Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)

Overview

This is an integrated program jointly offered by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Its purpose is to provide selected and highly qualified students the opportunity to combine their medical school experience with intensive scientific training in pursuing a career as clinician-scientists in a chosen field. The program is designed so that students can receive the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees after successful completion of six to seven years of enrolment. The program is built upon the regular MD curriculum, but is further customized to meet the unique career goals of individual students based on their background, previous research experience, and their chosen medical field of expertise. Graduates of the MD/PhD Program are trained as competent physicians, as well as skilled scientists who can sustain a successful and competitive clinical investigative career.

Because entry to this program requires concurrent admission to the MD Program, it is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons with refugee status in Canada only. We are therefore unfortunately unable to admit international students to the combined MD/PhD Program, although such applicants remain eligible to pursue direct PhD studies within the many departments of UBC's Faculty of Medicine.

What makes the program unique?

  • The combined UBC MD/PhD Program is a 7-year program
  • Find your perfect research supervisor from the highly regarded faculty members within the Faculty of Medicine
  • You have your curriculum customized to synergize with your research
  • You choose to work in one of the four medical programs
  • At least 7 distinct research campuses with cutting edge research tools
  • Plenty of financial support: reduced tuition, scholarships, travel awards and research stipends
  • The program hosts regular seminars for trainees and advocates for scheduling to balance research and clinical demands
  • Connect with the highly motivated medical and graduate students ready for academic discussion, sports outings or a night of fun

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Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Document Requirements

Autobiographical essay of research interest. Applicants are required to submit a concise, well organized essay which clearly outlines why you have chosen the Clinician Scientist path as a career in medicine, your perception of the discipline, and the medical field that best matches the area of your research interest.

Prior degree requirements

The MD/PhD Program considers students from a variety of backgrounds; no preference is given to any particular degree program. The applicant must hold an honours bachelor's degree with an overall average in the 'A' grade range (or equivalent), and have fulfilled all the requirements of acceptance into the four-year medical curriculum of the Faculty of Medicine (including a separate application to that program), and the doctoral requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Prerequisites / Course Requirements

Courses in biology, chemistry and biochemistry are strongly recommended but are not required for application. All applicants are expected to demonstrate proficiency in these areas through coursework and/or MCAT scores. Courses in physics, statistics and the social sciences are also recommended as general preparation for the MCAT and for medical school.

Other Requirements

Besides academic standard, other strengths including maturity, research experience and potential, scholarship, personal qualities, research field of interest, and proposed research supervisor and laboratory are also assessed.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the regular undergraduate MD curriculum, MD/PhD students will also undertake graduate level coursework as required by their chosen field of research.

All MD/PhD students are required to fulfill the PhD portion of the degree in a department which is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine and listed in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The research supervisor must be a full member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and is usually from a Department, Interdisciplinary Program or Institute within the Faculty of Medicine. The research supervisor must hold a current CIHR research operating grant or from an equivalent peer-reviewed, federal or provincial granting agency.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Research Information

Research Focus

Research Areas: Public Health, Neuroscience, Anatomy & Physiology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Medical Genetics, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Urology, Sports Medicine, and more.

Program Components

Years 1 and 2 - MD curriculum (Years 1 and 2)
Years 2 to 5 - Graduate Coursework & PhD research
Years 6 and 7 - MD curriculum (Years 3 and 4)

Research Facilities

UBC’s MD Undergraduate Program offers our students the opportunity to train at one of four geographically distinct sites in British Columbia: UBC’s Vancouver campus in Vancouver (Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program), UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna (Southern Medical Program), the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island (Island Medical Program), or the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George (Northern Medical Program). MD/PhD students can propose to undertake their training at any of these four sites.

Application Notes

Application to the MD/PhD Program is made by completing:
1) the application form for admission to the MD Program
2) the application form for admission to the MD/PhD Program

Geographic Restrictions

We welcome applications from Canadians and permanent residents of Canada, including those who currently reside outside Canada. We also welcome applications from persons with refugee status in Canada. We regret that we cannot admit international students.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 June 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 October 2020
Transcript Deadline: 01 October 2020
Referee Deadline: 08 October 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 June 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 June 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2020

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00Not applicable
Tuition *
Installments per year3Not applicable
Tuition per installment$1,766.22Not applicable
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,298.66Not applicable
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) Not applicable
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

All MD/PhD students receive a studentship award through the MD/PhD Program (annual stipend $21,000, renewable each year for a maximum of 6 years).

