Faculty of Medicine

 

The Faculty of Medicine's  Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) is a four-week academic program, offering international students a unique opportunity to experience Canadian health and life sciences at its best.

The program consists of a package of two courses, each course comprising approximately 39 hours of class time. Classes are highly interactive and may include group discussions, guest lecturers, workshops, research projects, laboratory experiments such as a brain anatomy lab, and field trips. As the Faculty of Medicine takes a distributed approach to education, some students can expect to travel to different hospitals or clinical sites for classes or experiential learning such as an ultrasound biopsy simulation workshop.

June 3 - July 3, 2018 Course Packages

Introduction to Clinical Research in the Sciences (Pediatrics)
This course provides a window into how clinical research is conducted in the medical sciences. Research methodologies, research process, ethical considerations and practical tips for conducting high-yield, evidence-driven research with patients will all be presented and discussed. The course includes lectures, workshops and a hands-on mentored individual research project by students that will be presented at the end of the course. A wide variety of health care providers and medical educators will participate in the course and provide examples of research conducted at UBC and other academic institutions. Engaging speakers, visits to clinical research facilities and effective mentorship techniques will provide students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in the most advanced learning in basic clinical research.
Introduction to Clinical Medicine at the Bedside (Pediatrics)
This course will bring medical and science students close to the real life of medicine in the 21st century. Students will be able to meet up close with practicing clinicians who manage complex patients every day as part of their work in the hospital and clinic setting. Using advanced teaching tools such as medical simulation, and together with experienced physicians from multiple disciplines of medicine, students will learn how to approach patients with medical history taking, physical examination, development of a medical differential diagnosis, and will gain knowledge in determining the need for investigations in order to reach a diagnosis and a develop a treatment plan. A combination of lectures, simulation labs, case-based workshops and visits to laboratory and clinical areas, will enhance the hands-on experience and understanding of the medical and other sciences.
Health Care and Living with Long-Term Conditions (Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy)
The World Health Organization has identified a critical need for comprehensive health and social programs to address the “global burden” of chronic illness and long-term disability. This course will provide an exploration of long-term conditions and how these affect activity and participation in everyday life. Drawing on individuals “lived experiences” across the life span and continuum of care, a case-based curriculum will include topics related to: infants in neonatal intensive care, children with a variety of diagnosis, teens and adults coping with mental health diagnosis, and populations living with mobility impairments. Experiential sessions will include field trips, incorporating elements of universal design, working with a variety of devices and adaptations, and trialing ambulation aides. This unique course will enhance understanding of disability, the experience of living with chronic conditions, and the need for community integration in the context of the unique Canadian health care system. Learning approaches will include short talks and demonstrations from clinical experts and researchers, experiential sessions, video cases, and tutorials.
Strategies for addressing Psychosocial and Environmental Factors of Long-Term Conditions (Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy)
This course advances knowledge from the first course and will provide an introduction to various rehabilitation assessment methods and intervention strategies for the evidence-based management of long-term chronic conditions in everyday life. Examples of topics covered include using evidence in practice, assessing and managing living with pain, assessment and training in the advance use of manual and power wheelchairs and mobility technology, use of virtual reality in rehabilitation, managing living with invisible disability, and hi-tech and lo-tech strategies for visual impairment in overcoming daily challenges and support healthy living. The sessions in this course will use case examples and exercises, social media, workshop format and field trips to tap into creativity to effectively apply the principles presented.

