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  • Faculty Development
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  • Clinical Faculty Appointments
  • Support the IMP
  • Volunteer Patients
  • Standardized Patients
  • Clinical Teaching Associates
  • First Patient Volunteers
  • Volunteer Opportunities for Physicians
  • Library Services
  • Technology at IMP
  • Community Engagement

    The Island Medical Program relies on people from the community in many ways...from those who provide financial support, to patient educators, to medical professionals who volunteer as physician mentors. Please take time to read about some of our donors and patient educators .

    If you are a member of the community and would like to contribute to the success of our program, please see the activities outlined on these pages.


    Financial Support

    Financial gifts, large and small, enable us to develop and grow the Island Medical Program. The generosity of community members will ensure we continue educating the next generation of physicians, many of whom may serve our Island communities.

    Support the IMP >


    Patient Programs

    The Patient Program is a critical component of the MD undergraduate program at IMP which enables first- and second-year medical students to learn history-taking and hands-on physical exam skills. IMP accepts applications from people of all ages and backgrounds to provide our students with diverse experiences.

    Community members can participate in four ways:

    1) Volunteer Patient;
    2) Standardized Patient (requires training);
    3) Female and Male Clinical Teaching Associate (requires training); and
    4) First Patient Program.

    Volunteer Patients

    Volunteer Patients (VP) participate as ‘themselves’ in clinical skills sessions. They become a teaching model for students and offer their authentic medical history, whether they are healthy or living with an illness or disability. VPs answer questions about their health, family and lifestyle while participating in non-invasive physical examinations under the guidance of a fully qualified physician. Over 100 people contribute their time as a Volunteer Patient every year.

    Volunteer Patients >

    Standardized Patients

    Standardized Patients (SP) are trained to simulate the personal history, physical symptoms, emotional characteristics and everyday concerns of cases for medical examinations and communication skills. Being able to articulate and memorize scenarios, as well as portray a range of emotions, are central to the role. Approximately 75 people participate as a Standardized Patient each year.

    Standardized Patients >

    Clinical Teaching Associates (FCTAs and MCTAs)

    Female Clinical Teaching Associates (FCTA) and Male Clinical Teaching Associates (MCTA) are individuals who love teaching and want to make an impact on the delivery of health care to all women and men. These individuals receive special training so that they can help teach medical students how to perform respectful and thorough sensitive physical examinations, such as, breast, pelvic, penis and prostate exams. Good communication skills, the ability to set boundaries, and patience are necessary, as FCTAs and MCTAs must be willing to undergo these examinations while teaching. Approximately 15 FCTAs/MCTAs are needed each year.

    Clinical Teaching Associates >

    First Patient Volunteers

    The First Patient Program pairs first-year medical students with members of the community who have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition. People with chronic conditions have unique healthcare needs, and their experiences and insights are invaluable for training effective, conscientious doctors. By working with these individuals, whom we call First Patient Volunteers (FPt), our doctors-in-training will learn more about the continuity of care and its importance in medical practice.

    First Patient Program Volunteers >

    The contributions of our phenomenal VPs, SPs, FCTAs and MCTAs are invaluable and allow students to gain confidence and competence with communication and clinical skills in a safe, yet realistic setting.


    Volunteer Opportunities for Physicians

    Mentorship Program

    The Mentorship Program provides medical students with the opportunity to focus on their own personal and professional development in an informal, supportive environment with a physician from the community.  Physician mentors can help students to set short-term learning objectives or long-term career goals, offer guidance on personal matters, provide networking opportunities and help the students in areas such as communication, flexibility and teamwork.

    Physician Mentors >

    A Unique Contribution

    Make a special and valuable contribution to the community. Consider donating your body to science.

    UBC Body Donation Program >