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

19 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 2 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 16 graduates:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (7)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
University of Toronto
Queen's University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
University Health Network (2)
Medical Imaging Consultants
Provincial Health Services Authority
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Chief Executive Officer
Clinician-Scientist
Radiologist
Opthalmologist
Surgical Assistant
Emergency Physician
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

MD/PhD students are trained to translate basic discoveries into improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. MD/PhD graduates have been highly successful in reaching the program's intended goal of a clinician-scientist career, including staff positions at universities.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications5158464749
Offers55136
New registrations45136
Total enrolment2929242727
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2020 Dr. Zhao identified patterns of mutations in cancer genomes which can reveal whether cancer cells are repairing their DNA properly. He developed a method to analyze the evolution of these mutation patterns over time. He also showed that certain patterns of mutation predict treatment effectiveness and may help oncologists make clinical decisions.
2020 Dr. Edgcumbe invented, patented, and licensed an augmented reality navigational aid that helps surgeons to visualize blood vessels and cancer tumours. Dr. Edgcumbe undertook his research to improve the surgical outcomes for the 50,000 Canadians that are diagnosed each year with liver, kidney, bladder, or prostate cancer.
2020 Dr. Min found that medical students' learning through Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) is a complex process influenced by interactions between factors related to the student, the assessment design, and the broader environment. These findings will assist educators in optimizing the learning that takes place through OSCEs.
2019 Dr. Li characterized a new-in-class NMDA receptor positive allosteric modulator. The new drug has applications as a research tool and potential therapeutic in psychiatric and neurological disorders.
2019 Dr. Woodsworth developed a cell-to-cell delivery system, in which a therapeutic molecule is inserted into a delivery cell, carried to a disease site and transferred to a specific target cell. This will allow for smart, active therapeutic devices capable of engaging directly with the fundamental cellular and molecular causes of disease.
2019 Dr. Wright's work evaluated the effects of sport-related concussions on brain physiology, including the control of brain blood flow. His work highlighted the longer time required for brain physiology to recover as compared to symptoms - a concept since incorporated into the latest international guidelines for concussion management.
2017 Dr. Mercer developed and tested a method of measuring the contributions fathers make to rearing healthy children in South Africa. Future application of this method in national surveys will inform initiatives to remove barriers and encourage positive, gender-equitable parenting by fathers.
2017 Dr. Pon characterized how mutations in the gene MEF2B may contribute to lymphoma development. She mapped, for the first time, interactions between MEF2B and other genes throughout the genome, including genes involved in cancer development. Her research contributes to our understanding of the regulatory networks altered in cancer development.
2017 Dr. Crabtree conducted participatory research with people who drink non-beverage alcohol, such as mouthwash and rubbing alcohol. Her work contributed to the development of harm reduction programs for this population and led to the formation of an activist group of illicit drinkers who advocate for the health of their community.
2017 Dr. Jamshidi studied a rare cancer called epithelioid sarcoma. His results show that while it is a complex disease, inhibition of a specific protein called EZH2 can be of therapeutic value. His work has resulted in the inclusion of epithelioid sarcoma in EZH2 inhibitor clinical trials in the US and Canada.

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Further Program Information

Specialization

This is an integrated program jointly offered by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Its purpose is to provide selected and highly qualified students the opportunity to combine their medical school experience with intensive scientific training in pursuing a career as clinician-scientists in a chosen field. The program is designed so that students can receive the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees after successful completion of six to seven years of enrolment. The program is built upon the regular M.D. curriculum, but is further customized to meet the unique career goals of individual students based on their background, previous research experience, and their chosen medical field of expertise.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDMDP
 

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If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 June 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 October 2020
International Applicant Deadline
15 June 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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