IMG – St. Paul’s

IMG – St. Paul’s

Site Information

Number of Residents: 12
Location: Vancouver, BC
Community: 600,000
Hospital: St. Paul’s Hospital, Mount St. Joseph, BC Women’s, etc.

Curriculum Type: Partial Horizontal
R2 Elective Time: 10 Weeks + Horizontal

Site Director Message

Welcome to the IMG-SPH Residency Site, the first in Canada to offer residency training in family medicine restricted for doctors who trained in countries other than Canada or the U.S.  This is also the only UBC Family Practice Training Site where the Site Director is an IMG who had experienced the same process and challenges in applying for a residency position.

St Paul’s Hospital faculty have unique expertise in the evaluation and teaching of IMGs. The residency site for 12 IMGs in family medicine began in July 2006 and has many similarities with the St. Paul’s residency site in that the residents work together during rotations that share common purpose and outlook. However, it is also recognized that IMG residents came from various backgrounds, have had different undergraduate and postgraduate training; as a result, this site has been devised to recognize those characteristics and to meet the variety of needs from this very diverse pool of learners.

Our faculty have been chosen for their previous exposure to and interest in training IMGs and are incredibly dedicated to teaching and supporting IMGs.

Our Site Coordinator and our Chief Residents provide proactive support and superlative assistance, dedicating endless hours to responding to residents’ and programs’ needs.

In the early months of the residency, particular attention will be paid to the individual needs of each resident and many of the academic sessions are devoted to ensuring that the residents become thoroughly immersed in the Canadian medical system.

We acknowledge the maturity of our residents and the rich diversity of experience they bring to Canada. We encourage them to speak of the medical experience in their country of origin or training; working in parallel with our “twin” St. Paul’s CMG Site, we appreciated that Canadian-trained residents can expand their experience by learning about the different medical systems in the world. On the other hand, Canadian graduates offer informal mentorship and knowledge about the Canadian medical system. As a result, this synergy enriches the training for all residents.

The program blends the traditional block exposure with longitudinal rotations and educational experience. In addition, each week the resident is expected to spend a half-day with their family practice preceptor to ensure continuity of care. Residents are encouraged to maintain continuity of care by providing care to a fixed set number of patients throughout the 2-year program. For one month, the resident will work alongside a Canadian-trained colleague on the Family Practice Teaching Ward and share the patient care responsibilities. Not all of the rotations will be at St. Paul’s Hospital and other hospitals in the lower mainland such as Mount St. Joseph, Children’s and Women’s, and Royal Columbian will be utilized. There’s also a 1-month rural family medicine rotation in the first year to facilitate early exposure to rural locations and practice.

In the second year, there will be ample elective time for the resident to pursue areas of particular interest in preparation for practice. In addition to spending time with their preceptor in Vancouver, each resident will be required to spend 2 months in a small town or rural area of BC. The tertiary care experience in the downtown core and the rural experience support a well–rounded preparation for the resident future practice and for the return of service wherever it may be (urban, regional or rural communities). We have also recently restructured our psychiatry rotation to include geriatrics psychiatry experience as well as adding longitudinal orthopedics outpatient and Care of Workers exposures to the curriculum which are all very relevant to family medicine practice.

Dr. Michael Mann, CCFP, BMBS, BMedSci, BSc


Lead Resident Message

Welcome to the St. Paul’s Hospital – IMG Family Practice Residency site!

We are the first fully accredited program pioneered to train International Medical Graduates (IMGs) in North America. As the current Lead Resident, I would like to invite you to explore our program and hope that you will choose to call it your own.

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver and steps away from Yaletown and English Bay (popular resident hangout locations), our program is based at St. Paul’s Hospital, a unique tertiary care center providing comprehensive, compassionate and state-of-the-art medical care to some of the most diverse and underprivileged communities in Canada. Our hospital participates in conducting some of the best clinical research in the world.

Although St. Paul’s Hospital serves as the primary training site, our residents benefit from enhanced clinical exposure by completing Pediatrics and Obstetrics rotations at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospitals as well as affiliated community-based clinics. BC Children’s and Women’s hospitals are the best Pediatric and OB-GYN facilities in the province and among the best in Canada. A suburban emergency rotation in the second year of training also complements the excellent urban emergency rotation at St Paul’s. These rotations among others, make residency at our site an exciting and diverse two-year journey in family medicine.

Our curriculum involves a variety of topics such as women’s health, children/youth medical conditions and a series of community-based issues including addiction, emergency medicine, geriatric, mental health and of course, family medicine. Each resident has a community family physician as a preceptor and spends a minimum of six months in their practice. This allows the residents to build genuine and strong relationships with their patients and in turn, builds their confidence as soon-to-be fully licensed family physicians.

Because of all the above-mentioned outstanding characteristics, our site is distinguished as the forefront of IMG Family Medicine residency training in Canada.

Beginning the next step in becoming a Family Physician in British Columbia is a wonderful, yet challenging time of your life. Choosing a program that pioneered IMG Residency in British Columbia will definitely ease that challenge and allow you to enjoy the experience.  We wish you all the best of luck during the CaRMS season.

Dr. Payam Khalafi & Dr. Nikhil Dewan