UBC Pain Medicine Residency


Since 2016, the Pain Medicine residency program applications are to be submitted through the CaRMs process. There are six programs involved in this year’s CaRMs match. https://phx.e-carms.ca/

These include: the University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, McMaster University and University of Western Ontario.  For information on the Quebec programs, please see  the National Pain Centre, McMaster University site that contains all information about all Pain Medicine Programs in Canada. This can be found on the following link: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/pain-medicine-residency/index.html.

Please see below for key applications deadlines.

Introduction from the UBC Pain Medicine Residency Program Director

Welcome to the Pain Medicine sub-specialty residency training program at the University of British Columbia, administered through the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics.  The UBC Pain Medicine committee is excited to announce that we now accepting applications for two residents starting July 2019.

Pain Medicine is a new two-year sub-specialty residency training program accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). This program will offer unparalleled multidisciplinary learning opportunities leading to RCPSC certification in Pain Medicine.

Eligibility requirements include FRCPC certification (or in a program leading to certification) in the following areas: Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry and Rheumatology. Entry from other FRCPC programs such as Orthopedics, Neurosurgery and Palliative Care is possible in exceptional cases.

The University of British Columbia began the RCPSC Pain Medicine residency training in July 2016 where our residents are supported through diverse learning environments, by dedicated passionate teaching faculty, via  broad research and leadership opportunities, and  experience in innovative pain services and high functioning pain teams.

Our application criteria, process, and timelines are provided below. This website provides links for the sample rotation schedule for the 2 year program, the Goals & Objectives for each core rotation and sample electives.  The full application process is detailed through CARMS.  Please see https://phx.e-carms.ca.

Complete information on the Pain Medicine residency/eligibility/examinations process is also now available on the National Pain Centre, McMaster University site. To view this information please follow this link:http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/pain-medicine-residency/index.html and through the CaRMs website.  The key deadlines are listed below.

For more information, please contact us:

Michael Butterfield
Director, Pain Medicine Residency Program 
P: 604.566.9101
E: Michael.butterfield@vch.ca

Michael Butterfield MSc, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry and Pain Medicine)
Director, Pain Medicine Residency Program
Departments of Psychiatry and Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

Jay Park, Postgraduate Education Manager
E: pain.med@ubc.ca

April Dolap, Senior Program Assistant
E: pain.med@ubc.ca

Michelle Luk, Senior Program & Project Assistant
E: pain.med@ubc.ca

UBC Program Highlights

There are well over 100 faculty associated with the UBC Pain Medicine residency program with a breadth of clinical experiences, research activities, quality improvement projects and leadership positions.

The UBC Pain Residency Program is unique in enhancing competencies in longitudinal pain care through dedicated weekly resident clinics at each JPOCSC and GFS throughout most of year 2 during their elective blocks.

The multidiscipinary team experience is also unique to UBC in that a total of 7 blocks out of 13 multidisciplinary clinic blocks are completed at an outpatient tertiary pain clinic in Surrey located in the innovative Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgical Cetnre (JPOCSC).   A further 6 blocks are completed to support early intervention and sub-acute inpatient multi-dimensional pain care at the tertiary rehabilitation centre in Vancouver called GF Strong.  Here the experiences gained will be with patients in the subacute period of  one to six months after stroke, surgery, trauma and  illness requiring rehabilation and transition to the community care.

The choice of electives is extensive and include orofascial medicine, UBC pharmacists clinic, sports medicine, pelvic pain, community pain clinics and ultrasound guided programs, palliative care, nurse practitioner services and interventional pain through radiology and pain clinic services.

Also, there are numerous opportunities to participate in province wide initiatives in education (e.g. Practice Support Program), leadership (Pain Medicine Physicians of BC) and advocacy (Pain BC Society).

Our academic day program is unique,  and customized to the training needs of each  trainee. The first Thursday of every month  consists of Case Based learning afternoons facilitated by a dedicated multi-disciplinary Pain medicine faculty from across the province.  Academic day topics for the other  weeks are chosen by the trainee to complement their learning needs as they join resident groups  in  the academic day program topics of our core disciplines:   physical medicine, palliative care, neurology, rheumatology, anesthesiology, pediatric, psychiatry and addiction medicine.

