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Academic Training

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) requires Public Health and Preventive Medicine (PHPM) Residency Program residents to complete graduate level academic coursework in public health, which must include epidemiology and biostatistics. At UBC, a PHPM resident can achieve these requirements in one of two ways: 

  • Option 1: Complete two semesters of postgraduate level courses that include epidemiology and biostatistics, research methods, public health policy, program evaluation, and leadership 
  • Option 2: Obtain any of the graduate degrees offered by UBC’s School of Population and Public Health (SPPH)
    • Master of Public Health (MPH)
    • Master of Health Science (MHSc)
    • Master of Science (MSc)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The MPH and MHSc programs are the only ones pre-approved by SPPH and the PHPM Residency Program Committee. These programs are designed to meet the Royal College’s minimum requirements and ensure completion within a single academic calendar year of the PHPM Residency Program.

For the MSc and PhD programs, extra training is needed, either during the final transition to practice year or after finishing the PHPM Residency Program. If an applicant or resident wants to pursue these programs, they should first talk to the program director and obtain approval from the Residency Program Committee.

Before entering the PHPM Residency Program, residents are required to declare their chosen path for academic training completion. If a resident wishes to change their chosen route, the program director will evaluate each case individually, depending on the availability of training positions in the supporting programs. We encourage newly matched fourth-year medical students to have discussions with their fellow residents and the program director regarding the two options before starting the PHPM Residency Program.

If you enter the PHPM Residency Program with the necessary prior graduate-level coursework to satisfy both the Royal College and UBC PHPM academic requirements, you may be eligible for up to one year of credit within the five-year PHPM Residency Program. This should be discussed in advance before starting the program.

All residents in a postgraduate degree program must enroll and adhere to the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, including the payment of required fees. It is important to note that application and tuition fees are not covered by the PHPM Residency Program, and UBC does not waive these fees.

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Throughout your academic training, you will work closely with a designated SPPH program manager, addressing administrative details such as program enrollment, course registration, and graduation.”