Vacations & Leave

Any leaves and absences must be approved and reported to the program office and your rotation supervisor or preceptor. Sick leaves of more than 5 days must be supported by a physician’s note to get paid. Residents taking extended leave will be required to make up the time lost upon their return to training to meet the requirement of CFPC. Extended personal leaves of absence must be approved by the Program Director and Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education.

Found in the 'Attendance and Absence' section on the UBC PGME Policies & Procedures page

According to Article 28 in the Collective Agreement, 'there shall be a day of scheduled non-working time between rotations, scheduled on the final day of the preceding block for the purpose of travel between rotations'.  It is only intended for the last day of the rotation. If a Resident is already scheduled to be off, they are not entitled to any additional time off under Article 28.

Additionally, Article 28 relates only to mandatory rotations. For residents doing distributed electives, travel time should be discussed with their supervisor upon confirmation of the elective i.e day of scheduled non-working time at end of elective to allow for travel.


Residents are entitled 20 working days vacation.  The program recommends that residents take 10 working days in each half of the academic year. Where the vacation starts on a Monday and ends on a Friday without interruption, the weekends before and after are included in the vacation. Vacations of 10 days in length that begin on a Monday and end on a Friday will include the weekends before and after and the weekend between the two weeks.

Residents should give vacation requests, in writing, to the Site Director and Site Administrator within the first 6 weeks of the first and second halves of the Academic year. Certain sites require submission of vacation requests prior to beginning residency.
Residents can apply, in writing, to the Site Director for alternate vacation arrangements. This must be done at least 6 weeks before the date of the vacation.

Some sites have more ability to accommodate alternate vacation requests than others. The specific request will be dealt with in the context of the site and the resident’s educational needs. A decision to allow a variation from the policy will take into consideration scheduling needs, length of the rotation, on call needs, scheduled mandatory education activities and other factors that the Site Director deems important to the resident’s education.

Residents must attend all mandatory program activities.

Residents may take up to two flex days off per Academic Year. Part-Time Residents will receive flex days on a pro-rated basis.

Flex Days are not paid out and cannot be carried over into the next Academic Year.

Residents must ensure that the use of a flex day does not result in a failure to meet program and rotation requirements. Scheduling of the flex days must be agreed upon by the resident and site director. Residents must provide the site administrator with appropriate notice when requesting a flex day.

Refer to Section 19.04 Flexible Days Off of the 2022-2025 RDBC Collective Agreement for further details.

Residents are also entitled to five consecutive days off during the twelve-day period that encompasses Christmas, New Year Day and two full weekends. Those 5 days off are to account for the three statutory holidays, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year Day and 2 weekend days.

A Resident with another religion who does not celebrate Good Friday, Easter Monday and or Christmas Day, may designate an alternate paid holiday as a replacement. A request for replacement must be submitted before July 15 of each year to be approved by the Program Director.

Residents taking unpaid leave, including Maternity Leave, will have their vacation entitlement pro-rated.

Further policy issues on vacation and leave are laid out in the Resident Doctors of BC agreement, which can be found on the Resident Doctors of BC website.

Residents are required to complete certain courses (ie. NRP, ALARM) during their residency.
When residents are attending a mandatory course off-site on a Saturday or Sunday and are required to travel back to their site/rotation on the (weekend) day after the course has ended, the program can support time off in lieu. The following principles apply:

  • One-way travel under three hours: no time off
  • One-way travel between three-six hours: half-day (4hrs) off
  • One-way travel over six hours: full day off

Travel time can be supported through a Google map (if necessary).
If residents can return to their home site/rotation the same day that the course ends, they do not earn any lieu time.

Additionally, the Family Medicine Program will grant educational leave of 10 days over two years for the purpose of professional development activities including optional conferences, optional courses, or leadership training.

Sites will decide how many conference days will be allocated to the R1 and R2 year with a minimum of 3 conference days allocated to the R1 year. This policy will be site specific. Exceptions to site policy will be made at the discretion of the Site Director.

