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  • Our History

    IMP celebrates 10 years!Book cover

    In the fall of 2004, the Island Medical Program was established at the University of Victoria, part of the UBC Faculty of Medicine's distributed medical undergraduate program.  We are proud to share our "story" in "The Island Medical Program: Celebrating the first 10 years". 

    Read it online or download a copy [PDF]


    UBC also celebrates 10 years of its distributed undergraduate MD program

    To mark this special occasion, the UBC's Faculty of Medicine launched a new website — bcmd10.med.ubc.ca — that chronicles the program's history, challenges and successes.

    Dr. William Gibson, C.M., M.D., D.Sc. F.R.C.P. (C.),1913 - 2009

    Dr. Bill Gibson and Dr. Oscar CasiroOn May 6, 1970 Dr. Gibson and then President of the Victoria Medical Society, Dr. John Higgins, planted a plane tree at the heart of the University of Victoria campus.  The seed for this tree was harvested from the original plane tree under which Hippocrates taught medicine on the Island of Cos, and carried back to Victoria by Dr. Gibson.  Planting that seedling signified a spirit of cooperation between the Victoria Medical Society and the University, and represented Dr. Gibson's commitment to medical education.

    On January 7, 2005 the Island Medical program welcomed its first students in the Medical Sciences Building, located not far from where that plane tree stands. Dr. Gibson attended that welcoming event and proudly presented each of the new IMP students with a seed from that tree. 

    In April 2007, Dr. Gibson again made a generous donation to the Island Medical Program - a leaf from the Hippocrates plane tree on the island of Cos which he had collected in 1975.  The leaf was presented to Dr. Oscar Casiro, Regional Associate Dean (photo above) and is now proudly displayed in the Medical Sciences Building at UVic. 

    Dr. Gibson was a distinguished physician and scientist in the fields of neurology and psychiatry and a medical history scholar.  He will be remembered for his many contributions to science, history and the community at large. Dr. Gibson will also be remembered as a great advocate for medical education, and we believe the Island Medical Program represented the fulfilment of one of his cherished dreams - establishment of formal undergraduate medical education in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. 

    Dr. Gibson’s presence provided the Island Medical Program with a rich historical perspective and he will be a part of us, and this program, forever.