Statement regarding the escalating situation in Iran

September 27, 2022

On behalf of the University of British Columbia, we wish to express our concern about the unfolding situation in Iran in response to the tragic death of Mahsa Amini.

UBC stands with the courageous women of Iran, and all who seek to protect their human rights and freedoms and stand up against repression and discrimination. We acknowledge the trauma and distress that members of our community may be experiencing in response to the situation in Iran, and would like to emphasize the UBC supports available to anyone who may be impacted.

For faculty and staff, all mental health resources can be found on the HR website: This provides access to UBC’s Extended Health Benefits Plan, and our Employee and Family Assistance Program, which is a confidential and voluntary resource providing professional and emergency counselling services and additional support via phone, video, web or mobile app.

For students, our UBC Students Assistance Program is a free, 24/7 confidential wellness resource, including crisis, grief, and trauma counseling:

UBC Vancouver Students Assistance Program
UBC Okanagan Students Assistance Program

A variety of health and wellbeing resources, services and programming is also available to UBC Vancouver students at and to UBC Okanagan students at

Peaceful protests are at the heart of advocating for human rights and freedoms, and UBC echoes the message of bringing an end to violence against women.

Gage Averill
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, pro tem, UBC Vancouver

Rehan Sadiq
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, pro tem, UBC Okanagan

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources

Commemorative event for theNational Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2022

Dermot Kelleher, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Vice-President, Health
invites you to join a virtual event today
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
10:00–11:30 am PT
Given the discussion topic, this event may go beyond 11:30 am

Please join us in coming together in a concerted effort to reflect on the purpose of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day.

Download the calendar event. Learn more about the event and speakers, as well as the Faculty of Medicine’s 2021 Apology and Response to the TRC Calls to Action.

We gratefully acknowledge that the UBC Faculty of Medicine and its distributed medical programs, which includes four university academic campuses, are located on traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of Indigenous peoples around the province.

The UBC Vancouver-Point Grey academic campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and UBC operations in Vancouver more generally are also on the territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

The UBC Okanagan academic campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.

The University of Northern BC Prince George campus is located on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh, who are part of the Dakelh First Nations.

The University of Victoria is located on the traditional territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən-speaking peoples — the Songhees and the Esquimalt, and the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.

AI Cell Analytics App

“’We developed SnapCyte based on a need for affordable, basic cell analytics that can be accessed by any scientist working in a cell culture or biotechnology laboratory,’ says Dr. Mads Daugaard, an associate professor of urologic sciences at UBC and senior research scientist at VPC. ‘This app makes commercially available affordable, high-performance laboratory technology that can be conveniently accessed on a smartphone.’

Used in the analysis of cancer cells and other diseases at a microscopic scale, the first-of-its-kind smartphone app aims to supercharge the development of novel, personalized medical treatments. Dr. Daugaard and his team at VPC, a Centre of Excellence hosted by UBC and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, developed the technology based on their own need for fast and accurate cell growth data. Now, they want to bring the breakthrough technology to researchers around the globe.

‘The app returns precision data results within five minutes,’ he says. ‘With the former technology, this process would normally take 45 minutes to an hour with the most high-end live-cell imaging and analysis platforms, or 24 hours with colorimetric assays.’”

More on AI cell analytics app aims to supercharge biotechnology research via UBC.

Concussion & The Brain

With the help of artificial intelligence, UBC researchers have demonstrated that concussed brains create ‘neural detours,’ re-routing information along alternative pathways.

“It was a freak accident, and at first it didn’t seem like a big deal.

UBC student Rori Wood was practicing with her teammates on the Thunderbirds women’s rugby team. During non-contact drills, another player caught her in the eye with an elbow.

‘I was like, oh, that hurt. My eye was throbbing, and there was a cut, but I wasn’t too worried about it because it didn’t feel like that big of a hit,’ she remembers.

As one of the team’s veteran forwards, Rori was used to the scrums and tackles that come with the position. Her main concern was getting the eye cleaned up and making sure it didn’t swell too much before the next day’s match.

But a few hours later her head began to hurt — really hurt — and she felt sick to her stomach. There was a feeling of sensory overload: “When my parents picked me up to go to the doctor, everything was so, so bright. Like, a literal fog. And sound just hurt. I wore earmuffs to the appointment.”

