Medical School Spotlight: The University of British Columbia (UBC)

What is a typical week for a University of British Columbia (UBC) medical student? 

The schedule varies by year. In first year, we had case-based learning from 8am-10am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday followed by lectures and anatomy/histology labs until the afternoon (4-5pm). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have morning off for “study time” or shadowing, followed by clinical skills groups and family practice sessions 1-5pm.

Starting in 3rd year (clerkship), students have clinical duties during the day e.g. (7-5pm), which differs based on the particular rotation.

Why should I pick the University of British Columbia (UBC) over other medical schools?

Well, first of all, you get to live in Vancouver – constantly rated as one of the top cities to live in the world. On weekends (and even in the evenings), you can go hiking, skiing, to the beach, and bar hopping all within a 30 minute vicinity of downtown. Another advantage of UBC is our FLEX course, which is essentially research time built into the curriculum. We have dedicated research time every Monday afternoon, plus blocks of time (i.e. 6 weeks in May) to do research while med students in other schools are still taking classes. In addition, UBC has world-class doctors and lecturers such an author of Grey’s Anatomy and a renewed “spiral” curriculum.

How can you make your application stand out for the University of British Columbia (UBC)?

As you may know, the UBC admission faculty grades applications equally on its non-academic and academic portions. This leads to a separate score on each section, which is combined to see if the applicant meets the cut-off to be invited for an interview. Although there’s no one single formula to gain an interview or acceptance, UBC values well-rounded applicants who demonstrate excellence in areas outside of school. In the UBC application, there is a part reserved for “high performance in a human endeavour”, which can really make your application stand out. For example, some of my classmates chose to highlight experiences such as varsity athletics, high-level performing arts, ARCT diplomas and other unique accomplishments. How you can make your application stands out really depends on what your story is and it is not just a matter of checking the right boxes, but knowing how to demonstrate your unique story and competencies through a well-crafted application.

Check out our full series below!
Medical school spotlight: McGill University
Medical school spotlight: University of Toronto
Medical school spotlight: McMaster University
Medical school spotlight: University of Ottawa
Medical school spotlight: Western University
Pharmacy school spotlight: Ferris State University
Medical school spotlight: Université Laval
Medical school spotlight: University of Calgary