Program application language: English
Required documents for ALL applicants
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.
CMG / USMG
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:
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.
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: https://www.cpsbc.ca/files/pdf/REG-ELP.pdf
Order from your RegistrarMedical Student Performance Record
Order from your Dean's officePersonal Letter
A personal letter is required (1500 word maximum). This should outline who you are; how you became interested in psychiatry; what characteristics you would bring to the program; your understanding of the practice of psychiatry; potential plans upon completing the Residency Program and your reasons for choosing UBC.
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
Criteria include: diversity of experience, notable personal endeavour(s), motivation to become a psychiatrist, knowledge about psychiatry as a career, academic track record, creativity/interests outside of medicine, capacity for self-evaluation, ability to relate to others/relationships, open-mindedness/adaptability vs. rigidity, problem-solving ability, sense of responsibility/maturity, psychiatry marks/performance
The Postgraduate Training Program of the Department of Psychiatry, UBC will assist its students in developing the required knowledge, skills and attitudes of a current, expert, general Psychiatrist and will enable them to fulfill, with a high degree of professionalism, the expanded roles of Medical Expert, Communicator, Collaborator, Leader, Health Advocate, Scholar, and Professional (Psychiatry Competencies 2020). Attainment of these goals, the CanMEDS competencies as well as the Competence By Design Entrustable Professional Activities will be regularly measured by rotation specific objectives and workplace based assessments. Over the residency, we will assist residents in completing each stage of the Program, fulfilling the required training experiences and passing the certification examination of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Identify applicants interested in Psychiatry, and those who will develop into exceptional and well-rounded Psychiatrists.
Identify applicants who have demonstrated ability to interact appropriately with patients, colleagues, and healthcare team members alike.
Identify applicants who have demonstrated clinical excellence and are able to think systematically and multidimensionally.
Identify applicants who have demonstrated attributes highlighted in the Psychiatry Competencies 2020 roles.
Identify applicants who have demonstrated ability and enthusiasm to learn and are able to adapt to the various demands of residency training.
Identify applicants who have a sincere interest to serve British Columbians.
Review team composition : Our review team is composed of 1 Program Director, 5 Associate Program Directors, 30-35 faculty (including faculty at distributed sites), and 20-25 senior residents.
Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 51 - 200
Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %
|CV||Not mandatory to provide CV, but if included: research, publications, electives|
|Electives||Clinical evaluations (in particular those from our specialty)|
|Examinations||We do not evaluate this file component|
|Extra-curricular||Volunteering (medical and non medical) and mentoring|
|Leadership skills||Holding office in a student government, club or organization|
|MSPRs||Demonstrated interpersonal skills|
|Personal letters||Why do you think psychiatry is a good fit for you. Why is British Columbia a good fit for you. Tell us about yourself in a way that is authentic, creative and elicits our interest in accepting you to our program.|
|Reference documents||Positive interaction with colleagues and patients. Interest in discipline. Work ethic. Professionalism. Scholarly ability|
|Research/Publications||Interest in participating in future research projects|
|Other file component(s)||
For IMGs only:
• IMG Clinical Assessment Program (CAP) results
• Written and passed the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam (MCCQE) Part 1
• Written and passed National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination
Interview format :
We may accommodate requests to re-schedule interviews for applicants due to weather, technology failure, or unforeseen circumstances.
|Collaboration skills||Promotion of high-quality patient care through working in a team environment|
|Collegiality||Behavior, attitude, ability to work well with others|
|Communication skills||Ability to speak and write in English|
|Interest in the discipline||Demonstrated interest and ability in the specialty; evidence for compassion|
|Interest in the program||Demonstrated interest in program, setting, and in serving British Columbians|
|Leadership skills||Ability to initiate programs, lead organizations or groups, and make an impact|
|Professionalism||Correspondence with staff and chief residents; behavior during interview and with staff and members of the committee|
|Scholarly activities||Evaluate research completed especially for Research Track applicants|
Prince George is a city of 74,000 people and is the largest city in northern British Columbia.