More on Unlocking the mysteries of concussion and the brain: New UBC research could make diagnosis, treatment and prevention more effective for everyone — especially women via UBC Medicine.

SAMP & SOO Preparation

Greetings Residents!

Please find below a few valuable resources as you prepare for your upcoming exams.

CFPC Examination Quick Links and Dates via CFPC.
Candidate Guide to the Certification Examination in Family Medicine via CFPC.
Virtual Simulated Office Oral Examinations via CFPC.
UBC Department of Family Practice Postgraduate Program: SOOs via UBC.
Guidelines on the Optimal Viewing & Scoring of a SOO via CFPC.
UBC Department of Family Practice Postgraduate Program: SAMPs via UBC.
SAMPs Frequently Asked Questions via CFPC.



Pas de Deux

Figure 1. Pages from De humani corporis fabrica, 1543, which was likely illustrated by John Stephen of Calcar, based on the dissections of the author, Andreas Vesalius. This anatomical text represents a pivotal shift in the approach to dissection, depiction of anatomy, and dissemination of medical knowledge. Images adapted from the Wellcome Collection, used under creative commons licence (CC BY 4.0).

“Much like dance, the art of surgery requires tedious, intentional practice—often with a rotation of partners in the operating room (OR), including the cadre of residents progressing through the surgical training paradigm and faculty colleagues—including, in my case, my spouse.

My husband and I are an unlikely pair, more different than alike. I spent my childhood in the Southeast, he grew up in the Northeast. I am petite; he is tall. As our daughter often points out, my skin is fair, his dark. Our taste in music is disparate, likely the result of an age difference—he was a teenager in the 1980s, me, the 1990s. Like many couples, our interests are divergent. He is fascinated by World War II history, spends hours in our garage refinishing furniture, is a connoisseur of cars and stereo equipment, and is energized by parties and social gatherings. I prefer to read contemporary memoirs and novels, pore over cookbooks, and visit with just a few close friends. He enjoys talking; I like the quiet. Yet despite these differences, our love for the craft of surgery is mutual.

During the past 5 years since I completed surgical training, my husband and I have been surgical colleagues and partners. We are both liver and pancreas surgeons, sharing a narrow subspecialty expertise at work, as well as a marriage at home. We sought academic appointments at the same institution after realizing that the choreography of navigating 2 independent careers in surgery, especially in a specific subspecialty, is challenging, if not nearly impossible.

Fortunately, operating together came naturally. We completed fellowship training at the same cancer center, albeit in slightly different generations, and as a result, our surgical technique is similar. We ascribe to the same oncological philosophy and operate with a shared appreciation for meticulous and careful dissection. Our personalities, although different, are surprisingly complementary in the operating room. He is the extrovert, lightening the mood through conversation, teaching the residents, and lifting the morale of the OR staff. These diversions enable me to be my introverted self, channeling critical energy toward my own focus and clinical precision. A combination of personality and a difference in years of experience, I can be more cautious and tentative at times, while he can be more decisive and willing to commit. The balance together, we’ve found, is just right.”

More on Pas de Deux via JAMA.

Planetary Health Conference

Lynn Valley, British Columbia.


We are pleased to announce that the annual Climate Emergency conference, hosted by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), is back this fall in virtual format. This year, the topics will be focused on taking action on planetary health.

Why is this conference important and why is it relevant to you?

The World Health Organization has stated that the climate crisis is the biggest health concern of the 21st century and the Lancet has said that fighting climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity. If we do not make major changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next 10 years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts catastrophic effects on the environment and human health. This conference will inspire us all in our health care roles to better understand these issues and advocate for necessary systemic change.

Who should join us?

This conference will be of interest to physicians, medical learners, nurses, and other health professionals.

Learn more here.

Nutrition Screening & Primary Care

“British Columbia’s population is rapidly aging: the number of adults in BC who are 65 years of age or older exceeded 1 million for the first time in 2021, and those who are over 85 years of age make up the fastest-growing age group in Canada. These demographic trends will create additional pressures on the health care system due to increased demands for care among the aging population. To reduce the burden on BC’s health care system, it will be important to consider strategies and practices that can help older adults live healthily and independently.

