Starting Residency

Starting Residency

What You Need To Know

Congratulations on matching to BC! We are excited to welcome you to Resident Doctors of BC.

Starting residency can be both exciting and hectic; for many it is your first job. Resident Doctors of BC is committed to make this transition from student to trainee-employee as smooth as possible. The content in this section is to help you familiarize yourself with all that is required to start your first year off on the right foot: Read each item carefully and ensure you have completed your to-do list before July 1st.

  • CMPA

    Canadian Medical Protective Association coverage is mandatory for all residents.  The cost of coverage is based on the type of work and region.

    You must register and pay for category 12 or 14 coverage. The monthly rate will be reimbursed through payroll.



    Type of Work

    Annual Cost

    Monthly Cost


    Residents & Fellows – No moonlighting – Residents registered in a postgraduate medical education program, international medical graduates registered in a program to obtain a license for independent practice and clinical fellows and physicians pursuing a structured university affiliated program.Includes extra resident shifts, but will not include CMPA assistance in medical-legal difficulties arising from independent practice of medicine outside the program. $1,008.00 $84.00


    Residents — With moonlighting/restricted registration — extracurricular (outside of a residency training program) practice of medicine by residents registered in a postgraduate medical education program leading to certification with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or a provincial or territorial medical regulatory authority (College).

    • Will generally include eligibility for CMPA assistance in medical-legal difficulties arising from independent practice of medicine outside of the program whether remunerated or not.
    • Residents who moonlight must hold licensure or registration acceptable to the regulatory authority (College) in the jurisdiction where the moonlighting takes place.
    • Residents who limit their clinical activities to moonlighting (e.g. locum) for more than two consecutive weeks must change to a practising physician code.
    • Clinical fellows who moonlight must select the appropriate practising physician code, not code 14.
    $1,008.00 $84.00

    *These costs are current to 2023 for the BC fee region.

  • Family Medicine, Student Loan Forgiveness

    Please visit the Government of Canada site to check your eligibility.

  • Finding a Family Doctor

    Divisions of Family Practice offers a service to help find a family doctor in select locations.

    Physician Health Program has a service to connect residents with family doctors.

  • Immunizations

    Residents are required to report their immunization status prior to the beginning of training via the Provincial Workplace Health Call Centre (WHCC) using their online self reporting tool using the schedule below:

    Group Location Date to Call
    1 Living in BC prior to April 2022, Surname begins with A to L June 6 to June 10
    2 Living in BC prior to April 2022, Surname begins with M to Z June 13 to June 17
    3 Moved to BC after April 2022, Surname begins with A to L June 20 to June 24
    4 Moved to BC after April 2022, Surname begins with M to Z June 27 to July 1

    You will need to consult your UBC Resident Registration Package or the Occupational Health & Safety website for a list of all vaccine documentation required for WHCC.

    *TB skin tests are done free at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) or Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) hospitals. Residents are to obtain their free TB skin test at VCH clinic sites once they have been assessed by the Provincial Workplace Health Call Centre. The PWHCC will provide you with the clinic schedule. Residents who are located in rural areas and are therefore unable to attend a VCH site clinic should contact a Field Service Nurse at to discuss their options. Reimbursement for TB skin tests obtained outside of the free VCH site clinics must be pre-approved by a Field Service Nurse at the email address above.

    If you require an occupational immunization use the waitwhile app to see upcoming clinics or make an appointment.

  • Licensure

    You must apply directly to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC for your postgraduate license, and pay the annual fee.

    There are four classes of postgraduate license:

    Residents A registrant who is enrolled in postgraduate training in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.
    Residents – Elective A registrant who is doing a visiting elective through UBC.
    Fellows A registrant who is certified and is pursuing further training through UBC.
    Trainees A registrant who is pursuing further training but is not certified.

    Eligible postgraduate residents who have registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC as an “associate” are authorized to provide supervised services on an in-patient ward of a clinical academic centre affiliated with the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

  • Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam Part I

    UBC encourages all residents to take the MCCQE Part I prior to beginning residency, or to take it as soon as possible. The MCCQE-I is a one-day, computer-based test that assesses the competence of candidates who have obtained their medical degree, for entry into supervised clinical practice in postgraduate training programs.

