Updated June 19 2023
For over fifty years, the Department of Pediatrics, UBC Faculty of Medicine, has cultivated excellence in educational programs. The Department has a several mandates, including providing clinical services to the children of British Columbia, conducting research, supporting child advocacy and child health and delivering medical education including undergraduate and postgraduate curriculums, across eighteen divisions and subspecialties. Over 260 undergraduate medical students are enrolled in our courses each year, not including visiting medical students from other educational institutions.

All first-year medical students spend two hours in the INDE 410 course, Introduction to Pediatric Clinical Skills.  Respiratory cases are used to introduce students to history-taking in the pediatric population.  Students then have the opportunity to practice their physical examinations of the head, neck and respiratory system on pediatric volunteers.

Year I Objectives:
  • Appreciate the importance of taking a pre-natal, birth history and neonatal history in the paediatric patient;
  • Appreciate the importance of the past history, family history and immunization history in the paediatric patient;
  • Be able to show basic competency in exam of the head, neck and respiratory system in a co-operative, school-aged child;
  • Recognize some of the signs of acute respiratory distress in the child.

Second-year medical students build on what they have learned by taking INDE 420.  It is comprised of four sections:

  1. Newborn session
    Currently a self-study module via web-based video file.  Students work throught the video independently.  Newborn history and physical examination skills are reinforced in family practice and pediatric rotations in years III and IV.
  2. Toddler session
    Students spend an afternoon at a day care facility to learn about normal growth and development.  A didactic teaching session is followed by an opportunity to visit the different rooms at the daycare and observe children of varying ages play, eat, and socialize.
  3. Adolescent session
    Following a didactic teaching session, adolescent volunteers are interviewed by the students with supervision from preceptors.  Emphasis is placed on confidentiality, consent, and HEADSS screening.
  4. Developmental session
    Students are introduced to a approach to children with special needs and disabilities.  They rotate through three stations, each dealing with a different domain of developmental pediatrics.

We provide an eight week rotation for Year III medical student which includes a four-week inpatient block and four-week outpatient block. Inpatient blocks can be completed at various sites including BC Children’s Hospital, Lion’s Gate Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital. During the inpatient rotation, students usually are on call 1 in 4.

The outpatient block is comprised of one to two weeks experience in various community and subspecialty clinics. We have lots choose from: currently 18 subspecialty departments provide services to children in the BC Children’s Hospital.

Students in the pediatric rotation also have an opportunity to arrange a “designated learning project (DLP)” during their outpatient block. During the Pediatric clerkship rotation, students are expected to accomplish a variety of tasks. The program is based upon the CanMEDS objectives provided by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Year III Pediatric students will:
  • Acquire a basic knowledge of growth and development (physical, physiological and psychosocial) and understand its clinical application from birth through adolescence.
  • Develop communication skills that facilitate clinical interaction with infants, children of different ages, adolescents and their families, ensuring that complete, accurate data is obtained.
  • Develop skills to take a complete pediatric history from parents and the child where appropriate.
  • Develop competency in the physical examination of infants, children, and adolescents.
  • Acquire the knowledge necessary for the diagnosis and initial management of common, acute and chronic illnesses.
  • Develop clinical problem-solving skills.
  • Acquire an understanding of the influence of family, community and society on child health and disease.
  • Develop strategies for health promotion as well as disease and injury prevention.
  • Develop the attitudes and professional behaviours appropriate for clinical practice.

Marks for the Year III Pediatric clerkship are divided into three components:

  1. Clinical marks = 40% to total grade
  2. NBME score = 35% of total grade
  3. OSCE score = 25% of total grade

Medical students in their final year have the opportunity to participate in 2- or 4-week electives in pediatrics.  The Vancouver Fraser Medical Program (VFMP) helps to coordinate electives at BC Children’s Hospital and various sites in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas.  We offer electives in both general and sub-specialty pediatrics – please refer to One45 for the most up-to-date list.  Electives are also available in distributed communities throughout British Columbia.

Visiting students from approved universities are also welcome to complete a pediatric elective in their penultimate or final year of medical school.  Please refer to the Visiting Student Elective Program page on the UBC Faculty of Medicine website.

Basmah Bajunaid, Program Coordinator, UGME