University of British Columbia - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Vancouver

2022 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on January 05, 2022

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Amy Hanlan
Physical Medicine & Rehab 
G.F. Strong Rehab Centre  
4255 Laurel Street
Vancouver BC , British Columbia, V5Z 2G9
(604) 714-4112
Web site

Program Contacts

Dr. Amy Hanlan
Residency Program Director

Maria Canvin
Program Administrator
(604) 714-4157
(604) 714-4177 FAX

Important Information

The UBC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation program is not currently accepting IMG applications in the first iteration match.

The UBC PM&R program invites applicants to a Virtual Information Night to learn more about the program.  To be held November 16, 2021​ @ 6 - 7pm (PST).  Please contact Program Administrator @ for more information.

General Instructions

Program application language: English

Supporting Documentation

Applicants are advised to only provide the documents requested by the program. No other documents submitted will be reviewed.
Canadian citizenship
CaRMS partners with third-party organizations to verify your citizenship or permanent resident status. If your status is verified by one of these organizations, you will not need to provide citizenship documents in your application. If your citizenship status is not verified, you must provide one of the documents listed below.
Document must be notarized/certified
Submit one of the following documents to verify your Canadian 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:
• Occupational English Test (OET) - Medicine
• Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General


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 for 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, 2022, who have not met the above requirements will require one of: IELTS Academic examination, OET Medicine Examination or CELPIP General Examination for licensing (see criteria below).  As such, applicants must submit the proof of English language proficiency to CaRMS by the start of Ranking Period. Photocopies are acceptable.

  • IELTS Academic - Minimum score of 7 in each component.
  • IELTS scores are valid for a period of 2 years from the date taken.
  • OET Medicine Examination - Minimum grade of B in each component.
  • OET results are valid for a period of 2 years from the date taken.
  • CELPIP General Examination - Minimum score of 9 in each component.
  • CELPIP results are valid for a period of two years from the date taken.

Please note that results from these three examinations cannot be mixed. Candidates must meet all of the criteria in either the IELTS, OET or CELPIP examination.

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


Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three letters of reference are required, with at least one letter from a specialist in PM&R. References should specify the duration of training with the candidate and provide a brief description of the type of work done by the candidate.

Additional documents
Medical School Transcript 

Order from your Registrar

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Used for memory aid.  Please DO NOT append to your CV.

Medical Student Performance Record 

Order from your Dean's office

Personal Letter 

A personal letter is required from each applicant. In the letter, applicants should describe what they understand the specialty to be, aspects of the specialty they find appealing, and their motivation for pursuing the specialty.

Custom Résumé / CV 

All documents received will be reviewed.

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on January 31, 2022

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  January 31, 2022

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on January 31, 2022

All documents submitted will be reviewed by members of the CARMs Committee, comprising an equal mix of residents and faculty members.  Extra documents beyond those requested will not be reviewed.  All reviewed documents will be used to determine whether interviews are awarded to applicants.



  • March 4, 2022
  • March 11, 2022
March 4, 2022 and March 11, 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
A personal interview is required and will be arranged after completed applications (including letters of reference, transcripts and personal letters) have been reviewed. The program administrator will contact applicants directly to arrange interviews. Due to COVID-19, we will be conducting all interviews via Zoom and the use of break-out rooms.  The format will be 4 to 5 Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) lasting 12-15 minutes each conducted by interview teams consisting of a faculty member and a resident.  One of these interviews will consist of a 10 minute presentation by the interviewee on a topic of their own interest.  Interviewees are welcome to create a powerpoint presentation which can be screen-shared via Zoom.

Selection Criteria

UBC PM&R is a 5 year, Royal College accredited residency training program in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation that admits two highly qualified applicants per year.

Program goals

We provide a comprehensive training program to foster the development of skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary for our residents to begin a rewarding career in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the completion of their training.  At the core of the UBC PM&R program is a complete training experience to ensure that the defining attributes and expertise of a Physiatrist are fully evident in our graduates while tailoring the individual resident's training across subspecialty areas of practice and academic pursuits according to their goals and interests.  The UBC PM&R residency program is part of the Division of PM&R, which identifies the mission of "[creating] a consortium in which our expertise in clinical service delivery, teaching and research is shared with other rehabilitation stakeholders (including our academic partners, government, hospital and regional administrations, paying agencies, patients and the public) to improve the quality and effectiveness of rehabilitation services in British Columbia."

Selection process goals

Applications are welcome from medical students in all medical schools across Canada. Our program has a strong history of matching both UBC graduates and out of province graduates. Desirable attributes include a strong academic background, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and a proven interest in the specialty of PM&R. A keen interest in research is welcome, but certainly not necessary - we also seek candidates who wish to pursue other academic and clinical areas such as medical education, health advocacy, and community practice.  Ultimately, we view the selection process as not one of interviewing a new learner but a future colleague - as such, we seek the attitudes, competence, and character of someone we would want to work with for years to come.