Monthly they will participate in  province-wide pain rounds through St. Paul’s Hospital and quarterly, our trainees will join the other Pain medicine trainees across Canada for national academic days.

UBC Program Overview

The two year RCPSC Pain Medicine subspecialty residency program consists of the following blocks:

  • Multidisciplinary Clinic (MDC): 13 blocks
  • Musculoskeletal (MSK = Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation / Rheumatology): 1 block
  • Neurology: 1 block
  • Cancer Pain : 1 block
  • Pediatric Pain and Psychiatry/Addiction Medicine/Sleep Medicine: 3 blocks ( longitudinal)
  • Acute Pain: 1 block
  • Electives: 6 blocks
  • Total: 26 blocks

The UBC Pain Medicine residency program was designed specifically to capture the breadth of training experiences and settings to support the core competencies to manage the common and unique pain problems faced by pain specialists in the acute hospital setting through to the subacute period rehabilitation management through to transition to community and finally longitudinal care in various outpatient settings including community pain clinics.

Year 1 will solidify experiences in both outpatient and inpatient multidisciplinary team settings over 9 blocks specifically with the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care & Surgical Centre Pain clinic (JPOCSC) located in Surrey and the GF Strong (GFS) Rehabilitation centre located in Vancouver.

Year 1 will also integrate the core rotations of MSK, and neurology through a variety of outpatient clinics. The psychiatry/addiction medicine/sleep medicine rotations take place in an inpatient setting at Surrey Memorial Hospital, and outpatient settings with the UBC Sleep Disorders Program and Orionhealth rehabilitation and assessment centre.

Year 2 will complete the multidisciplinary and multisite rotations in Cancer pain and Pediatric pain in focused blocks. The elective blocks are currently mostly clustered together in Year 2 to allow the resident to complete their final 4 blocks in year 2 with the MDC teams at JPOCSC and GFS. The academic day typically takes place on Wednesday or Thursday to enable the pain resident’s participation in the academic days with existing groups such as neurology, physical medicine & rehabiliation, palliative/cancer care, rheumatology, anesthesiology and psychiatry.  This maximizes opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Finally, to enhance competencies in longitudinal pain care, the resident will be attending a dedicated weekly resident clinic at each JPOCSC and GFS throughout most of year 2 during their elective blocks. This makes a total of 7 blocks outpatient MDC at JPOCSC and 6 blocks inpatient MDC at GFS.

The choice of electives is extensive and include orofascial medicine, UBC pharmacists clinic, sports medicine, pelvic pain, community pain clinics and ultrasound guided programs, palliative care, nurse practitioner services and interventional pain through radiology and pain clinic services. Examples of some Elective goals and objectives are attached for your reference.

  • All candidates must be Canadian citizens with FRCPC or anticipated successful completion of FRCPC specialty designation.
  • Be a member of good standing
Application Package Selection Criteria
  • A copy of your current CV
  • A letter of introduction, letter of intent
    • List a summary of your clinical experience/interests/goals
    • Describe the qualities you possess that prepares you well for a career as a pain medicine specialist
    • Summarize your goals for the electives during the two year program
    • Describe foreseeable challenges and financial challenges or restrictions during the two year program
    • Indicate if you are intending on applying for credit for rotations done; if so please provide a list
    • Describe where and how you envision your clinical, academic and/or research practice after your training program
    • Indicate if you intend on continuing to practice in your own specialty during this program
  • 3 reference letters with the following criteria: a letter from a pain clinician colleague, one from your previous program director or current Head of Department, and one from the applicant’s choice
Application Timelines
  • July 11, 2024:  CaRMS applications open
  • August 19, 2024: Deadline for letters of reference sent by mail
  • August 20, 2024: CaRMs application deadline
  • September 4, 2024: UBC interview Date