The city sits on the traditional lands of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation, whose name means "people where the rivers come together" in the Carrier language. By its location and stature, Prince George earned the title of The Capital of The North. Its unique geographical placement provides Prince George citizens with unparalleled access to outdoor recreation that contributes to a high quality of life and standard of living. As a city that boasts world class recreational and sporting facilities, Prince George was home to the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the largest national multisport event in the country.
The University Hospital of Northern British Columbia (UHNBC) is the largest acute care facility in the region and is the training site for UNBC Northern Medical Program as well as Family Medicine and UBC Psychiatry Residency Programs. As the largest academic centre in the North, UHNBC serves as a tertiary referral facility to a myriad of communities scattered over a vast geographical area, many of them aboriginal and inaccessible by conventional transportation.
The Prince George Psychiatry Residency was established in 2008 and initially could only accommodate one resident for PGY1 - 3 who then completed training in the Lower Mainland. The program expanded to include all 5 years in 2012, and then in 2017 capacity increased to two residents per year.
From its conception, the emphasis of the Prince George track has been on training general psychiatrists for future careers in northern and rural areas. Most of our current residents have rural, small-town backgrounds and are enthusiastic about living, working and playing in the North. The residency training is uniquely shaped by the northern geography and demographics. Prince George itself is a city with many heavy industries and an increasingly cosmopolitan population, it is surrounded by indigenous communities with many aboriginal people living in town.
UHNBC is an extremely busy hospital, frequently functioning over-capacity and providing care to a diverse patient population. Since people in northern communities often face barriers accessing care, residents are routinely exposed to a higher degree of pathology in a variety of complex and clinically challenging cases. Since Prince George lacks many of the subspecialties available in bigger academic centres, critical thinking, clinical curiosity and the ability to function independently would be considered an asset for applicants.
Starting from the first year of training (PGY1), Prince George residents have meaningful opportunities to work with physicians and interdisciplinary care providers at downtown clinics with a focus on marginalized and indigenous populations. Central Interior Native Health Society (CINH) is a team-based, patient-centred, culturally sensitive environment that strives to provide trauma-informed, safe and pro-active care to the most disadvantaged and offers valuable training for family and psychiatry residents. After receiving preceptorship from frontline family physicians in their PGY1 training, the residents later return to these clinics in the role of junior consultants during their PGY4 shared care and addiction rotations.
The PGY1 Addictions rotation helps residents establish a solid foundation for patient-centred addictions care. In this rotation residents can complete their OAT training and learn in a variety of settings – including the Nechako Youth Treatment Program, Adult Withdrawal Management Unit, UHNBC, Community Clinics and Harm Reduction Programs.
The PGY2 inpatient rotation takes place on 3 North East (3NE), UHNBC’s adult inpatient psychiatric unit, which has 20 beds and 4 seclusion beds. There are 2 additional seclusion beds in the Emergency Department. During the outpatient rotation PGY2 residents work with Early Psychosis Intervention Program and mental health teams dealing with mood and anxiety disorders. The outpatient rotation provides early exposure to psychotherapy. The spectrum of psychotherapy work is constantly expanding with concerted efforts from dedicated staff.
There are also numerous opportunities for outreach during outpatient rotation, as several of our psychiatrists provide support to smaller communities like McBride, Fort St James, Vanderhoof, Mackenzie and Quesnel.
The PGY3 Child & Adolescent rotation is usually divided to provide inpatient and outpatient experience. The Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment Unit (APAU) of UHNBC has 6 beds and accepts patients aged 12-18. It serves as a tertiary adolescent diagnostic centre for the region. In cases where youth suffer from Substance Use Disorders, APAU staff work in close cooperation with Nechako Youth Treatment Centre (NYTC), an in-house youth addiction rehabilitation program (ages 12-19) and a provincial referral facility. During the outpatient portion of the rotation, the residents work with Dr. Boulding on referrals from the school district with extensive exposure to younger ages and focus on developmental and relational problems.
