St. Paul’s

St. Paul’s

Site Information

Number of Residents: 13 CMG
Location: Vancouver, BC
Community: 600,000 – 2 million
Hospitals: St. Paul’s, BC Women’s and Children, Mount Saint Joseph’s
Curriculum Type: R1 Block / R2 Longitudinal
R2 Elective Time: 12 Weeks

Site Directors’ Message

Welcome to the St. Paul’s Site of the UBC Family Practice Residency Program! Our Site is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.  We acknowledge with gratitude their wisdom and stewardship of these lands, and for opportunities to work together in a good way towards healing, learning and reconciliation.

If you have a strong commitment to social justice and advocacy, along with excellent self-directed learning skills this may be the perfect site for you!

We offer learning experiences in Inner City Medicine, Addiction Medicine, LGBTQ2S Health, HIV/AIDS,  Primary Care Maternity, Indigenous Health, and Care of the Elderly, along with longstanding and well evaluated rotations in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Palliative Care, plus our own Family Practice Teaching Service. We focus on the development of strong clinical skills and independent judgment through experiential learning, with excellent Family Medicine and specialty support in both community-based and hospital settings.

Our first year consists of block rotations as well as longitudinal academic and Family Medicine time to help you to build comprehensive clinical skills and to start to experience continuity of care with your preceptor’s patients. Our unique “longitudinal” second year allows you to use your organizational skills to choose and coordinate your electives, “selectives” and enhanced rural opportunities in order to meet your particular clinical, academic, and career interests. In second year, you will be able to divide your time much like a full-service family physician might: covering your home practice 2-3 days a week and balancing that with electives, shifts in the ER, hospital or nursing home visits, attending births, and taking call with your community preceptor. This provides you with a self-directed, flexible and unique opportunity to focus your training to build the core and enhanced skills you need to fulfill your career goals.

The faculty and community-based preceptors at our site are known for their collegiality, diversity and excellence in teaching and research. We meet regularly as a group with resident representatives to ensure that the concerns of residents are addressed promptly and openly. Collectively, we have a diverse range of interests and academic achievements that are woven into the academic program at our site. These include Addiction Medicine, Behavioural Medicine, Indigenous Health, End-of-Life Care, Maternity Care, LGBTQ2S Health, Inner City Medicine, Health Advocacy, Social Justice, Medical Education and Primary Care Research. We value respectful relationships and resident wellness. We work hard to establish and nurture effective teamwork and self-awareness.

Our graduates are now working in a wide variety of practices from urban inner city to rural remote settings across the country. A number of our alumni have also gone on to develop successful research, academic and medical education careers, and many have returned to St. Paul’s as preceptors, mentors and leaders.

Our Site Coordinator Kitty Dich and Program Assistant Maria Totsikas are key administrative members of the welcoming community of individuals that make up our training site team. We are very excited about your interest in our training site and hope to answer any questions you might have at our virtual open house and information sessions!

St. Paul’s CMG Co-Site Directors:

Dr. Betty Calam, MD, CCFP, MClSc, FCFP

Todd Sakakibara, MD, CCFP, FCFP, (AM)


Lead Resident Message

Thank you for your interest in the St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH) CMG Program! Located in Vancouver on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), our site takes pride in training Family Physicians who provide full-service primary care, develop expertise in more focused areas in Family Medicine, and participate in research and medical education.

Serving people who experience systemic oppression in Vancouver’s downtown core, SPH attracts members of the healthcare community who believe advocacy is fundamental to the practice of medicine. As such, our preceptors tend to be strong advocates for social justice. Residents from our site experience the full breadth and depth of Family Medicine, and also have unique opportunities to develop enhanced competencies in areas including: Inner City Medicine, Addictions Medicine, HIV Primary Care, LGBTQ2S+ Health, and Indigenous Health. We benefit from the academic success of SPH as well as world-leading affiliated groups such as the BC Centre for Substance Use and BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

SPH Family Medicine residents complete the majority of our training at SPH and consequently develop close relationships with various specialists and multidisciplinary health care providers. It is not uncommon for attending physicians in the Emergency Department or consulting physicians to know you on a first-name basis and pull you into valuable bedside teaching. With this connection, there is a strong emphasis in all rotations on providing learning opportunities that are relevant to and grounded in Family Medicine; you are not just an “off-service” resident here. Although it is a tertiary care facility, SPH feels remarkably community-based.

Our program is a tight-knit community, and we take resident wellness seriously. Our Program and Site Directors strongly believe that how we are treated as residents directly translates into how we will treat our patients, colleagues, and future learners. We are also privileged to be backed by a wonderful team of administrative staff who go above and beyond their roles to support us throughout our years of training. Site Faculty are eager to engage us in shaping our curriculum and highly value our feedback and recommendations.

In addition to a supportive faculty, our program itself is intentionally designed to promote both structured and self-directed learning. R1 begins with Foundations of Family Medicine, an entire month dedicated to covering high yield topics, while allowing time for residents to integrate into their home clinic. There are no on-call responsibilities during this month, so you can get to know your colleagues, settle into Vancouver, and take advantage of the beautiful patio and beach weather.

At the start of residency, you are paired with a community Family Medicine preceptor who provides mentorship throughout the duration of the residency program. In R1, residents spend a half-day per week with their preceptor at their home Family Medicine clinic following academic teaching, and approximately 3-5 half-days per week in R2. Our preceptors are chosen because they are Family Physicians who are excited to teach and are skilled coaches who ease the transition from being a new resident to an independent practitioner and lifelong learner.

Learning in Family Medicine is rounded out by a variety of mandatory rotations which address core areas of medicine, and residents at SPH benefit from training at other high-yield sites such as BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital. After a year of core rotations, R2 provides the flexibility – by way of its mostly longitudinal format – for residents to tailor their clinical experiences to support personal interests, strengthen specific areas to become a well-rounded Family Physician, and prepare for the CCFP examination. Our residents have completed out-of-province and international rotations, and there is ample elective time to explore other areas such as research, medical education, and leadership.

Needless to say, Vancouver is a beautiful place to live and offers a fantastic balance of city adventures and outdoor activities. In addition to the weekly academic half-days and program retreats, residents take advantage of what living here has to offer, are keen to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and call-protected Wednesday evenings! Whether you have family here or are moving here as a new beginning, Vancouver does not disappoint.

Current residents in the program are incredibly excited to meet you! Residency is challenging no matter where you are, but we are all incredibly happy with our experience and we don’t think we can imagine ourselves training anywhere else. CaRMS applicants are always welcome to get in contact with us via email, as listed below. We look forward to seeing you during the CaRMS Open House.

Dr. Karkirat Singh & Dr. Connor Weyell