Crest

University of British Columbia - Plastic Surgery - Vancouver

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

Last approved on October 01, 2021

Approximate Quota:

 1 

Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria


Dr. Alexander Seal
Division of Plastic Surgery 
c/o Vancouver General Hospital  
Burns/Plastics Unit, JPP 2
899 West 12th Avenue Vancouver BC V5Z 1M9 , British Columbia, V5Z 1M9
(604) 875-4084
(604) 875-4969
UBC Department of Surgery
UBC Plastic Surgery

Program Contacts

Dr. Alex Seal
Director, Postgraduate Education
maureen.berard@vch.ca
(604) 875-4084
604 569-2985

UBC Plastic Surgery
Maureen Berard
Admin Manager
maureen.berard@vch.ca
604-875-4084

Parm Sidhu
Senior Program Assistant
ubcplastic@vch.ca
604-875-4969
604-875-4084


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
Required
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
Required
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• IELTS
• Occupational English Test (OET) - Medicine
• Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General

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.

IMG

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: https://www.cpsbc.ca/files/pdf/REG-ELP.pdf

 

Reference documents
Required
Number requested: 3

Reference Letters: A suggested number of 3 reference letters should be from surgeons, preferably plastic surgeons, who have worked with the student in the preceding 12 months. Applicants can submit more than 3 references if they feel it will enhance their application.  Referees should be told that this is a letter focusing on your suitability as a trainee in plastic surgery as per selection criteria.

Additional documents
Required
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

Photograph Medical School Transcript (order from your Registrar) Medical School Performance Record (order from your Dean's office)  

 

Personal letter: On your personal letter, please list your referees. A personal letter covering these 6 topics is required (500 words maximum):

1. Why and for how long have you been interested in plastic surgery?

2. Why are you interested in training at the University of British Columbia?

3. What are your objectives for a career? i.e. clinical, academic, large city, small community.

4. Describe what manual and other activities you have done that indicate you have the technical aptitude to be a surgeon.

5. What organizations have you participated in during the last 5 years, and what was your role?

6. What non-medical interests and hobbies do you have?

Custom Résumé / CV 

Graduate Transcript (Master/PhD Degree) 

Medical School Transcript 

Student applying in the last year of medical school must submit their most recent marks/transcripts and will need to provide proof of their MD degree/diploma prior to the start of their residency.  This information is listed in the general information for UBC (https://www.carms.ca/match/r-1-main-residency-match/eligibility-criteria/British-Columbia/

 

Medical Student Performance Record 

Undergraduate Transcript (Bachelor's Degree) 

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

Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) 

Do I need the BCLS to apply to University of British Columbia Plastic Surgery Program?

  • Answer:  The Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) is required by matched applicants before the residency starts on July 1st.  It is not a requirement as part of your CaRMS application to our program.  


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



Interviews

Dates:

  • March 2, 2022
Interview Date:  Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Invitation to interview is restricted to those on a short list. All the applications are reviewed by the 6 member Residency Selection Committee. Short listed candidates will be notified of interview date and process.

Interviews this year will remain virtual


Selection Criteria

Applicants should have an acceptable academic record which demonstrates strength in subjects related to plastic surgery, i.e. anatomy, physiology, surgery and internal medicine. Applicants should understand surgical diagnoses and have the ability to acquire and retain surgical skills as demonstrated to preceptors who supply references from the clinical undergraduate years. These references should indicate your intelligence, ability to learn, ability to function within a team, the ability to grow and proficiency in technical skills. References from a plastic surgeon who has personally observed you in the past 12 months are beneficial.

Program goals

The University of British Columbia, Plastic Surgery Resident Training program is dedicated to help residents become exceptionally well-trained plastic surgeons in Canada.  After completion of residency, graduates will be competent and comfortable to manage all areas of plastic surgery care.  Our sites offer exposure to the breadth of plastic surgery, which facilitates this excellent training and experience.  We are proud to be recognized as having a training environment that is supportive and friendly.