The PGY3 Geriatric rotation takes place in a more blended format, with concurrent inpatient and outpatient experience and emphasis on interdisciplinary liaison with community resources. The geriatric team is a collaborative group and due to rural resource limitations, residents have exposure to advanced geriatric pathology. This rotation incorporates teaching for electroconvulsive therapy, allowing residents to complete intakes as outpatient consultations and then be involved in inpatient treatments both for local patients and those referred in from more remote communities.
The residents on call in Prince George will routinely see a variety of patients of all ages, including children, adolescents and elderly. On call support from attending psychiatrists is ensured to provide clinical supervision and teaching for the residents.
We find that the small size of the program allows for closer interaction between staff and residents promoting an atmosphere of mutual trust and fostering productive working relationships. Throughout residency training, we place high value on collegiality, professionalism and teamwork.
The Prince George Department of Psychiatry is diverse in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and spirituality and we enjoy bringing staff and residents together for fun social gatherings whenever permitted by ever changing public health regulations.
Short Video: What is Residency Like in Prince George, BC?
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 academic curriculum is currently under modification as the implementation of Competency By Design started in July 2020. The residency program is divided into 4 stages: Transition to Discipline, Foundations, Core (of Discipline) and Transition to Practice.
Seminars in the first stage (duration of one month) will be an introduction to the initial aspects of psychiatric practice including the basics of psychiatric interviewing, diagnosis, formulation and basic management plan. The Foundations stage which will subsume the remainder of PGY1 and all of PGY2, will attend to the foundational aspects of general psychiatry. The morning curriculum for the PGY2 Residents is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to General Adult Psychiatry, with the initial two month block being a seminar series covering Emergency Psychiatry.
Then, in Core (PGY3 and 4), more complex syndromes and alternate demographics are examined. The focus for PGY3 is Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The PGY4 curriculum is designed to provide residents with a more in depth knowledge of the major clinical syndromes and learn about special areas in psychiatry including Consultation-Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Reproductive Psychiatry, etc.
The Royal College exam will occur at the end of the Core Stage (end of PGY4) leaving the Transition to Practice PGY5 Residents with significant clinical flexibility and only several seminars aimed towards preparation for clinical practice.
The academic program is designed to meet the standards of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Academic seminars are held for a full day each Thursday for the Residents at the PGY2, PGY3, and PGY4 training levels. The Psychiatry academic day for PGY1 Residents is provided monthly at the home program. Residents are excused from their clinical responsibilities for the day to attend this integrated series of seminars covering fundamental aspects of psychiatry.
There is a comprehensive Psychotherapy curriculum covering a number of validated treatment modalities which runs on Thursday afternoons; in the PGY2 year this covers basic psychotherapy skills and increases in complexity and diversity in the PGY3 and PGY4 years.
Clinical rotations mandated by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada
Transition to Discipline (First month of PGY1)
Foundations (General Medical and required Psychiatry Rotations for the remainder of PGY1)
Foundations (PGY2 - Adult Inpatient (6 months) and Adult Outpatient (6 months))
Core (PGY3 - Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (6 months))
Core (PGY3-Geriatric Psychiatry (6 months))
Core (PGY4-Consultation-Liaison (3 months))
Core (PGY4-Chronic Care (6 months, minimum 2 days per week))
Core (PGY4-Addiction Psychiatry (3 months))
Core (PGY4-Emergency Psychiatry (2 months)
Transition to Practice (PGY5-Selectives (6 months, no less than 3 months per rotation))
Transition to Practice (PGY5-Electives (6 months, no less than 2 months per rotation))
Concurrent & Longitudinal
Occurring within the sixty months of residency, training will include:
Training in empirically supported psychotherapeutic approaches. This must involve 2 years of weekly longitudinal psychodynamic psychotherapy, a minimum of 4-6 months of weekly CBT+IPT and a minimum of 4-6 months of either family and group psychotherapy. Training in empirically supported psychotherapeutic approaches must be documented and evaluated separately from other rotations.
