University of British Columbia - Neurology - Vancouver

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

Last approved on September 27, 2021

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Samuel Yip
Room 8219, 8th Floor  
Gordon & Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 1M9
(604) 875-5198
(604) 875-5217

Program Contacts

Dr. Samuel Yip
Program Director
(604) 875-5198

General Instructions

Program application language: English


Supporting Documentation

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
Additional documents
Custom Résumé / CV 

Medical School Transcript 

Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Medical Student Performance Record 

Undergraduate Transcript (Bachelor's Degree) 

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

Files are reviewed by members of the Residency Program Committee. Decision will be made regarding candidates to be interviewed.



  • March 16, 2022
March 16, 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
There will be a preliminary screening of applications for the granting of interviews. Interviews will consist of two 15-minute interviews involving members of our Residency Committee.

Selection Criteria

Selection is made through an interview process with the selection committee. While marks are considered, previous accomplishments, character and interpersonal skills are very important.

Program goals

Our residents will demonstrate exceptional interpersonal skills, clinical skills and academic excellence as demonstrated through clinical care, teaching, research and/or quality assurance/health advocacy initiatives.  They will be active members of the community, witnessed through their volunteer and/or extracurricular activities.  They will demonstrate the ability to collaborate with peers, supervisors and allied health colleagues.

Selection process goals

Identify applicants who have demonstrated an interest in clinical neurology and the aptitude to develop into exceptional clinical neurologists

Identify applicants who demonstrate the ability to interact appropriately with colleagues and patients

Identify applicants who have demonstrated the ability and enthusiasm to learn and who are able to adapt to the demands of residency training

Identify applicants who have demonstrated aptitudes consistent with the CanMEDS 2015 roles

File review process

Review team composition : Our review team consists of the members of the Residency Program Committee. This includes the program director, 2 resident representatives and faculty members from the various training sites.

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

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 76 - 100 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV we evaluate the content including electives, academic activities and extracurricular activities
Electives clinical aptitude, particularly in neurology, and interpersonal skills
Extra-curricular involvement in the community through paid and/or volunteer work
Leadership skills ability to take initiative in appropriate settings
MSPRs professionalism, clinical aptitude in all areas, not restricted to neurology, interpersonal skills
Personal letters interest in neurology
Reference documents clinical acumen, particularly in neurology; professionalism; interpersonal skills
Research/Publications interest in research +/or other scholarly pursuits
Transcripts 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 may accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure, or unforeseen circumstances.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills promotion of high quality patient care through working in a team environment
Collegiality ability to work well with others
Communication skills ability to speak and write English; articulate
Health advocacy N/A
Interest in the discipline enthusiasm for clinical neurology
Interest in the program demonstrated interest in UBC program and living in Vancouver
Leadership skills demonstrated ability to take initiative in appropriate settings
Professionalism presentation of self at interview and interaction with others through interview process
Scholarly activities interest in research +/or other scholarly pursuits
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

- throughout all rotations the residents see a large breadth of pathology from all over BC and the Yukon

- opportunity to participate in outreach clinics in under serviced areas in R4/5 years (Haida Gwaii, Whitehorse, Kitimat)

- opportunity to get involved in medical student teaching, including 2nd year neuroanatomy course and the medical student neurology clinical skills course

- active neuro-ethics program and neuro-ethics movie nights designed to stimulate discussion around ethical issues in clinical neurology

- Brain Research Centre with extensive clinical and basic science research ongoing in many subspecialties of neurology

- very supportive neurology faculty, with varied clinical and research interests, keen to work with residents

- annual Neuroscience resident retreat ski weekend at Whistler to build camaraderie between staff and residents and between different neuroscience specialties (pediatrics, neurosurgery and neurology)

- strong support in residency program to foster individual residents interests and aptitudes, and to make opportunities available for residents to pursue these, whether residents be focused on an academic track (clinician-scientist, clinician-teacher) or general neurology in the community

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 program in adult neurology training at UBC is a 5-year program post-medical school graduation.

Starting in July 2020, the curriculum has transitioned to the Competency by Design curriculum.

The CBD curriculum is divided into four sections (Transition to Discipline, Foundations, Core and Transition to Practice).