July 14 - August 14, 2018 Course Packages

Introduction to Clinical Research in the Sciences (Pediatrics)
This course provides a window into how clinical research is conducted in the medical sciences. Research methodologies, research process, ethical considerations and practical tips for conducting high-yield, evidence-driven research with patients will all be presented and discussed. The course includes lectures, workshops and a hands-on mentored individual research project by students that will be presented at the end of the course. A wide variety of health care providers and medical educators will participate in the course and provide examples of research conducted at UBC and other academic institutions. Engaging speakers, visits to clinical research facilities and effective mentorship techniques will provide students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in the most advanced learning in basic clinical research.
Introduction to Clinical Medicine at the Bedside (Pediatrics)
This course will bring medical and science students close to the real life of medicine in the 21st century. Students will be able to meet up close with practicing clinicians who manage complex patients every day as part of their work in the hospital and clinic setting. Using advanced teaching tools such as medical simulation, and together with experienced physicians from multiple disciplines of medicine, students will learn how to approach patients with medical history taking, physical examination, development of a medical differential diagnosis, and will gain knowledge in determining the need for investigations in order to reach a diagnosis and a develop a treatment plan. A combination of lectures, simulation labs, case-based workshops and visits to laboratory and clinical areas, will enhance the hands-on experience and understanding of the medical and other sciences.
The Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics is committed to excellence in education and research through creativity and dedication. Our teaching programs are synonymous with consistent educational excellence, and our students are recognized locally, nationally and internationally for their knowledge and skills developed and honed under our award-winning instructors.
Pharmacology through Case Studies (Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics)
You will experience an integrated approach to learning pharmacology through the use of simulated clinical cases specifically designed to highlight the fundamental principles. Knowledge acquisition from both the scientific and clinical perspectives will be supported through complementary lectures and small group exercises. You will have the chance to design and present your very own case study, incorporating the newly learned pharmacological concepts with your creativity and analytical skills. Through this educational model, you will explore the basic science and clinical applications of cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, reproductive, endocrine and autonomic pharmacology, and their integration across multiple related disciplines.
Primary Literature Analysis in Science and Medicine (Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics)
This course will empower you with an understanding of the scientific method and the important decisions that must be carefully considered in designing, conducting and communicating experimental studies, providing the foundation needed to adequately review and appraise primary literature in any clinical or basic science discipline. The resulting downstream consequences of poor experimental design and interpretation of results in informing (or formulating) evidence-based medicine will also be explored. You will learn about the different types of studies that can be conducted, the major elements of an experiment, and the overall publication process. Through lectures, small group exercises and discussions, you will develop the skills necessary to critically evaluate study research questions, strategies of subject selection and randomization, and proper use of controls. You will learn to identify confounding factors such as inadequate study design, bias, and poor statistical analysis – intentional or not – and describe how they may impact the quality of the underlying study conclusions, culminating in the opportunity to apply this knowledge through a group critical analysis of literature presentation at the end of the course.
Introduction to Medical Imaging: Understanding radiologic normal anatomy and disease using cutting-edge technology (Radiology)
This course will provide an introductory understanding of the imaging modalities (plain radiographs, ultrasound, CT and MRI, plus some limited discussion of interventional radiology) used to solve common clinical problems in all body systems. Considerable time will be spent reviewing imaging of normal anatomy, using gross anatomy-cross sectional imaging correlation, and this will be followed by demonstration of the critical role that modern imaging plays in Cardiac, Pulmonary, GI, Neurologic and Musculoskeletal disorders. Students will gain an understanding of the indications and contra-indications for specific imaging tests, and the advantages and disadvantages of each modality in common clinical scenarios. Case-based learning, interactive sessions, and possible hands-on ultrasound will augment didactic lectures, which will be given by subspecialty Radiologists, Fellows, and Residents. A tour of a modern tertiary care hospital imaging department will form part of the course. The course will conclude with a presentation entitled: 'Top ten don't miss cases in Radiology'.
Introduction to Anatomy using a Hands-on Approach (Cellular and Physiological Sciences)
In this course students will cover foundational functional anatomy and how this relates to 2D and 3D perspectives in diagnostic imaging. Students will learn how systems of the human body are functionally and structurally related to each other. Thoracic anatomy will focus on the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, abdominal anatomy on the digestive and renal system and pelvic anatomy on the reproductive systems. The musculoskeletal system will put an emphasis on functional aspects such as gait and use of the hand. This course will give a basic foundation in functional anatomy as well as a spatial understanding that will correlate with approaches used in imaging.
Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
This course will provide an introduction to the molecular basis of disease and the concepts behind novel molecular therapies. Students will gain an understanding of fundamental human biochemical pathways and learn how molecular perturbations in these pathways can lead to disease. Several case-based topics will present research from world-renowned UBC faculty. The course will be taught through a combination of lectures, student presentations and problem-based learning all led by UBC experts. Course content will vary but may include topics such as the role of gut microbiota in health, cancer, diabetes, epigenetics, cardiovascular disease and significant global pathogens. Several novel therapeutic strategies will be discussed and may include genetically engineered gene/cell based therapies, stem cell cures, siRNA based expression control, and nanoparticle delivery systems.
Environmental Biochemistry (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Environmental Biochemistry will critically examine biochemical processes within the world at large and their impact on human health. The course will provide students with the scientific principles and concepts required to understand key interrelationships of the natural world and tackle the most daunting challenges of the 21st century. The course will be taught through a combination of lectures, student presentations and problem-based learning all led by UBC experts. Course content will vary but may include topics such as climate change, xenobiotics, endocrine disruptors, pollution by antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes, and genetically modified organisms. Students will learn to appreciate the natural world from a molecular perspective and understand how biochemical perturbations within our environment impact human health.