The Resident Program Committee (RPC) has structure and personnel that has been created to support the program, teachers and residents. The focus is to ensure the requirements are met for the educational program, resources, learners, teachers, and administrative personnel.  There is a focus on patient care and safety, education, continuous quality improvement and resident wellness.

We have an exceptionally strong residency program, with a great number of dedicated faculty that are committed to train residents into top surgeons.  There is always room to expand the experience, and this remains a focus for the RPC.  The program holds exit interviews for the graduating residents every year, and looks to focus on the strengths they have identified with their experiences during residency and integrate their recommendations for growth.

This program is designed as “Top Gun” plastic surgery training time.  To be successful, residents are encouraged to read around cases and obtain as much hands on, technical experience as possible.  The time goes by quickly.  Our philosophy is: work hard, stay positive and good things will happen.  The football star Pele, summarizes it well:

“Success is no accident.  It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing, or learning to do.”

Selection process goals

We are looking for the right new residents to join our team.  Hard work, honesty, compassion, and professionalism are all important attributes for successful candidates.  Demonstrated personal excellence both academically, and in other areas of life, are valued in the application process.

Applicants should demonstrate evidence of academic success.  We are looking for the best applicants with the right skill set and personalities to be receptive to becoming better.  They should understand surgical diagnoses and have the ability to acquire and retain surgical skills as demonstrated to preceptors who supply references from the clinical undergraduate years. These references should indicate applicants intelligence, ability to learn, ability to function within a team, the ability to grow, as well as, proficiency in technical skills. References from a plastic surgeon who has personally observed you in the past 12 months are beneficial.

 

File review process

Review team composition : The CaRMS Committee is composed of the following representatives:

Program Director (Chair):
Dr. Alex Seal

Division Head:
Dr. Peter Lennox

VGH/UBC Representative
Dr. E. Brown

SPH Representative
Dr. E. Bovill

Undergraduate Director
Dr. C. Doherty

BCCH Representatives
Dr. E. Henkelman
Dr. D. Courtemanche

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 0 - 50
Most years we receive 45-55 competitive applications.

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 26 - 50 %
We interview 12-14 candidates each year depending on the overall strength of applicants.

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV To review and identify areas of excellence not identified in the CaRMS application.
Electives Review experience during medical school and evaluations from these.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Demonstration of excellence outside of academic success.
Leadership skills Demonstration of leadership roles and how these may translate to success during residency and as a surgeon.
MSPRs Reviewed looking for excellence on rotations and areas of concern.
Personal letters Strong consideration on the reason for pursuing a career in plastic surgery.
Reference documents Strong consideration on support for the applicant and their pursuit of a plastic surgery residency.
Research/Publications Help identify academic excellence and ability to take a project from start to completion.
Transcripts Reviewed to evaluate academic success over an extended period of time.

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.

Completing electives in plastic surgery is important in the application process to demonstrat the applicants interest in the specialty.  We do not specifically require an elective at our site to be offered an interview and be successful in the application process.  Recognizing that electives at UBC are helpful for an applicate to learn about our program and for our program to get to know an applicate before the interview time, during the past 18 months this has not been possible for out-of-province students due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Interview process

Interview format :



We do not re-schedule interviews for applicants after we have completed the scheduling process.

