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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: 

  • Complete two semesters of postgraduate level courses that include epidemiology and biostatistics, research methods, public health policy, program evaluation, and leadership or 
  • 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)

Only the MHSc and MPH programs are pre-approved by SPPH and the PHPM Residency Program Committee. They are tailored to meet Royal College minimum requirements and to ensure completion within one academic calendar year of the PHPM Residency Program. 

The MSc and PhD programs require additional training, either during the final transition to practice year or after the completion of the PHPM Residency Program. An applicant or resident who is interested in either of these programs must first discuss their interests with the program director and seek approval by the Residency Program Committee.

Residents are asked to declare their route to completion for academic training prior to entry into the PHPM Residency Program. A decision to change routes will be considered by the program director on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the availability of training positions available in either of the supporting programs. Newly matched fourth-year medical students are encouraged to discuss the two options with fellow residents and the program director prior to starting the PHPM Residency Program.

If you enter the PHPM Residency Program with sufficient prior graduate-level coursework to meet both the Royal College and UBC PHPM academic requirements, you may receive credit for up to one year of the five-year PHPM Residency Program. This must be discussed in advance of starting the program.

All residents in a postgraduate degree program must be enrolled in and meet the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, including the payment of required fees. You should be aware that application and tuition fees are not covered by the PHPM Residency Program or waived by UBC.

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During academic training, you will work closely with the appropriate SPPH program manager regarding administrative details such as program enrollment, course registration, and graduation.