  • Moving

    If you are moving to BC or within BC for residency don’t forget to update your new address with the following places:


    • Financial institutions
    • Credit cards

    Canada Post

    There is an optional service you can purchase to have mail forwarded to your new address in case there is someone you forgot to notify


    • Internet
    • Cable/Satellite
    • Subscriptions (magazines, newspapers etc.)
    • Telephone
      • Home
      • Cellular

    Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA)

    Available online ( or call 1-800-959-8281 — this is important for student loans and taxes.

    *Resident Tip: Save your receipts, as moving expenses can be tax deductible ( Check with the Better Business Bureau before hiring a moving company (

    Drivers License and Insurance (ICBC)

    * Resident Tip: If you update your address online you can update your Medical Services Plan (MSP) at the same time

    • You must switch to a BC license within 90 days of moving.
    • Online:
    • Phone: 1-800-950-1498
      (Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
    • In Person: All ICBC locations in B.C.

    Basic auto insurance is mandatory in BC and must be purchased from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, additional insurance can be purchased from other providers if you choose.

    If you are bringing a vehicle from out of province with you when you move to BC visit to find out about the regulations and insurance requirements.

    • Your vehicle must be insured in BC within 30 days of bringing it to BC and you must switch to a BC drivers license within 90 days.

    Payroll Records and Benefits

    If your address has changed since completing your intake paperwork, please update your address with them to ensure you receive your benefit card and other important documents in a timely manner.

    • Phone: 604-297-8683. Ensure you have your VCH employee # ready
    • Email:
    • Fax: 604-875-7198
    • In Person: Records and Benefits 1st Floor – 1795 Willingdon Avenue Burnaby, BC V5C 6E3
    • Mail: Records and Benefits 1st Floor – 1795 Willingdon Avenue Burnaby, BC V5C 6E3
      • This includes Health Dental, LTD and Life Insurance

    Resident Doctors of BC

    • You can update your details under your personal account.



  • N95 Fit Testing

    Residents need a fit test prior to starting residency and annually. To arrange a fit test contact:

    VGH: or contact Ben Loosely at

    Providence: Ongoing fit testing sessions, contact

    Interior: Ongoing regular sessions,

    Island Health: fit testing can be arranged through, who will then coordinate with the site they are at or select a site and date through the intranet system.

    Northern: it is also done by an internal system for OHS issues.

    Fraser: Fit testing can be arranged through

    If you aren’t sure who to contact, or which Health Authority is the right area for testing, please contact Resident Doctors of BC and we are happy to assist.

  • New Members FAQ

    The following questions and answers were taken from the New Members Orientation 2021.

    Q: Can IMG residents join RDBC committees or is it limited to CMG residents?

    A: Yes, All members are welcome to join committees and run for Board positions.

    Q: I have disability insurance already; can I keep it/do I need to?

    A: You can keep additional coverage you have paid for, but there is no benefit to opting out of the employer paid plan.

    Q: How do we claim reimbursement for Violence Prevention Training?

    A: The Violence training/OHS day will be added as a paid day to your pay stub.

    Q: I have heard some programs “strongly encourage” residents to stay post call. Can you please speak to if this is allowed and if so how this is paid out?

    A: There are no provisions in our CA for post-call pay at the moment, and thus we strongly encourage residents to reach out to us about these “strong encouragements” so we can keep track of these practices and try to ameliorate the situation. Any such information will stay confidential with us.

    Q: When do we get employee numbers?

    A: Employee numbers are provided by Vancouver Coastal Health (regardless of the site you work at) and can be found on your pay stub. You can also get them by contacting Employee Records and Benefits

    Q: Do we need to submit an application for Doctors of BC, or is this done automatically?

    A: Doctors of BC is a separate organization with a separate registration process.

    Q: As residents are we considered full-time students?

    A: No, residents are not considered students.

    Q: If we notice an ethical issue/harassment, is there a safe way to report anonymously? Whistleblowing protections?

    A: There are many places to report ethical issues. If you have concerns about in the workplace, please contact Resident Doctors of BC. You can also report through the Workplace Provincial Call Centre, or the UBC Mistreatment centre.

    Q: Are lieu and flex days considered days off service? (similar to vacation days)

    A: Yes, any time away from service, is considered days off service.