Interview evaluation criteria :
Interview components Criteria
Collaboration skills Demonstrated success in collaboration within, or outside, healthcare related activities.
Collegiality Behaviour-type questions to allow candidate to ability to demonstrate where they have excelled.
Communication skills Behaviour-type questions to allow candidate to ability to demonstrate where they have excelled.
Health advocacy Demonstrate work with communities or patient populations to improve health. Determine and understand needs, speak on behalf of others when required, and support mobilization of resources to effect change.
Interest in the discipline The CV and application review process evaluates this component.
Interest in the program By way of application, this is demonstrated. Electives can help to demonstrate increased interest.
Leadership skills Behaviour-type questions to allow candidate to ability to demonstrate where they have excelled.
Professionalism Behaviour-type questions to allow candidate to ability to demonstrate where they have excelled.
Scholarly activities The CV and application review process evaluates this component.
Other interview component(s) Applications are received and the entire CaRMS Committee participates in the file review. Various aspects of the file are objectively reviewed by each member of the RPC. A numerical score is then provided. Input from all staff and residents that have had contact with the applicant is considered. The numerical list is then presented at a special meeting of the CaRMS Committee for discussion and revision as necessary. A short list of candidates is prepared and selected candidates are offered interviews. The interviews are structured with specific, standardized questions, which are asked to each candidate by the same team so as to provide consistency. The interviews are in stations of 30 minutes each, and each candidate has a 2 hour interview process. Residents have a separate station and also have a social event with the candidates. Candidates are ranked following the interviews and a ranking order for the match is prepared.

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 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.

Curriculum

The University of British Columbia, Plastic Surgery Resident Training program is dedicated to help residents become exceptionally well-trained plastic surgeons in Canada.  After completion of residency, graduates will be competent and comfortable to manage all areas of plastic surgery care.  Our sites offer exposure to the breadth of plastic surgery, which facilitates this excellent training and experience.  We are proud to be recognized as having a training environment that is supportive and friendly. 

The program is five years, with graduation from medical school as the academic pre-requisite.  The core surgical foundation time is now approximately 18 months.  The remaining time is focused on plastic surgery. This is a predominantly clinical program.  During each of the three plastic surgery years, residents are expected to carry out a research project, either clinical or basic science, but there is no specific research rotation.

The clinical program at the PGY-3, 4 and 5 levels provides ample opportunity to progress in responsibility and acquire a wide variety of skills, as well as, reinforce these by repetition.  Clinical volume is divided between elective and trauma presentations related to plastic surgery. Trauma coverage includes hand and wrist, burns, soft tissue and maxillofacial trauma in both adult and paediatric services.  Exposure to elective plastic surgery covers all major areas including hand and wrist surgery, burn reconstruction, microsurgery, tumour reconstruction, breast reconstruction and repair of paediatric congenital defects.  Most of the attending plastic surgery staff have cosmetic surgery practices and opportunity exists for residents to spend time in the setting of private cosmetic surgery clinics.  A resident cosmetic surgery clinic provides an opportunity to participate in cosmetic surgery, with both evaluation and treatment.  There is also elective time scheduled for residents to explore areas of interest.

Residents are encouraged to attend ambulatory clinics.  A wide variety of outpatient clinics exist including general paediatric, vascular malformation, cleft lip and palate, craniofacial, hand, peripheral nerve, burn and general adult plastic surgery.  Specific ambulatory rotations also exist.

Practice written and oral examinations are given twice a year. Residents receive a formal evaluation once every three months and have longitudinal feedback facilitate by EPA's through Competency By Design.



PGY-1

13 blocks

plastic surgery, 2 months

emergency medicine, 1 month

internal medicine, 1 month

orthopaedics, 2 months

general surgery oncology, 1 month

general surgery trauma, 1 month

paediatric general surgery, 1 month

crash course, 1 month

neurosurgery, 1 month

vascular, 1 month

otolaryngology, 1 month 

 

PGY-2

13 blocks

intensive care, 2 blocks

burns, 2 blocks

oculoplastics, 1 block

dermsurgery, 1 block

plastic surgery, 6 blocks

Community plastic surgery, 1 block

 

PGY-3 (Plastic Surgery)

13 blocks

 

adult plastic surgery, 4 blocks

Burns, 2 blocks

Paediatric Plastic Surgery, 1 block

hand surgery, 3 blocks

elective, 1 block

ambulatory, 1 block

Community Plastic Surgery, 1 block

PGY-4 

13 blocks

elective, 1 block

cosmetic surgery, 1 block

adult plastic surgery, 7 blocks

pediatric plastic surgery, 2 blocks

plastic surgery Kelowna (Community), 2 blocks

 

During the PGY-4 year, most residents will function as the administrative chief resident for a minimum of 4 - 6 months, which includes schedule making, organizing walk-around patient teaching rounds, etc.