Pre-requisites: Students are expected to have a strong background in biology and chemistry at a level equivalent to typical 1st year North American undergraduate courses. Students lacking a basic biochemistry background can expect a higher workload compared to students with previous biochemistry knowledge.

The Science behind the Mind (Psychiatry)
This course will offer you an introduction to the mind and basic neuroanatomy emphasizing which brain structures play a role in the generation of normal and abnormal mental states. You will learn about the neurological basis of mental illness and the mental status examination. In addition to the main instructors, you will learn from guest lecturers who will share their knowledge and expertise in specialized fields of study. Past guest lecturers included experts in neuroimaging, neurostimulation and EEG, genetics and family history, and neuropsychology. Classes are lecture-based with a field trip and labs. The course will be at a level suitable for students who have completed Year 2 of undergraduate studies in Medicine.
Psychiatric Disorders and their Pharmacological Treatments (Psychiatry)
This course will cover the major psychiatric disorders that include schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Over the duration of the course, you will learn the symptoms and neurobiology of these disorders, and how pharmacological therapies work to treat target symptoms. You will study the pharmacology of these drugs at the molecular level which will provide you with the foundation for understanding their clinical application. Finally, you will learn about treatment strategies using the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines. Classes are lecture-based with group discussions. The course will be at a level suitable for students who have completed Year 2 of undergraduate studies in Medicine.
Mood Disorders and Psychosis (Psychiatry)
This course will provide you with a broad overview of mood disorders (such as clinical depression and bipolar disorder) and psychosis (where reality testing is impaired, such as in schizophrenia). Mood disorders and psychosis are among the most disabling psychiatric conditions worldwide, due to significant symptoms and functional impairments that can lead to both personal distress and substantial economic burden on society. A major focus of this course will be identification and assessment, and accurate differential diagnosis. Additional topics will include epidemiology, neurobiology, psychosocial factors, and a variety of evidence-based interventions and therapies. Classes are lecture-based with group work and discussions. This course will be at a level suitable for students who have completed Year 1 of undergraduate studies in Medicine.
Introduction to Psychotherapy (Psychiatry)
This course will provide you with an introduction to the theory and practice of psychotherapy, focusing on core principles and skills that can be applied across a range of clinical and practice contexts. The course will orient you to the evolution of psychotherapy as an evidence-based intervention for common mental health disorders. You will learn about the common elements of major models of psychotherapy. The course will also cover practical skills such as interviewing, assessment, and building and maintaining therapeutic alliance – skills that can benefit all helping professionals. Lectures will include video demonstrations of psychotherapy, and role-playing exercises to develop practice skills.
Population and public health focus on the health of populations and communities, asking questions like ‘why are some people healthy and others not?’ and ‘how can we proactively improve people’s well-being?’. These topics are important to students interested in medicine or health sciences because they provide a broader prospective on the notion of health and what it means. The course also provides students the skills and knowledge to begin advocating for health equity and seeking ways to promote health on a large scale. Through presentations, problem-based learning, group assignments, class discussions and field trips, students will expand their understanding of health and consider how to apply these ideas in their home countries and elsewhere.
Social Determinants of Health (Population and Public Health)
In this course you will broaden your understanding of how social factors, such as skin colour and income, affect population and public health. We will explore the meaning of health and its measurement, and examine what influences the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals, families, communities and nations. You will gain an understanding of the complex pathways through which social circumstances affect health and well-being, and hands-on experience thinking through real world problems. Lectures in class are followed by interactive group activities and trips outside of the classroom to explore health promotion services in Vancouver. This class will bring a new light to your understanding of the factors that affect health, and challenge you to think differently about what we can do as a society to decrease health inequities.
Introduction to Population and Public Health Practice (Population and Public Health)
This course addresses the question of how we can respond to population and public health concerns. It introduces the student to key perspectives and frameworks that are used to inform activities that can improve the health of individuals, families, communities and nations. Potential approaches to preventing disease and improving health, such as a focus on the prevention of disease, screening for disease, the implementation of monitoring and surveillance systems, and the treatment of disease will be covered. Key frameworks such as types of prevention (i.e. primary, secondary, tertiary), and evaluating the cost and effectiveness of activities will also be considered.
Exercise is Medicine (Physical Therapy)
