Announcement: Out of Province Electives

UPDATED NOVEMBER 20, 2020: At present, the UBC Department of Medicine strongly recommends that residents and fellows avoid interprovincial travel for elective rotations. Where unique and required educational experiences can only be provided in another province, residents should work with their program directors and the accepting program to develop a plan to minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19. This may include scheduling a period of self-isolation at the beginning and end of a rotation even if there is no formal restriction on interprovincial travel from public health.

Guidelines for Out of Province Electives

Core Internal Medicine Residents (PGY1-3)

  • Out of Province Electives for UBC residents remain cancelled through to April 5, 2021 and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
  • Electives remain cancelled for all out of province residents wishing to pursue an elective at UBC. Exceptions may be considered in extraordinary circumstances, however, approval must be obtained from the appropriate Program Director, depending on the elective specialty.
    • Core Resident (PGY1-3) electives for CTU / GIM on Vancouver Island must be approved by Dr. Jim Spence (
    • Core Resident (PGY1-3) electives for CTU / GIM on the Lower Mainland and elsewhere in the province must be approved by Dr. Mark Roberts (

Subspecialty Residents / Fellows (PGY4-6)

  • All Out of Province electives for UBC PGY4-6 residents need to be approved by their home Program Director.
  • Out of province residents wishing to complete a UBC Elective (either on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in B.C.) must obtain approval from the appropriate Subspecialty Program Director, depending on the elective specialty.


As health care professionals it is important that we minimize risks to our patients, our colleagues and ourselves. At the same time, we need to ensure that residents and fellows receive the specialty and subspecialty medical training that they need. While we are fortunate that we can provide a wide range of training opportunities in British Columbia, there may be circumstances where residents need to travel to another jurisdiction (eg to gain a particular expertise or to consider an additional fellowship program).

While there are currently no bans on interprovincial travel within Canada, there are still restrictions in some regions of the country with requirements for self-isolation upon entry into those areas (ie. Atlantic Canada). By implementing a pre- and post- self-isolation program, we minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to vulnerable patient populations and their care teams in various care settings.

Self-isolation plans could include using vacation time or creative scheduling options such as sandwiching a one block clinical elective between two-week research periods at the beginning and end of the clinical elective.