File review process

Review team composition : Our review team consists of even numbers of residents and staff physiatrists. Although not formally part of the review team, Ms. Maria Canvin is involved through out the process and her feedback is taken into consideration by the Program Director.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 0 - 50

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Academic, non-academic, work, and recreational endeavours/accomplishments.
Electives At least one elective in Physiatry; electives in related fields.
Extra-curricular Activities that inform us of one's character, personality, and personal history.
Leadership skills Activities that inform personal and professional development.
MSPRs Exceptional and poor academic performance flags; successful completion of training.
Personal letters Clear, concise presentation of motivation for pursuing PM&R.
Reference documents At least one reference letter from supervising Physiatrist on various characteristics of applicant.
Research/Publications Any research experience is viewed favourably, especially if relevant to PM&R.
Transcripts Flags for poor academic performance.

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.

Interview process

Interview format :

We routinely accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Understands roles of and relationships with patient, family, allied health, and others
Collegiality Attitude and approach to colleagues, allied health, and other healthcare workers
Communication skills Ability to articulate thoughts in an interview setting
Health advocacy Identifies relevant issues affecting marginalized populations and their relevance to care
Interest in the discipline Articulates motivations for pursuing PM&R clearly and concisely
Interest in the program Articulates reasons for pursuing PM&R at UBC clearly and concisely
Leadership skills Opportunity to discuss leadership activities not mentioned in CV or provide context to CV
Professionalism Articulates values and attitudes consistent with good medical practice and character; receptive to and seeks feedback to facilitate change
Scholarly activities Opportunity to discuss scholarship intentions, refer to or provide context to CV
Other interview component(s)  

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

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

Please see the following promotional video produced on behalf of the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation program at UBC:

In addition:

  1. The Division has a strong tradition of teaching excellence. Faculty members have won Divisional, Departmental, and Provincial teaching awards. Education is emphasized over service.

  2. Resident feedback is highly regarded and sought after by the program director frequently through regular meetings with each resident and occasional meetings with the resident group. There is an annual resident retreat where residents have the opportunity to help structure the program.

  3. The weekly academic half-day covers a structured curriculum that covers core Physiatry topics and concepts, including physical examination.  Faculty actively participate in academic half-day, from supervising and providing talks to demonstrating "gold-standard" physical examination skills. 

  4. There is a weekly research half-day (in addition to academic half day) for all residents from PGY2 to PGY5. This greatly facilitates the ability to work on research projects in a longitudinal fashion.

  5. Research is a priority within the Division. There is a Director of Research for the Division who meets three times per year with the residents as a group to provide guidance, and is readily accessible between major meetings for one-on-one guidance.  A newly appointed Director for Resident Quality Improvement is guiding the development of a QI curriculum.

  6. Resident interaction with staff is exceptionally collegial. Monthly journal clubs are held at the home of staff members, and there are regular non-academic social events including an annual resident-staff beach volleyball match and ski weekend in Whistler.

  7. All domains of PM&R are well represented at UBC. There are 78 active members of the UBC Division of PM&R, as well as non-UBC physiatrists who welcome residents.

  8. There are opportunities in the program to experience Physiatry throughout the lower mainland, including Vancouver and surrounding municipalities, Vancouver Island, smaller communities in BC and in the Yukon Territory.  All residents attend week-long outreach clinics in Whitehorse during their training. 

  9. UBC PM&R is committed to the inclusion of diverse learners, including those with disabilities.  All rotations can be arranged in accessible environments, with accessible parking available.  There is a process in place for requesting accommodations.  For more information, please contact the program director ( or the accommodation coordinator (

Program Curriculum

This residency program is for 5 years.

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


The duration of training is 5 years, consistent with the Royal College standard.  All Physiatry programs in Canada implemented Competency By Design in 2020 with the first cohort of residents starting in a CBD structure in July 2020.

The Transition to Discipline stage spans the first two blocks of residency training.  This occurs at GF Strong across inpatient and outpatient settings.  The Foundations stage lasts 1 to 1.5 years and consists primarily of off-service experiences deemed highly relevant to Physiatry.  The Core of Discipline stage emphasizes primarily physiatry rotations, including of a mixture of inpatient and outpatient experiences where the specific mix depends on the rotation.  The Transition to Practice stage spans the final year of residency and consists of both program-mandated rotations where trainees function as junior consultants in both inpatient and outpatient settings as well as generous amounts of elective time for trainees to pursue areas of interest, should they have met all mandatory requirements for general training.  There is a progression of responsibility and independence as residents progress through training, with senior/Transition-to-Practice residents attending a longitudinal, dedicated senior's clinic at GF Strong.  

Rotations are based across the lower mainland, with the bulk at GF Strong.  Additional mandatory time is spent at Holy Family Hospital, in Victoria on Vancouver Island, and at major trauma and rehabilitation hospitals and clinics in the Fraser Health Authority.  Additional clinical experiences are available in surrounding municipalities near Vancouver, on Vancouver Island, and the interior of BC.  Electives are planned by the residents in consultation with the program director.  Recent residents have arranged to study in centres in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa as well as across Canada.  The Division of UBC PM&R runs a longitudinal outreach clinic multiple times per year in Whitehorse, and residents are encouraged to attend. 

The greatest strength of the program lies in the ability and enthusiasm of its clinical teaching staff. There are over 60 active members in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, all of whom are actively involved in teaching. Time is spent ensuring that each resident has a program tailored to his or her academic needs and goals. Early in training, the Program Director provides guidance to junior residents.  Residents are encouraged to identify mentors as they progress through training and find faculty that they work well with.

Education is emphasized over service requirements and core Physiatry services are designed to be able to function without residents.  The weekly academic half-days include basic clinical seminars and physical examination sessions. A two year core curriculum is followed for the academic half day to make sure that key topics are covered and reviewed at least twice during the resident's training.  Faculty attend the majority of teaching sessions, and visiting faculty from other departments and divisions are frequently invited to give talks in relevant specialties.  More recently, academic half-day time has also been dedicated to the pursuit of personal learning projects, providing residents dedicated time within their busy schedules to pursue clinical learning experiences to supplement their regular rotations.  In addition, attendance at monthly evening journal clubs is expected.  The Division of UBC PM&R has traditionally run Province Wide Rounds in the time slot following half-day, and changes are currently being implemented to explore alternative ways of delivering continuing education activities to faculty and residents, including quarterly half-days of seminars.

Patient advocacy is an important part of Physiatry and residents are allotted time during the academic half-day curriculum to pursue a number of resident-driven advocacy projects.  In the past, projects have involved community fitness, accessibility and teaching.  One such project led to the development of the longitudinal Whitehorse outreach clinic, which has become a formal part of division activities.

Resident evaluation is based on clinical rotations, participation in academic half-days, completion of resident research projects and written and OSCE style examinations. Resident assessment on clinical rotations is driven by both residents and faculty, with a major emphasis on direct observation and in-the-moment feedback.  Entrustable Professional Activities, as specified by the Royal College, helps guide these assessments.  UBC PGME utilizes the Entrada e-portfolio platform to perform, compile, and organize these assessments.  The Competency Committee, a subcommittee of the Residency Program Committee, consists of 4 faculty and the Program Director and meets regularly throughout the year to review data on resident assessments and makes recommendations to the RPC regarding resident promotions.  The annual American self-assessment exam in PM&R offers residents a benchmark as it is a standardized exam written by PM&R residents across North America, and is available to our senior residents.  In addition to attending conferences and meetings, residents also attend the national comprehensive review course in their PGY-4 or 5 year in preparation for the Royal College specialty examination.  

Graduates of the program have a strong record of performance on the Royal College specialty exams.




Research time is distributed longitudinally from the PGY 2-5 years as a protected half-day per week as well as elective blocks.  Residents have ample research and elective time to pursue specific areas of interest and past residents have used their time towards additional post-graduate degrees, certificates, and clinical specialization.  All residents meet every 4 months with the Director of Resident Research, in addition to meetings with their research supervisors as needed.

Residents participate in research projects throughout their training and are expected to present their findings at the annual Rehabilitation Research Day, the Department of Medicine's Annual Resident Research Day or at a national level conference. Many residents go on to publish in journals.


Rotations are designed to meet the Royal College Minimal Training Requirements and provide additional, enriching experiences.

Below is an example of a rotation sequence although the exact sequence of rotations will vary. A great deal of elective time is available and many opportunities exist to do elcetives in local, regional, national and international practice experiences both within hospital and community settings.


