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 8 - July 8, 2019 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 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.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.
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 & disability. This course explores long-term conditions and their effect on participation in everyday life. This case-based curriculum includes topics related to infants in intensive care, children with a variety of diagnosis, teens & adults coping with mental illness, and populations with mobility impairments. Experiential sessions include field trips, elements of universal design, working with a variety of devices and adaptations, and trialing ambulation aides.
Strategies for Cognitive, Psychosocial and Rehabilitation Management of Long-Term Conditions (Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy)
This course provides an introduction to rehabilitation assessments and interventions for managing long-term chronic conditions in everyday life and includes using evidence in practice, assessing & managing pain, training in use of manual and power wheelchair, virtual reality in rehabilitation, living with invisible disability, and hi-tech and lo-tech strategies for visual impairment, & support healthy living. Sessions use case examples, social media, workshop format and field trips to tap creativity and apply the principles.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

July 13 - August 13, 2019 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 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.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

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 & 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 and public opinion will also be explored. You will learn about the different types of studies that can be used to answer a research question, 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 study and its conclusions. Finally, you will have the opportunity to practically apply this knowledge through a group critical analysis of literature presentation at the end of the course.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

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.

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, image reconstruction workshop, demo/use of an Anatomy Visualization Table (giant I-Pad) and hands-on ultrasound will augment didactic lectures, which will be given by subspecialty Radiologists, Fellows, and Residents. The course will conclude with a presentation entitled: 'Top ten don't miss cases in Radiology'.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

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.

Biochemistry and Society: Current Issues (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.

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.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

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 fieldtrip and labs.

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.

Recommendation: Courses are at a level suitable for students who have completed 2 years of undergraduate medical education.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

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.

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.

Recommendation: This package will be at a level suitable for students who have completed Year 1 of undergraduate studies in Medicine or have equivalent or related coursework in Health Sciences and/or Psychology.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

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.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

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 and Disease (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.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

Introduction to Medical Laboratory Science (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)

You will explore 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 the David Hardwick Pathology Learning Centre which houses tissue specimens representing a 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 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".

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

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.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age..

Data Science Applications in the Medical Sciences (Cellular and Physiological Sciences)

Presenting clear and reproducible data analysis is important for the integrity of scientific research from bench science to clinical trials. Students will be introduced to coding principles with the coding language R which has many popular tools available for analyzing biological data. Working in small groups, students will collaborate on small and large projects using publicly available data, compare how data is portrayed in the media versus scientific literature, and develop coding and debugging skills. The first half of the course will focus on basic coding foundation, with the second half exploring clinical data in mini-projects and a final group project. By the end of the class students will have a working knowledge of R which will allow them to explore and tackle the many types of life sciences data they may encounter in their future research in a systematic and reproducible manner.

It is expected that students will have a laptop to follow along with the coding in class. No previous coding experience required.

Systems Pathophysiology (Cellular and Physiological Sciences)

By the end of this course, students will be able to appreciate the complexity of human physiology. In each disease theme, we will start with how the body functions normally and then explore the changes that make up abnormalities and how these changes lead to physiological diseases. Students will work in small groups throughout the course to collect data that they will then have a chance to analyze in the accompanying data science course. By the end of this course students will have a concrete understanding of how to use equipment commonly used to evaluate physiological diseases, complete case studies based on current research, and interact with guest speakers.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

Biological Aspects of Aging (Physical Therapy)

This course will provide an exploration of the biological underpinnings of aging and their individual and societal implications. It will give an introduction to the influence of normal aging on a diverse set of factors such as the mechanobiology of tissue decline, hormonal deficiency, morphological changes in the brain, and telomere dysfunction, as well as discuss how these mechanisms influence activities of daily living. The impact of universal age-related pathologies, such as increased risk for osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease, will be discussed as they pertain to the global burden on healthcare systems. Students will use a variety of interactive methods to understand the content, including small group lectures, group presentations, and case studies. The group presentation component will provide students with the opportunity to practice critical appraisal of biological aging research through both an oral presentation as well as through peer-evaluation. Students will also visit several state-of-art research laboratories at the Center for Hip Health and Mobility, where they will be provided with hands-on experience.

Clinical Aspects of Aging (Physical Therapy)

This course will provide an introduction to clinical aspects of aging as well as factors that promote healthy aging, such as reducing the epidemic of cognitive impairment and falls. It will present an overview of age-related peripheral and central nervous system changes that contribute to cognitive and mobility impairment. It will also outline various preventative strategies to mitigate the effects of aging and age-related diseases, such as exercise, stress reduction, sleep promotion, and cognitive enrichment. Students will gain an understanding of how to implement these preventative strategies using novel knowledge translation interventions such as telehealth approaches. Students will use a variety of interactive methods to understand the content, including small group lectures, group presentations, and case studies. The group presentation component will provide students with the opportunity to practice critical appraisal of clinical aging research through both an oral presentation as well as through peer-evaluation. Students will also visit several state-of-art research laboratories at the Center for Hip Health and Mobility, where they be provided with hands-on opportunities.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age..

Introduction to Women's Health (Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

Students will be introduced to the subject of human reproduction and women's reproductive health over the life span. Embedded problem based learning cases will provide insight into the biology and physiology of reproduction from embryonic development and conception, pediatric gynecology, to menopause and cancer. Teaching will be provided by scientists as well as clinicians.

This interactive course will highlight the many advances made from the improved survival rates of preterm infants to cancer prevention, challenges from maternal sepsis to how technology has improved our ability to deliver care. A tour of the medical library along with a tutorial on how to use technology to access the most relevant literature to solve a problem will be presented.

Exposure to common challenges in the field will be achieved through didactic lectures with case presentations, simulated patient history taking engaging UBC medical students followed, by exercises in defining a differential diagnosis and treatment plan. At the beginning of the course, teams of students will be tasked with a clinical scenario to research and present to their fellow students in the final week.

Exploring the Specialty of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

A day in the life of a medical student/resident will be experienced through a video documentary and an in person hospital tour, led by one of the residents in the UBC OBGYN program. Students will learn the demands that residents face on clinical rotations, highlighting how successful patient outcomes require working well together with providers from all levels of expertise.

An overview of assisted reproductive technologies will be presented followed by a fertility clinic laboratory tour. The 5 day journey of human embryos in vitro will be shared via didactic lectures, videos and live demonstration.

Students will gain knowledge and exposure to operative OBGYN through didactic lectures and case presentations provided by practicing OBGYNs. Simulated normal and operative deliveries will be taught in addition to a hands-on tutorial in suturing techniques.

Hands-on experience at the Centre of Excellence for SImulation Education and Innovation (CESEI) will offer laparoscopic surgical exposure. Students will be taught simple steps on how to use simulators as a method of education.

All participants must be at least 19 years of age.

Eligibility

International students studying medicine or related sciences (typically in their first 2-3 years of undergraduate studies). Participants must be at least 19 years old on the first day of the program, proficient in English, current students enrolled in 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 $5,250 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