The opportunity to attend these activities is subject to the following stipulations:

  • Attendance must be approved by the Site Director
  • Attendance must be approved by the preceptor of the affected rotation
  • The professional activity must be directly relevant to family medicine.
  • The resident must be meeting expectations in clinical (ITARS) and academic (Scholarship/Assessment) expectations of the program. Residents undergoing remediation will not be permitted to have educational leave days during the remediation period.
  • Attendance will not be permitted during rotations that are subject to “no vacation requests”.
  • The resident may request to use his/her Resident Education Fund for costs associated with travel and registration

Residents who are accepted to present posters or workshops can request that these conference days be exempt from the 10 day restriction.

In order to use the designation CCFP (Certification in The College of Family Physicians), residents are required to successfully pass the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Certification Exam. In addition, residents are required to pass the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Part 1 exams in order to obtain the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) qualification.

Below is a summary of the Exam Leave for Family Practice residents. Refer to the Collective Agreement for a summary of Educational Leave.

CFPC: College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Certification Exam

  • Exam Information
  • Exam Duration/Period: Two parts, written on 2 different days
    • SAMP: Written component; computer-based short-answer management problems (in-person or virtual)
    • SOO: Oral component; simulated office oral exams (virtual only)
  • Exam Periods
    • Spring 2024 SAMP: April 9 - 11, 2024  (residents will be scheduled for 4 hours on one day; may request in-person or virtual)
    • Spring 2024 SOO: April 20 - 21, 2024 and April 27-28, 2024 (residents will be scheduled for five, 15-minute stations on a Saturday or Sunday; virtual only.)
    • Fall 2024 SAMP: October 15 - 16, 2024 (residents will be scheduled for 4 hours on one day)
    • Fall 2024  SOO: October 19 - 20, 2024 (residents will be scheduled for five, 15-minute stations on a Saturday or Sunday.)
    • CFPC manages scheduling; candidates self-select the date/time of the SAMP (at time of selection they will know the date/location/time of the SOO so that the most convenient SAMP time can be scheduled).
    • Applicants will be able to register for the Fall Exam from May 1 – June 30, 2024.
  • Locations:
    • To be determined.


Per the RDoBC Collective Agreement: “A Resident is entitled to seven (7) consecutive days without on-call duties, immediately prior to sitting the exam in order to study for qualifying or licensure examinations. ” This means that depending on which days you are scheduled to write each portion of the exam, you can request to be call-protected for the 7 days immediately prior to each portion. This request should not be reasonably withheld.


Our program also permits residents protected self-study time, free of clinical duties for 5 days immediately prior to the exam. This is not outlined in the Collective Agreement, as this is additional leave time approved by Family Practice. Due to the different time periods for the SAMP and SOO, we will allow residents to divide the 5 protected days immediately prior to each exam date should they wish to do so. These 5 days are in addition to the days required to write each portion of the exam, and to travel (if necessary).

  • For example: A resident can take 3 days off service immediately prior to their SAMP exam, and 2 days off immediately prior to their SOO exam, or they could take 4 days off immediately prior to their SAMP and 1 day off immediately prior to their SOO. A maximum of 5 days in total can be applied.
  • Stat holidays may be part of the protected time surrounding the exam(s); they are not additional days off. If you elect to use your off-service day(s) on the stat holidays, you cannot take another day off in lieu for the stat holiday.


Protected travel time is permitted if a resident needs to travel either to attend the in-person exam, or return home to a more suitable location to participate in the exam virtually. The RDoBC Collective Agreement states: “reasonable travel time is deemed to be one unscheduled day immediately prior to the examination, and an unscheduled day immediately following the examination for the purposes of travel in excess of 100 kilometers or which requires sea or air travel.” Travel day(s) are in addition to the days required to write each portion of the exam, and the 5 study days.

All residents should be available to return to service/on-call duties the day after their exam, unless they qualify for a travel day.

MCCQE II: Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam Part II

  • The MCC ceased delivery of the MCCQE Part II as of June 2021. Find more information here.

Updated: March 10, 2023

UBC Family Practice R2 IMG Return of Service Interviews

International Medical Graduate (IMG) residents have a Return of Service (ROS) contract with the Ministry of Health as a condition of accepting an IMG medical residency position. In the second year of residency training, IMG R2s arrange interviews with ROS clinics within an interview period established by their Health Authority.

The UBC Family Practice Residency Program grants IMG R2 residents two protected half days off clinical duties to attend ROS interviews.