Transition to Discipline







3 block


Plastic Surgery


1 block




1 block




2 block




1 block


Spine Surgery VGH

1 block


1 block




3 blocks




3 blocks




1 block


Orthopedics (Sports)


1 block


Pain Medicine Community/SPH 2 blocks


Intro to Spasticity/EDX


2 blocks


Cardiac Rehab


1 block


NMS Rehab


3 blocks


ABI Rehab


3 blocks


SCI Rehab


4 blocks


Stroke Rehab


3 blocks


MSK Rehab


1 block


Sports Medicine


2 blocks


Orthotics & Prosthetics


3 blocks

  Pediatric Rehab

GFS/BCCH/Sunny Hill

3 blocks




3 blocks


SCI Sr Rehab


1 blocks

 Transition to Practice

FHA Community Rehabilitation/General Physiatry


2 blocks


Senior Resident Clinic






Timing and number depend on resident goals and performance

Training Sites


-Vancouver General Hospital

-G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre (4255 Laurel Street, Vancouver, BC) 

-U.B.C. Hospital

-St. Paul's Hospital

-Holy Family Hospital

-BC Children's Hospital

-Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children

-Queen's Park Hospital

-Royal Columbian Hospital

-Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria

-Surrey Memorial Hospital

-Community-based physiatry offices

-Elective experiences available in Kamloops, Kelowna, and Nanaimo where both inpatient and outpatient experiences exist


1. How many residents are in the program?

- We currently have 10 residents.  We accept two residents per year.  Numbers vary depending on transfers into the program from other programs, maternity leaves, etc. 

2. What is the main training site?

- GF Strong Rehab Centre is a free-standing rehabilitation facility located in Vancouver.  It is the "home-base" for the PM&R residents, and is the training site for many of the core PM&R rotations. The resident office/room is based here as are most academic activities.

3. Are there opportunities for community-based electives?

- Residents travel to Whitehorse with a staff physiatrist  twice during their residency for one week outreach clinics timed throughout the year and have the option of going more often.  PGY5 residents attend a Fraser Health Authority rotation in New Westminster whereby they function in the role of a general physiatrist in the community running both inpatient rehabilitation wards as well as a busy outpatient practice. There is a mandatory month long Orthotics and Prosthetics rotation in Victoria.  Residents are otherwise strongly encouraged to attend both outpatient clinics in the community as well as spend time with physiatrists on smaller inpatient rehabilitation wards in community hospitals.  We have strong links with physiatrists throughout the lower mainland of British columbia as well as in Kelowna, Kamloops, Victoria and Nanaimo. 

4. Are electives outside of B.C. possible?

- Several of our residents have arranged electives abroad. Recent electives have included the USA and Nepal, as well as across Canada.

5. What is the average number of patients a resident would follow on the ward?

- Residents on an in-patient Rehab rotation typically carry 6 to 12 patients depending on their level of training.

6. What are the on-call responsibilities?

- Residents are on-call as required for each service they rotate with.  In B.C., the maximum call responsibility is 1 in 4 for in-house call, and 1 in 3 for home-call.  While on GF Strong-based rotations, residents are typically on-call for one week per month from home.  A staff physiatrist is on call with the resident at all times and residents are encouraged to contact staff with questions or for help.

7. What are some of the resources available?

- The residents' room has a library of key PM&R textbooks, as well as three computers with internet access. Residents have access to e-journals as well as the UBC library electronic resources.  Residents have an annual allowance of $1000 for educational expenses.  They also receive additional funding to attend the national PM&R comprehensive review course, and may be able to access additional funds for presentation of research projects and for out of town electives within BC, such as specialized funding from the Interior Health Authority for rotations in Kamloops.

8. What are the expectations for resident research?

- Residents are expected to have developed a research question by their PGY-2 year, conducted a review of the literature and an essay to either the CAPM&R or GF Strong Annual Rehabilitation Research Day and completed the research project by the end of residency.   Projects can vary in duration from 1 to 4 years. Each project is supervised by an approved preceptor from the University of B.C. Each resident is expected to present his/her research project at the annual Rehabilitation Research Day, and residents are encouraged to present at the Department of Medicine Research day and at a national level conference. Projects should be completed and ready for publication and/or presentation by the end of the residency program. 

9.  Is it possible to work towards a Masters degree during residency?

- Recent residents have enrolled in and completed Masters of Medical Education and Masters of Health Care and Epidemiology programs during their residency training. 

10.  Will I ever get out of the hospital?

- Absolutely!  The importance of an active, healthy lifestyle is emphasized in Vancouver.  Physiatrists recognize and value life-work balance.  Many residents love working in B.C. because of the year-round opportunities to enjoy hiking, running, tennis, beach volleyball, skiing, yoga, surfing, boating, or just relaxing in the mild climate. 

11. Do I need to have a car?

- Not necessarily.  Most of the teaching hospitals (GFS, Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital, UBC hospital and BC Children's hospital) are connected by interhospital shuttle and accessible by public transit.  Other Vancouver area hospitals are also easily accessible by public transit.  Vancouver is an excellent city for cycling and there are car-share programs available in the city.  

Summary of changes

SUMMARY ID Section Summary of changes Updated on NOTIFY APPLICANTS SECTION NAME Actions