    Q: Is it recommended to be members of Doctors of BC vs. Resident Doctors of BC?

    A: Membership in Resident Doctors of BC is not optional, it is a requirement in BC. Doctors of BC is an optional membership.

    Q: Is therapy covered under Doctors of BC? Does it extend to family members?

    A: Resident Doctors have several avenues for support:

    • Employee Wellness provides counselling to residents and their families. This service is transitioning to another provider LifeWorks, and more details will be shared as the transition completes in July.
    • Physicians Health Program provides short-term counseling and coaching; this includes a 24-7 crisis line. They provide the same services to partners and dependants.
    • UBC Resident Wellness Office provides professional counseling to residents and couples counselling.
    • *New for 2023* The benefits plan includes $2,000 per year for each resident and their dependents for Clinical Counseling

    Q: Is there a mechanism to connect out-of-province residents who have existing time-sensitive healthcare conditions with primary care physicians in BC, other than the Physicians for Physicians form?

    A: Physicians Health Program (PHP) helps to find physicians who treat other physicians.

    You can also reach out to your local Divisions of Family Practice, which often coordinate patient attachment in their area.

    Q: Do benefits only start in September for out of province residents?

    A: Benefits start for all residents one month after enrolment (typically August 1); where there is a delay is in securing MSP, as it takes three months to process the enrolment in the provincial health insurance.

    Q: If we’re an out of province resident and want to keep our dentist in our home province, will RDBC benefits cover your dental work there or only dental work in BC?

    A: The benefits only cover emergency services outside of BC; so if you have a dental injury while out of the province that may be covered, but seeing your favourite hygienist in Ontario will not be covered.

    Q: Are there limits to sick leave?

    A: Residents have 5 months sick leave each academic year; these are not cumulative. If you use the full allotment, you have another 5 months after returning for 60 days. You can take leave in increments less than five months. Residents are encouraged after three months of consecutive leave to begin the paperwork for LTD, to ensure there is no gap in payment.

    Q: Can we submit call on a per-call basis over the course of a block? Or do we have to submit them en-mass at the end of the block?

    A: We prefer if you submit on a per-call basis to ensure you never miss a call. You can also submit en-mass if that is better for you. The one limitation is you can only submit after the call has occurred. You cannot submit tonight’s call today, but you can submit it tomorrow morning once you have completed the call.

    Q: If you work the stat, does this count as one of the 1:4 weekend day shifts per block?

    A: Weekend day call is only allowed to be scheduled twice per block, in blocks where there is a stat this may be scheduled a third time.

    Q: Are there any individuals that have exceptions to the call shift limit (ex. work less overnight call) – ex.) new parents returning from mat leave or people with an injury, etc.

    A: Pregnant residents have their hours and call limited by UBC based on gestation, the Collective Agreement provides additional protections for pregnant residents at any time including the elimination of call if determined necessary by their physician. This call is not to be made up. Resident returning to work following parental leave do not have the same protection and are encouraged to work with their program to arrange their blocks in a supportive way. Resident returning following an injury or medical leave that require accommodations including changes to call are supported through the Centre for Accessibility. Resident Doctors of BC is available to support in all of this scenarios.

    Q: If you do call on the stat do you get double pay on the stipend?

    A: No, it is a fixed stipend; you are eligible for a lieu day.

    Q: What power does RDBC have to enforce the Collective Agreement call limitations?

    A: Resident Doctors of BC receives the call schedules in advance of each block to review for violations. We do not catch every error on these reviews, as there are 77 programs and many services for each of these programs. Those that are found are returned for correction before the shift is worked. Residents with concerns about their schedule are encouraged to contact RDBC for review. If there is an error, we can contact the program on your behalf. Often this cannot be done anonymously which can discourage reporting. We also actively pursue programs with policies that contravene the Collective Agreement. If you become aware of any policy that is a violation please let us know so we can address it anonymously.

    Q: Do we need to log our call hours on RMS as well as RDBC?

    A: Call hours are not logged on the RMS, only stats/lieu days.

    Q: Do you pay CMPA directly and then get reimbursement from RDBC?

    A: Residents must register for, and pay for CMPA, you will then receive a monthly reimbursement on your paystub from the Ministry of Health.

    Q: Do we need to update anything if we had CMPA in another province?

