Independent clinical experience

Independent clinical experience

For visiting medical students enrolled in a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (which includes the Canada sponsor note) who cannot be accommodated by the UBC Visiting Student Elective Program (VSEP).


An applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Additionally, an applicant must contact UBC prior to applying for an independent clinical experience if they are:

  • a Canadian medical school applicant who will be in the penultimate or final year of their medical degree, or
  • an international medical school applicant who will be in the final year of their medical degree

at the time of the requested clinical experience.

Email UBC visiting electives

How to apply

Visiting medical students wanting to apply for registration and licensure to complete an independent clinical experience can email to receive detailed instructions on how to apply.

Email the College for detailed instructions

Applicants have to complete an application form, pay fees and submit supplementary documentation as part of the application process.

Completed applications must be submitted to the College six weeks prior to the anticipated start date. Failure to meet this deadline may result in a delayed start to the clinical experience.

Maintaining the licence

To extend a independent clinical experience licence, email your request to

Email extension request to the College

For supervising physicians

Physicians supervising UBC visiting electives must confirm in writing to the College that they will

  • be responsible for the supervision of any clinical contact by the medical student with patients,
  • inform patients that the visiting medical student is participating in an educational experience under their supervision,
  • obtain verbal consent from patients to allow the visiting medical student to participate in the care situation, and
  • provide direct supervision at all times during the visiting medical student’s clinical experience.

A letter from the hospital/health authority approving the visit is mandatory if a portion of the educational activity takes place in a hospital.

Additionally, UBC faculty members who supervise students in independent (non-UBC) clinical experiences must confirm in writing to the College that

  • the supervision they provide is done independent of UBC and that any legal issues that arise are not indemnified by UBC, and
  • the clinical experience will not be represented as a UBC clinical experience in a letter of recommendation or evaluation report.

Eligibility requirements for supervisors