our program, or would just like to talk to someone on the ground, feel free to email!

Dr. Tom Green, Associate Program Director, Fraser

Or Dr. Brendan Arnold, PGY2 and contact for CaRMS at the Fraser Site:

We also have a website that might help you learn a bit more about us. Prior years' Carms Videos give a nice overview of what it’s like to be a Fraser Resident.

Good luck with Carms!!