Malnutrition is a common yet often overlooked health issue among older adults. It is defined by the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force as “both the deficiency and excess of energy, protein, and other nutrients.” One-third of Canadians 65 years of age or older are at risk for malnutrition. The impact of malnutrition on older adults is well documented, including reduced quality of life, increased hospitalizations, and higher risk of mortality. Malnutrition also contributes to complex health concerns, with malnourished older adults experiencing delayed wound healing, impaired functional status, weakened immune function, and increased risk of frailty and falls. Malnourished older adults are, therefore, less likely to retain the ability to live independently and have a significantly increased risk of acute hospitalization.

The health consequences of malnutrition among older adults also impose considerable costs on the health care system. A 2017 study of adults admitted to Canadian hospitals found patients who were malnourished experienced 18% longer stays and 31% to 34% higher costs compared with those who were well nourished. On average, malnourished surgical patients incurred $2851 more in hospital costs than well-nourished patients and were nearly twice as likely to experience hospital readmission within 15 days. Implementation of nutrition programs can result in considerable savings to the health care system. In one home health setting, the implementation of a multisite nutrition-focused quality improvement program resulted in a reduction in the need for patients to seek health care services such that savings amounted to $1500 per patient or $2.3 million over a 90-day period. Small investments can return substantial cost savings; for every $1 spent on dietitian-led nutrition interventions, the health care system can save $5 to $99 through reductions in costs associated with hospitalizations, medications, and physician time.”

More on the Nutrition screening and primary care: Identifying malnutrition early in seniors via BCMJ.

Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Medical Education

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 – This webinar will be delivered in English
Delivery 1: 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
Delivery 2: 12:00pm-1:00pm PST (3:00pm-4:00pm EDT)
Title: Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Medical Education
Presenters: Dr. Ayelet Kuper and Dr. Umberin Najeeb, University of Toronto


Dr. Ayelet Kuper, MD, DPhil, FRCPC is the Senior Advisor on Antisemitism for the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She is an Associate Professor in UofT’s Department of Medicine and practices medicine within the Division of General Internal Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is a Scientist and Associate Director at the Wilson Centre (UHN/UofT). She is interested in the kinds of knowledge we see as legitimate within medical education and medicine more broadly, and in the ideas, individuals, and groups that are included or excluded based on their knowledge claims. A child and grandchild of Holocaust survivors, she holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford in Holocaust literature in addition to her medical training and is cross-appointed to UofT’s Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. She has been teaching about equity and inclusion within the MD Program, graduate programs, and various residency programs for many years, and she sits on numerous committees related to anti-oppression and social justice for a wide range of equity-deserving groups at the Faculty of Medicine and at UofT. She has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers, many of which relate to power, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Dr. Umberin Najeeb, MD, FCPS (Pak), FRCPC is the Senior Advisor on Islamophobia for the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine and a staff internist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is the Faculty Lead, Equity for the Department of Medicine and the Co-Director of the Department of Medicine’s Master Teacher Program at the University of Toronto. She developed and implemented a unique research based longitudinal collaborative mentorship program for international medical graduate (IMG) physicians. Her areas of scholarly focus are 1) transition and integration of IMGs (and other Internationally Educated Health Professionals) into their training and working environments and 2) health professions education with specific focus on curriculum design, program development, faculty development and mentorship. She uses her voice and lived experiences as a Muslim woman to be an ally in her many roles. Dr. Najeeb teaches around the constructs of equity, diversity, inclusion, and allyship at undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty development levels and contributes to committee and policy work related to social justice and EDI. She has won numerous teaching and mentorship awards at the local, provincial and national levels.


These rounds are designed to address antisemitism and Islamophobia and to help faculty members ensure that all of our learners and faculty members feel safe and able to engage in respectful conversations.  The rounds will include content on transformative learning, dialogue. and teaching with stories about the antisemitism and Islamophobia affecting Canadian medical learners and faculty.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the recent and current landscape of antisemitism (AS) and Islamophobia (IP) in Canadian medical education
  2. Recognize where AS and IP fit within equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) frameworks
  3. Develop an approach to teaching these complex topics in academic settings

To register for the event, please click here.