PGY1 (Transition to Discipline and Foundations)
Training occurs at St. Paul's Hospital or Royal Columbian Hospital. Assignments to SPH and RCH sites are made by the UBC Psychiatry Postgraduate Education office based on ballots filled out by the Resident (each is asked to rank two sites in order of preference). There is coordination between the PGY1 Training Directors at each hospital site and the Residency Program Directors. The initial Transition to Discipline month long rotation will occur in a Psychiatry setting to complete the initial two Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA’s). Rotations then differ between the training sites, but all will include one block of: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology, Emergency Medicine, Addictions, Emergency Psychiatry; two blocks of Internal Medicine electives and 2 additional blocks of Psychiatry.
Training consists of twelve months of Adult Psychiatry in an inpatient/outpatient setting and occurs at one of the following hospitals: Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital (Research Track), Richmond Hospital and St. Paul's Hospital.
Training consists of six months of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at: BC Children's & Women's Hospital alone or in combination with Richmond Hospital; and six months of Geriatric Psychiatry at one of four sites: Mt. St. Joseph's/St. Paul’s Hospital, Richmond Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital or Lion's Gate Hospital.
Training consists of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, Emergency Psychiatry, Chronic Care Psychiatry and one elective. Training is not restricted to the home track, but can occur in any track across the province on a first come first serve basis, and there can be consideration of a rotation out of province under special circumstances.
PGY5 (Transition to Practice)
During this period the resident assumes more leadership in the education and supervision of junior colleagues while consolidating and further developing a career track interest through electives and selectives including research.
Training consists of six months each of Selectives and Electives. Selectives are limited to child & adolescent psychiatry; geriatric psychiatry; forensic psychiatry; psychosomatic medicine; psychiatric research; the psychotherapies; addictions; developmental disabilities and psychiatry in rural and/or remote locations. Electives should involve any aspect of training relevant to contemporary psychiatric practice, including research approved by the residency training committee. Electives may consist of an approved rotation in internal medicine, neurology or other branch of medicine relevant to psychiatry.
A wide variety of electives are offered along with flexibility in splitting these electives and/or arranging new ones. There are opportunities to spend all or part of the elective year in an approved residency program anywhere in North America or abroad in the following areas:
-Chronic Pain-Civil Forensics
-Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
-Cross Cultural Psychiatry
-Gender Dysphoria Clinic
-Infant Mental Health
-Mood Disorders Program
-Student Health Services
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - 2 year program beginning in PGY5
Geriatric Psychiatry - 2 year program beginning in PGY5
Forensic Psychiatry - 1 year program in PGY6
Emphasis is placed on research throughout the program and is required through the following process:
With the help of the Director of Research and Scholarly Activity, Dr. Erin Michalak, and Scholarly Activity Supervisor for Vancouver Track, Dr. Donna Lang, residents are required to be involved in a scholarly activity from the onset of their training. Dr. Michalak's designate in different tracks facilitates liaison between residents and specific research mentors and assists them with new and ongoing research projects, writing up cases, and literature reviews.
There are 2 CaRMS matched Research Track positions which allow for 1 day per week of protected research time in PGY2-5 years.
Non-Research Track residents may apply for ½ day per week for a more complex research project at any time from their PGY2 year on until its completion.
In addition to 2 CaRMS matched Research Track positions, 2 more Research Track positions will be available internally after PGY1.
Annual Research Day: the department awards prizes for the best clinical and basic science papers submitted by residents.
Any resident may apply for permission to do six or twelve months in a research selective in their final year.
Opportunities for research exist in all areas.
