Northern and rural areas often face a critical shortage of physicians and healthcare professionals and the Northern Medical Program (NMP) was created in response to that critical need. The NMP is part of UBC's Faculty of Medicine - providing the UBC curriculum in a northern and rural context.
Model of Curriculum Delivery
NOTE: UBC's Faculty of Medicine has been engaged in a curriculum renewal process. An update on this process is available on the UBC Curriculum Renewal webpage.
The Northern Medical Program delivers the UBC medical curriculum over a four-year period primarily at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC). Educational experiences also take place in rural communities around the region. The NMP incorporates the best practices of rural and remote medical education from around the world, providing outstanding classroom and early clinical exposure to rural healthcare delivery.
First & Second Years
First year students spend the first semester (August to December) at UBC in Vancouver and then move to the Northern Medical Program at UNBC’s Prince George campus. The NMP utilizes state-of-the-art videoconferencing to broadcast and receive lectures from medical professionals across BC throughout the four year curriculum. First and second year students are based primarily at the Dr Donald Rix Northern Health Sciences Centre at UNBC with experiences in family practice offices throughout the area and in local clinical skills sessions at UHNBC. The NMP prides itself on the ability to offer small group teaching and one-on-one placements that enhance the learning experience for NMP students.
Core clinical training (known as Clerkships) takes place during third year with the support of physicians who combine patient care with teaching. There are two models of Clerkships, one which includes rotating through the major medical disciplines (ie. OBGYN, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, EMERG, etc.) while the other, which is known as an Integrated Community Clerkships (ICC), allows students to follow patients over the course of their care and involves a more longitudinal approach to learning. While most third year clerkship rotations in the NMP take place at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, approximately eight NMP students per year participate in the Integrated Community Clerkship program at one of the six locations across the province.
During fourth year, students have opportunities to participate in clinical electives throughout BC, Canada and beyond. Students also participate in the Transition to PostGrad Education and Medical Practice (TIPP) course. This course consolidates previous learning of the undergraduate years, especially the clerkship component, and supports students in their transition into postgraduate medical education (Residency) and into a career of life-long medical practice. During this final year, students also participate in the Canadian Resident's Matching Service (CaRMs) match.
After finishing their four years with the Northern Medical Program, our graduates begin their Residency training -- a process that takes two years to five years depending on which specialty they have been matched. Medical Residents, while still in training, provide direct care to patients under the supervision of licensed physicians.