This course will provide an exploration of exercise and physical activity in the treatment of chronic health conditions. Through an exploration of chronic conditions such as arthritis, cancer, cognitive impairment and cardiovascular disease, you will gain an appreciation of the effects of exercise on brain function, bone and muscle health, and cardiovascular function. Topics will also include the epidemiology of physical inactivity across the world, measurement of physical activity in chronic disease, strategies to get a nation more active, role of health professionals in physical activity prevention and treatment, and mobile technology to motivate physical activity in chronic disease. Students will use a variety of interactive methods to understand the content, including case studies, small group tutorials, and problem-based learning. Students will have hands-on labs in a state-of-art fitness and exercise research facility designed to enable access for people with chronic disease and disability, interact with new mobile technology to motivate physical activity and measure the impact of exercise on physical function and cognition.
Recovery from Injury (Physical Therapy)
This course will introduce students to the science of rehabilitation and recovery from injury and disease. Through this approach, students will understand how severe injuries and chronic diseases can impact the patient and family, both physically and emotionally. Conditions such as spinal cord injury, concussion, stroke, arthritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will be used to illustrate the journey through rehabilitation, the road to recovery and adjustment to disability. Along this journey, students will be introduced to concepts about the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary and neurological systems, as well as coping mechanisms and quality of life. In addition, cutting-edge research on novel rehabilitation treatments will be introduced, including a visit to a world famous spinal cord injury research centre to view the latest treatments, including robotic suits to permit walking after spinal cord injury and e-Health applications (e.g., tele-medicine, video games, wearable sensors) to improve function. Students will use a variety of interactive methods to understand the content, including, small group tutorials, and problem-based learning.
This course package is offered through the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, home to nationally and internationally recognized researchers and award-winning teachers. Together, we are active in all spheres of inquiry and education concerning the causes and mechanisms of disease.
Introduction to Medical Laboratory Science (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)
You will explore the normal and abnormal biochemistry and physiology of blood and organ systems including the liver, gastrointestinal tract, and kidneys. You will solve medical case studies and diagnose diseases by interpreting patient history information, physical findings, and results of selected clinical laboratory tests. You will participate in case-based learning, team presentations, interactive lectures, and a hands-on blood cell morphology laboratory session in which you prepare and stain blood smears, then distinguish different cells under the microscope. You will also take guided tours of clinical research lab facilities and of the David Hardwick Pathology Learning Centre which houses tissue specimens representing a wide range of pathological conditions. Past students stated they “learned a lot – not only knowledge, but the way to get knowledge ….and had lots of fun in this class”. They valued the team-work and interacting with instructors who were “very knowledgeable, approachable and kind”.
Fundamental Techniques for Clinical and Medical Research Laboratories (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)
The focus of this course will be to perform methods that are commonly used in hospital and biomedical research laboratories. You will learn through hands-on laboratory sessions and will focus on the following disciplines: molecular biology, cell culture and histochemistry. Experiments you will conduct include DNA finger printing and culturing a mammalian cell line. You will also conduct a series of experiments using different staining techniques and microscopically determine the composition of unknown tissues. Your learning will be supported through demonstrations, discussions of experimental design, data analysis activities and interactive lecture sessions. Past students stated that they "enjoyed extracting and analyzing their own DNA" and that the cell culture labs were "very unique and interesting - something we cannot do in our home country." They were also "excited to analyze their slides and share with others during their histochemistry presentations".
Principles of Body Structure and Function (Cellular and Physiological Sciences)
This course will cover foundational functional anatomy including all major organ systems as well as the musculoskeletal system. Students will learn how the human body develops through the embryonic period to give rise to these systems and how they are functionally and structurally related to each other. Thoracic anatomy will focus on the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, abdominal anatomy on the digestive and renal system and pelvic anatomy on the reproductive systems. The musculoskeletal system will be covered from a conceptual point of view focusing on the major functions of the upper and lower limbs and the importance of the musculoskeletal system for human form and structure. This course will give a basic foundation in functional anatomy that will help students as they prepare for life and health sciences programs.
Applied Neuroanatomy (Cellular and Physiological Sciences)
This course will take students through the fundamental principles of how our nervous system works. Students will learn about both the peripheral and central nervous systems and how they interact to allow us to experience and interact with the world around us. Higher order systems in the cerebral cortex will be explored and include both primary areas of the cortex and association areas that process information and put it into context. The control of cortical output through intricate systems will be discussed as well as the importance of areas involved in emotional processing. At the end of the course students will have gained a basic understanding of CNS pathways and functions that will give them a solid foundation for many life sciences programs, in particular health sciences or neuroscience.
Eligibility

