Dr. Tina Webber

Program Director

Stephanie Milne

Palliative Care Program Administrator
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University of British Columbia
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CaRMS - UBC Medical Oncology

Program Highlights

The Enhanced Skills year in Palliative Medicine at the University of British Columbia provides a robust academic program with a full day of academic sessions twice/month. In addition, residents are integral to the biweekly Division of Palliative Medicine Education Rounds.  The program provides a multitude of opportunities to enhance and practice ones skills as an educator ranging from bedside clinical teaching to presenting at formal didactic sessions.

This academic rigor is not at the expense of well being and work-life balance.  The program is fortunate to enable cohorts of 5-7 full time palliative medicine (family medicine and sub-specialty) residents each year.  This allows residents to foster connections, collaborate and learn from one another.   There are multiple sessions through out the year focused on team building, and wellness.  These include, but are not limited to, the Callanish Retreat, Art Therapy, and a yearly division wide retreat.

As UBC is the only medical school in British Columbia, the resident will have access to the entire provincial palliative care community. Opportunities will be provided for clinical training to occur in a variety of care settings. The Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are rich with world-class tertiary palliative care units, hospices, and community based palliative care services. Fraser Health is a world leader in advance care planning and an integrated authority wide palliative care program. Victoria Hospice and its educational offerings are internationally recognized. Those interested in the delivery of palliative care in rural communities can have electives in Interior Health – with its 30 hospice societies! – or Northern Health. The Downtown Eastside offers clinical exposure and service provision to potentially marginalized populations. Residents can look forward to mastering intercultural competencies as they work with people who have come to BC from all over the world.

The Division of Palliative Care at UBC has a close association with the BC Centre for Palliative Care (BC CPC) which is engaged in innovative work in Compassionate Communities. Grassroots ownership of advance care planning promotion and the normalization of dying, death, and bereavement are being encouraged with seed grants from BC CPC. Palliative care is being advocated as a public health issue by the Division and BC CPC. These initiatives create a learning environment rich with research, quality assurance, and educational opportunities.

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General Information

This residency program is for 1 year.

Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.


There are 13 blocks (4 weeks each) per academic year.  A typical schedule is reflected below, but may vary based on resident needs, rotation availability, etc.

Content and Sequence of Rotation Blocks

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Palliative Care

Geriatrics Oncology Elective/






Elective AdvancedPalliative Care Community

Palliative Care



Introductory Palliative Care 8 weeks
Geriatrics 4 weeks
Medical and Radiation Oncology/ GPO 6 weeks
Ambulatory Palliative Care 4 weeks
Advanced Palliative Care 8 weeks
Community Palliative Care 8 weeks
Electives/ Flex/ Research 10 weeks
Vacation 4 weeks


Palliative Medicine Rotations

 Introductory blocks:  Most residents will start their program with eight weeks with a palliative care service in the tertiary setting, including a palliative care unit. The resident is part of the interdisciplinary team, under the direct supervision of palliative physicians.  This allows the resident to be well supported in his/her initial palliative care experiences, and also allows an assessment of the resident’s current knowledge, skills and vulnerabilities. During this foundational 8-week rotation, there is the opportunity to learn about basic principles of pain and symptom management, working with the interdisciplinary team and gaining some perspective on counseling and facilitating team meetings. Interventional anaesthesia approaches to pain management in palliative patients, palliative care for non-malignant conditions and care for patients with a history of substance use will also be introduced during this time.

Community Palliative Care:  This rotation allows the resident to provide palliative consultation services to patients in their homes as part of the Home Hospice Palliative Care Service.  It may also involve palliative support for patients in long term care and hospice facilities. During this 8-week period, the resident sees patients at home on a continuing basis.  Attendance at community rounds, providing support and care for home deaths, and facilitating transitions of care from acute care to home, home to acute care, and hospice are key to the learning experience. The resident will also learn about other community resources that palliative patients and their families may use, such as visiting a funeral home, meeting with alternative care practitioners and attending grief support groups. This rotation stresses the Palliative Care Clinicians role as lead, support and educator to the Primary Care team and Physician.

Advanced Palliative blocks:  The resident works both on a tertiary palliative care unit (TPCU) and provides palliative consultation to other parts of the hospital throughout the rotation.  The TPCU experience broadens the resident’s scope and solidifies the residents’ role as consultant.  During the advanced rotation the resident will take on progressive responsibility.  Some of the ways this progression may be demonstrated is through increased patient volume, participation in patient triage for admission to the PCU, and ownership of education for junior learners.


Oncology is primarily experienced in outpatient clinics, 2 weeks each of medical and radiation oncology, usually done at one of the provincial BC Cancer locations, plus the two-week General Practitioner in Oncology Course.

Ambulatory Palliative Care

These clinics give the resident the opportunity to participate in medical sub-specialty non cancer clinics with a palliative focus, and provide symptom support to outpatients in the Pain and Symptom Palliative Care clinics at the BC Cancer Agency.

 Sub-specialty areas may include: Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases/HIV, Nephrology, Neurology, Rheumatology and Respirology.


 The resident gains insight into ethical decision making for patients with dementia, and assessing cognitive abilities and decision-making capacity.  The resident learns how to effectively manage delirium in the frail elderly.

Scholarly Project

Completion of a scholarly project is a requirement of the residency program.  To facilitate this, as well as other scholarly activity, dedicated time is part of the rotation schedule.  Residents have the opportunity to present their work at the annual division research day.


Elective experience will be determined by resident learning needs and expressed areas of interest.  They may be clinical or non-clinical and can include rotations out of province or out of country.

Possible electives:

  • Canuck Place Children’s Hospice or other Pediatric Facility
  • Chronic Pain Service
  • Neurology and neuromuscular diseases clinic
  • Psychiatric issues in palliative care
  • Palliative Care Community i.e. Kelowna, Downtown East Side Vancouver, and many other community palliative care programs.
  • Palliative Care in remote settings or smaller urban centres, i.e. Northern health, Nanaimo
  • St. Paul’s Hospital with an emphasis on care for those with HIV/AIDS
  • Pastoral Care Fellowship
  • International Electives in Clinical and/or Structural Programs
  • Research Projects in Clinical, Economic and/or Operational Issues of Palliative Medicine.
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Salary Information

Post graduate salaries and benefits differ by province and are determined by two things: your training year, and the province you work in. See below the salaries and benefits for University of British Columbia - Family Medicine - Palliative Care - Vancouver.
British Columbia
Gross Annual PGY-1 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-2 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-3 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-4 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-5 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-6 Salary
Gross Annual PGY-7 Salary
Educational Leave
Annual Vacation
4 weeks
Meal Allowance
Frequency of Calls
1 in 4 onsite/1 in 3 offsite
Maternity Leave
17 weeks, plus up to 78 weeks Parental Leave
Provincial Health Insurance
100% Premiums Paid
Provincial Dues (% of salary)
Extended Health Insurance
100% Premiums Paid
CMPA Dues Paid
Yes, mandatory
Dental Plan
100% Premiums Paid
Statutory Holidays
2x pay plus extra day with pay
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Yes 100% Premiums Paid
Sick Leave
Life Insurance
100% Premiums Paid
Updated July 25, 2023

Terms of Agreement April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2022
Resident Doctors of BC website

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Explore Location

Vancouver cityscape
Vancouver (/vænˈkuːvər/ (listen) van-KOO-vər) is a major city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2021 Canadian census recorded 662,248 people in the city, up from 631,486 in 2016. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2.6 million in 2021, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada.