Program Overview

The University of British Columbia offers an exciting training program in Cardiology, which is fully accredited by the Royal College of Canada. The program is well regarded and offers exceptional clinical training coupled with a strong focus on research. It offers a balanced curriculum of clinical exposure, bedside teaching, procedural experience and teaching rounds. The educational experience is unparalleled, and UBC cardiology residents can expect superb teaching, a wide breadth of clinical cases and high-volume procedural training.

Morning teaching sessions, at a Royal College preparation level, occur twice per week. These teaching sessions develop the broad skill set required of a cardiology resident by focusing on interventional teaching, hemodynamics sessions, physical exam teaching, professor’s case rounds, graphics interpretation, resident’s journal club and regular objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE’s). Academic half-day has now been designed with a three-year schedule in mind, and consists of three hours of high quality faculty-delivered didactic lectures, including simulation sessions for cardiology-specific procedures. Evening events provide an opportunity to socialize with colleagues in a multitude of exceptional Vancouver establishments and include a six series session on cardiac anatomy, embryology, physiology and hemodynamics, in addition to frequent staff journal clubs, late-breaking trial overviews and debates. The CANMEDS competencies are integrated into the academic curriculum and the clinical rotations, with special courses in cardiology ethics, law and medicine, practice management and finance, etc.

The rotations offered are predominantly at Vancouver General Hospital and Saint Paul’s Hospital, both with quaternary cardiac services. Both Coronary Care Units accept ventilated and balloon pumped patients, offering residents the opportunity to gain experience in caring for the most critically ill patients. Both sites have high-volume catheterization laboratories offering primary PCI and a world-leading structural heart disease program including percutaneous valve procedures, ASD/VSD/PDA closures and left atrial appendage occlusion. A highly regarded rotation in advanced cardiac imaging, with world-class experts in cardiac CT and MRI also provides a unique opportunity to read and learn from radiologists appointed to the division of cardiology. Saint Paul’s Hospital has a high-volume cardiac transplantation service providing trainees with experience in managing Ventricular Assist Devices and patient before and after transplantation. The electrophysiology department offers residents exposure in the most advanced arrhythmia treatments with atrial and ventricular ablation procedures, CRT and AICDs. Innovative techniques in cardiac surgery offer an exciting training environment for residents with surgeons specialized in robotic surgery, minimally invasive valve surgery, off-pump bypass and lead extraction.
Rotations provide exposure to well-established multidisciplinary clinics including Cardiac Transplantation clinic, Heart Function clinic, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Lipid clinic, Pacific Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic, Pacemaker Clinic and Inherited Arrhythmias Clinic.

UBC Cardiology continues to push the boundaries of technology with its research endeavors, particularly in areas of trans-catheter procedures, cardiac imaging and electrophysiology. Resident research activities are valued and supported during the training program. Residents receive an average of 3 months of protected research time. Each resident is assigned a research mentor to ensure they are paired with an appropriate supervisor and are undertaking high quality research endeavors. Funding is provided for residents to travel to and attend both the Canadian Cardiology Congress and an international conference, each on two occasions. A formal curriculum in research is delivered through expert lectures at academic half day in critical evaluation of the literature and clinical trial design. Also, all residents prepare and deliver a journal club on an annual basis. Resident research activities are presented to the division on an annual basis at the Annual Resident Research Day, where prizes are awarded for the highest quality research.

Resident morale is high and there is a fantastic rapport between the fellows and staff cardiologists at UBC. In addition, there is a real sense of camaraderie when working with the nurses and support staff in both the CCU and other subspecialty departments. With this working environment as a base, there are many opportunities throughout the year both within and outside the regular curriculum to meet and socialize. With Vancouver as backdrop we also try to meet regularly outside the hospital. We usually start the year, end the year, as well as celebrate Christmas with a celebratory program lunch. There are summer BBQs for all the current and incoming residents and fellows. In August, there is an annual sports day – the sporting event chosen based on current resident talents ! UBC is an exciting place to train both for both academic and social reasons.

Resources Provided to UBC Cardiology Fellows:

1. AHA and CCS Membership
2. Canadian Journal of Cardiology Membership
3. Uptodate Subscription
4. Cardiosource Subscription
5. UBC Library Membership
6. Annual Western Cardiology Residents Educational Program
7. National Cardiac Imaging Symposium (first year)
8. Cardiology review and exam preparation course (third year)
9. Textbook Fund
10. Canadian Conference Funding ( for two conferences per 3-year period)
11. International Conference Funding (for two conferences per 3-year period)
12. State-of-the-art Procedural Simulation

UBC Cardiology Fellowship Rotation Outline:

  1. 15 blocks of clinical residency:
    1. 4 blocks acute cardiac care (CCU)
    2. 6 blocks clinical cardiology (HF, Rehab, Consults, CSICU)
    3. 3 blocks ambulatory cardiology (may be done longitudinally)
    4. 2 blocks pediatric cardiology (which may include adult and congenital heart disease)
  2. 15 blocks of laboratory based residency:
    1. 3 blocks cardiac catheterization
    2. 6 blocks echocardiography
    3. 3 blocks electrophysiology/pacemaker
    4. 2 blocks ECG/ambulatory ECG monitoring/exercise stress testing
    5. 2 blocks nuclear cardiology
    6. 1 block of Advanced Cardiac Imaging
  3. 4 blocks elective
  4. Minimum 2 blocks research (clinical and/or basic)
Quick Links

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

St. Paul`s Hospital
Room 478 Burrard Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6
UBC Cardiology and Vancouver Acute
Gordon & Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
2775 Laurel St, 9th Floor
Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1M9

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