Residents begin their PGY1 year with Transition to Discipline, which includes one block each of inpatient neurology and CTU. 

This is followed by Foundations, during which residents will develop clinical knowledge in a variety of specialties, including CTU and Internal Medicine subspecialties (e.g. hematology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, cardiology, geriatrics etc.), Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, ICU and Neurosurgery.  In Foundations, resident education is largely built around inpatient rotations and developing clinical skills  relevant to neurological practice.

The next 35 blocks are the Core during which residents will solidify knowledge and expertise in general and subspecialty areas of Neurology.  Rotations are arranged in inpatient neurology, ambulatory clinics (MS/Neuroinflammatory, Movement Disorders, Dementia, Neurogenetics, Rapid Access Neurology Clinic), Neuromuscular and EMG, Epilepsy and EEG, Pediatric Neurology etc.  The Royal College written examination will be scheduled for the end of the Core (corresponding to the end of PGY4).

In the final PGY5 year, residents complete Transition to Practice.  Emphasis is placed on their role as a junior attending on inpatient rotations, and customizing their rotation schedule according to individual career goals.  The Royal College OSCE examination will be scheduled for the end of Transition to Practice.

Longitudinal Clinic experience begins in PGY3 for all residents and continues until the end of PGY5.  Residents also have opportunities to be involved in various research projects throughout the course of their training.

More information on Competence By Design can be found on the Royal College website.


Residents at Work

As a junior resident, most of your rotations will be off-service, but you will still be a core member of our residency family!  Junior residents do five blocks of neurology as part of their training, in addition to a block of community neurology.  They attend the Neurology Academic Half-Day even in R1, as w ell as Neuroscience Grand Rounds when their rotation schedule allows it.

As a senior resident, you begin the transition to independent practice, with more exposure to a variety of neurology subspecialties.  We are fortunate in Vancouver to have access to world-renowned attendings in (almost) all subspecialties, who are all very eager to teach our residents.  As a senior resident, you will also be more responsible for teaching junior residents and medical students during your time on service.


There are research opportunities in all areas. However, most frequently utilized areas are stroke, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, neuromuscular diseases and neuro-ophthalmology/visual cognition. Candidates are expected to carry out a scholarly project during their training time.


Seminars are Thursday afternoon from 1300-1700h as academic half day, and this is protected time. This period consists of one hour of case presentation followed by 3 one hour lectures addressing clinical and basic science topics in neurology. Wednesday mornings consist of Neuroscience grand rounds followed by patient presentation. This is from 0800-1000h.  There are weekly noon-hour cerebral vascular academic rounds, clinical stroke rounds, neuro-ophthalmology rounds and neuromuscular rounds.  There is a quarterly journal club, and optional evening neuroethics seminars.  During the UBC rotation, residents are encouraged to take advantage of the many seminars that take place at the Brain Research Institute.

Training Sites


Vancouver Hospital (VH) has 8-10 general neurology beds, 10 acute stroke beds and 15 sub-acute stroke beds.  There is an active consultation service and emergency room services. On average there are approximately 1000 emergency referrals per year, and a similar number of consultations off service. Clinical material is large and outstanding. This hospital is supported by a high volume neurosurgical service, neuroradiology, neuro-ophthalmology, epilepsy, neuromuscular services, neuro-oncology and headache specialist.  There is a Stroke Service and General Neurology/Consult Service at VGH.

UBC Hospital. There is an active multiple sclerosis clinic with 5000 patients registered; a well known movement disorder clinic, neurodegenerative service and Alzheimer clinic and neurogenetic clinic. Much of the research is carried out at this site. This is an ambulatory rotation only.

St. Paul's Hospital has a busy neurology consultation service.

BC Children's Hospital has a large academic pediatric neurology service complete with support staff. Strengths are in epilepsy, neuromuscular disease and neonatology. Residents rotate through the ward and consultation service.

BC Cancer Agency - Neuro-oncology outpatient clinic.

Community Rotations include options to go to Victoria, Kamloops, Prince George, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and Kelowna.

Additional Information

Quick Facts

-There are opportunities for interprovincial and international electives while training in our program

-Community rotations are part of the curriculum

-The ratio of residents to faculty is 30:60

-The average patient load is 6 per resident (inpatient rotations)

-There is access to electronic medical resources