International undergraduate students studying medicine or related sciences (typically in their first 2-3 years of study). Participants must be at least 19 years old on the first day of the Vancouver Summer Program, proficient in English, current students enrolled in a degree-granting program at a non-Canadian educational institution for the duration of the VSP, and have a strong academic background. Please read the course package descriptions for any course-specific prerequisites.

Fees

The program fee is CAD $5,100 and covers:

  • Two courses
  • Course materials
  • Medical insurance
  • City tour
  • Group airport transfer
  • Social activities (optional trips may require additional fees)
  • Shared on-campus accommodation
  • Orientation and farewell events

Some course packages will hold some classes off-campus and have field trips. Students are responsible for the cost of public transit when attending classes off-UBC campus and participating in field trips.

Student Testimonials

“It was one of the best experiences of my life! I had amazing classes, with amazing professors at UBC, met people from many different countries, and could see what it is like to study abroad.”

“I think that the VSP was a great opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and gain good connections. It was overall a surreal experience for me and I bet that it was the same for my other mates. It is an experience that I will surely treasure, and I will never get tired of telling stories about my one month in UBC and Vancouver.”

Registration and Contact Information
For questions about the Vancouver Summer Program in Medicine, please contact:

Katya Leonardía
International Coordinator
UBC Faculty of Medicine
Email: med.international@ubc.ca

For information about the Faculty of Medicine, please visit: www.med.ubc.ca

For more information about the UBC Vancouver Summer Program, please visit: www.vancouversummerprogram.ubc.ca