Personal accounts - Canada, British Columbia

Geriatric Cardiology


  • Fall of R5 year
  • Chose to complete her exams before leaving on the fellowship
  • Sought advice from staff physicians in Geriatrics on how to approach different sites: emailed several institutions (Cardiology program directors)
  • Also approached a Cardiologist specializing in the field, director of the Geriatric Cardiology program at McGill (the only officially recognized program in Quebec)
Choice of site/specialization
  • Chose subspecialty out of personal interest, with experience in Geriatric Cardiology rotation at McGill
  • Relevance of this field for her future position
  • Consulted a cardiologist who had completed a fellowship in Geriatrics at UBC whose practice is geared to older clientele
  • No formal interview, the supervisor was interested in hosting a Geriatrics fellow for 1 year
  • Telephone chats helped develop a program geared to her needs
  • English test (only the IELTS is recognized in BC)
  • Letter of reference required for UBC
  • Two letters of reference to obtain the BC permit to practise
  • Fellowship not currently paid
  • Possibility of self-financing (for her, practising Geriatrics), at the fellow’s discretion. She was given opportunities to practise to help pay for the fellowship
Prior rotation 
  • None required
Work permit/visa 
  • N/A (Canadian province)
Visitor's visa 
  • N/A


Health insurance
  • Form to be sent to RAMQ with planned dates of stay in BC, to obtain coverage during the year outside Quebec (usually covered for 6 months only)
  • She recommends starting the process very early, because she had to deal with a lot of red tape
Bank account


  • Expect to pay a lot for accommodation in Vancouver
Driver's licence
  • Easily accessible with Quebec licence
Quebec Health Insurance Board (RAMQ)
  • See section on health insurance