PGY-5 

13 blocks

adult plastic surgery, 9 blocks

paediatric plastic surgery, 2 blocks

ambulatory, 1 block

Transition to Practice, 1 block

 

PGY-5 residents will be working in the Resident Cosmetic Clinic for an approximate 6 month period, which includes evaluating patients and performing surgery originating from it.

 

There are 6 weeks of dedicated study time before the Royal College exam.  This can be distributed before the written and oral exams.

 

 

 



Research

Research is encourage starting as a PGY-1. 

In the PGY-3, 4 and 5 years, residents will do one research project, or review, per year for presentation at the UBC Resident Research Day.  This day is in conjunction with the annual BCMA Plastic Surgery meeting. The majority of research is clinical in nature. There is not a specific research rotation, however, this can be requested if there is a specific project, or interest.



Seminars

-PGY-1 and 2: U.B.C. Department of Surgery Surgical Foundations Seminar Program, (Wednesday a.m.) 1 hour per week; Plastic Surgery Journal Club, one evening per month (optional to attend); UBC Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds, and attendance at plastic surgery seminars and rounds is optional depending on other off-service schedules.

-PGY-3, 4, 5: weekly plastic surgery rounds (paediatric, adult, burn, professor, breast, walk around and provincial), and hand rounds once per week (Tuesday a.m.).

-PGY-3, 4, 5: Academic half-day Thursday afternoons (13:00-18:00) combining research time, resident seminars and guest lecturers.

-Monthly - Journal club, Grand Plastic Surgery rounds, Department of Surgery Rounds.

-Conferences:

PGY-3: ABA & Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons (CSPS)

PGY-4: 2 funded meetings

PGY-5 CSPS and meeting of your choice or foreign mission, such as Op Smile.




Training Sites

Resources

- Vancouver General Hospital,Vancouver, BC

- UBC Hospital, Vancouver, BC

- British Columbia Children's Hospital, Vancouver, BC

- St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC

- Mount St. Joseph's Hospital, Vancouver, BC

- Private offices and surgery centres of attending staff

- Private Surgical Centres, Lower Mainland, BC

- Kelowna General Hospital, Kelowna, BC

- Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster, BC

- Okanagan Plastic Surgery Centre, Kelowna, BC

- Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Nanaimo, BC

- North Island Hospital, Campbell River, BC

- Lion's Gate Hospital, North Vancouver, BC

- Fraser Valley Hospitals, Lower Mainland, BC

 

Electronic Resources: Residents have dedicated space with a computer with associated peripherals, including slide production and scanning; internet access.


Additional Information

Quick Facts

-There is a well established elective rotation consisting of a 1-month elective period in the R3 and R4 years. Under supervision from the Program Director, there is a fair amount of latitude in selection of electives and in the past these have involved both interprovincial and international electives.

-The ratio of residents to faculty is ~1:2.5

-Patient load is highly variable site-to-site. There is a dedicated Burn & Plastic Surgery Unit at the Vancouver General Hospital with 2 residents usually taking part in running this service.  In addition, the residents have commitments to providing consultative services on the wards and emergency departments at all hospitals.  Patient load by location: VGH: 15-25; UBC: 2-5; SPH: 5-10; BCCH: 5-10.


FAQ

Do I need the Basic Cardiac Life Support Course (BCLS) to apply to the University of British Columbia Plastic Surgery Program?

  • Answer:  The BCLS is required by matched applicants before the program begins on July 1st.  It is not a required document as part of your CaRMS application to our program.

 

Do I need the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course (ACLS) to apply to the University of British Columbia Plastic Surgery Program?

  • Answer:  The ACLS is required by the match applicants before the program begins on July 1st.  It is not required document as part of your CaRMS application of our program.