Through an integrated program of clinical placements and academic seminars, the UBC program is designed to achieve the goals of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the University of British Columbia. Clinical placements for all tracks include:
Vancouver Hospital (VGH)
St. Paul's Hospital (SPH)
Richmond Hospital (RH)
Peace Arch Hospital (PAH)
BC Children's Hospital (BCCH)
Lion's Gate Hospital (LGH)
Mount St. Joseph's Hospital (MSJH)
Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH)
Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH)
Burnaby Hospital (BH)
University of British Columbia Hospital (UBCH)
Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria (RJH)
Victoria General Hospital, Victoria (VGH)
University Hospital of Northern BC, Prince George (UHNBC)
Special Training Sites
-The Vancouver Community Mental Health System (VCMHS) is comprised of community-based, multi-disciplinary mental health teams catering to the needs of clients suffering from chronic mental illness.
-BC Children's Hospital is the tertiary care pediatric hospital for the Province of British Columbia.
-Specialized Geriatric Psychiatric Services are offered through Mount St. Joseph's Hospital, VGH, Richmond Hospital, Lion's Gate Hospital, VCMHS.
-Outreach Community Placement provides training in general community psychiatry in areas outside of Vancouver, designated rural sites in the province and outreach facilities providing consultation to outlying areas in the province on a regular basis. Funding is available to residents who pursue this anytime in their PGY2-5 years.
-Forensic Services is affiliated with the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission and provides extensive clinical experience in the assessment and treatment of adults in conflict with the law. Residents may choose to do their Chronic Care rotation at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital. There are also opportunities for civil forensics, outpatient forensics, Outreach placements and research.
-The Psychiatric Assessment Unit (PAU) in VGH is a unique emergency service within Canada. It is designed with a crisis stabilization model in mind, providing assessments to the ER, immediate intervention, containment & stabilization, and short-term triaging of patients. It is located adjacent to the Emergency Department at VGH and consists of 14 beds with 2 seclusion rooms. The staff is comprised of 8 psychiatrists of varied backgrounds, but who all have expertise in ER psychiatry.
-Clinical investigation units dedicated to research, evaluation and clinical service are well established in Mood Disorders at VGH and Refractory Psychosis at UBC Hospital.
-The Neuropsychiatry Unit at UBC evaluates and treats disorders of mood, behaviour, cognition and intellect produced by disturbances in brain structure and function. A fundamental goal is the understanding of how the brain mediates neuropsychiatric illness.
-The Reproductive Psychiatry Program, based at BC Women's Hospital, SPH, RCH and SMH, evaluates and treats women with psychiatric problems associated with their reproductive years.
-The Sleep Disorders Program is a multidisciplinary program based at University Hospital with inpatient/outpatient programs involved in the assessment and evaluation of sleep disorders.
-The Division of Sexual Medicine provides clinical services to patients with sexual dysfunctions and gender dysphoria through the Centre for Sexuality, Gender Identity, and Reproductive Health at VGH. The Sexual Medicine Consultation Clinic is part of VCMHS and provides consultation services to both patients with severe mental illness and their therapists. Both sites also provide opportunities for education and research.
-St. Paul's Hospital offers residency training opportunities in the assessment and management of patients with HIV-related psychiatric illnesses.
-The Eating Disorders Clinic at SPH evaluates and treats disorders associated with eating through inpatient/outpatient and outreach programs.
-Hillside Centre in Kamloops provides specialized tertiary services for adult and geriatric patients from the southern and northern interior of BC, while the neuropsychiatry program there provides specialized services for the province, as part of the BC Neuropsychiatry program linked with the UBC site. South Hills Centre in Kamloops provides tertiary psychosocial rehabilitation and sub-acute stabilization for people from throughout the Interior Health Authority with severe, refractory illness in a community setting.
-In the unique setting of Vancouver's multicultural society, the Outpatient Psychiatry Program at VGH offers initial assessments in a variety of languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish and Farsi.
-There are numerous options to participate in concurrent disorders including at the Burnaby Centre for mental health an addiction and the Heartwood Centre for women at BC Women’s Hospital. Addictions training is available at all sites including RCH, SMH, VGH, SPH, RH including in hospital consultation as well as options to participate in inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation settings.
-There are opportunities to pursue interprovincial or international electives.
-Fellowships are available in Neuropsychiatry, Addictions Medicine, Addictions Psychiatry and Mood Disorders.