    A: Ensure you have purchased the correct category, and you should be reimbursed.

    Q: I registered for CMPA a few months ago and didn’t have to pay, should I follow-up?

    A: Any concerns with CMPA should be directed to CMPA.

    Q: How do we check if we have previously gotten CMPA or not?

    A: Residents can log in to their CMPA accounts to review their coverage.

    Q: Do we need to get private insurance from Doctors of BC or Haslett?

    A: Residents can elect to purchase additional Long Term Disability coverage from any provider they wish, should they feel they need additional insurance.

    Q: What is the monthly coverage for disability insurance through RDBC?

    A: Disability coverage is 66 2/3% of your regular salary.

    Q: Can you clarify what LTD is covered and what we need to obtain ourselves?

    A: Residents have an employer paid LTD program that provides 66% of their salary for 2 years while unable to work as a resident. Some residents may decide to purchase additional coverage depending on their individual circumstances such as dependents, debt load or other considerations.

    Q: Do I have to be a member of Doctors of BC to apply for Doctors of BC insurance?

    A: Yes, Doctors of BC requires a membership to purchase their insurance.

    Q: Are there any benefits to augmenting/extending LTD from group coverage provided no in R1 as opposed to during transition to practice?

    A: Some LTD providers require a year of coverage prior to transition in order to maintain coverage without underwriting.

    Q: When is our first paycheck, and is it bi-weekly?

    A: Your first paycheck should be on July 16th for your first week, and payments are bi-weekly.

    Q: Is that first pay date also accurate for IMGs who have done the IMG orientation?

    A: All residents are on the same pay schedule regardless of where they completed medical school.

    Q: What is a lieu day?

    A: A lieu day is a day you are given when you work on a stat holiday. Traditionally stat holidays are a day off, as medicine is a 24/7 service this is not always possible and so an alternate day off can be taken when you do not have the stat holiday off.

    Q: If we have to go in for a half day on July 1st, how do we get reimbursed for this?

    A: If you are working on July 1, you will have stat pay added to your pay stub, and will enter your stat on the UBC RMS.

    Q: Do lieu/flex days expire at the end of the each academic year? Or one year from the date?

    A: Lieu days expire 12 months after they are earned (Nov 11 2021 must be taken by Nov 11 2022); flex days expire at the end of each academic year.

  • Online Courses and Learning Modules

    There are three online courses which all residents are required to complete prior to starting residency:

    • Infection Control Basics
    • Information Privacy and Confidentiality
    • Student Practice Education Core Orientation

    There are additional requirements for some of the Health Authorities that must be completed in advance.

  • Payroll, Health and Benefits Forms

    Payroll and Benefits are administered through PHSA regardless of a resident’s work location. Extended Health and Dental are provided through Pacific Blue Cross. Full details can be found in the Group Benefits Plan, which includes Group Life, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Dental and Extended Health. Benefits begin after one month of employment (August 1st for those who start on July 1st). Your group benefits number is provided in your resident appointment package.

    The Employer as per Article 15 pays the premiums for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). Coverage begins 1 month after enrolment (August 1st, if you begin residency on July 1st). MSP coverage for residents who are new to BC can take up to three months due to a mandatory waiting period.

    All necessary forms are provided in the Resident Appointment Package. To update your information, such as change of address or dependents, or to inquire about the status of your benefits please contact payroll:

    Tel: 604-297-8683 (toll free: 1-866-875-5306, press 2 for Payroll)
    Fax: 604-297-9311
    1795 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby BC V5C 6E3

  • Rural Elective Funding

    REAP funds UBC Residents enrolled in Specialty Residency and Family Practice Residency Programs who wish to spend elective time in Rural Subsidiary Agreement Communities.

    Please visit the RCCBC site for more information.

  • UBC


    UBC uses a Resident Management System (RMS) to manage the academic and administrative records of all residents; use this system to access Letters of Offer, update your contact information, review your academic records, and self-report any statutory holidays you’ve worked.

    This service and all correspondence with the UBC Postgraduate Medical Education programs or Dean requires a UBC issued email address. This address is where you will receive your offer letter, and you must register before your start date.

    You must also pay your registration fee, through the Student Service Centre (SSC).


    UBC has a number of PGME wide policies relating to residency. It is updated periodically throughout the year.