UGME Year 1&2 Curriculum Subcommittee — Terms of Reference

Purpose and Authority

The purpose of this subcommittee is to:

  • Plan, implement, and manage Years 1&2 of the four-year UGME program across all four sites, according to the policies, curriculum, and direction set forth by the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee (UGMEC), and in close collaboration with the Years 3&4 Curriculum Subcommittee, the Curriculum Integration Advisory Council, and the Student Assessment Subcommittee (SAS).
  • Recommend to the UGME Committee substantive changes to the Years 1& 2 curriculum content, approach to implementation, and/or evaluation, as needed.


This subcommittee is comprised of ex officio and appointed members.

The Faculty of Medicine’s commitment to equitable and diverse membership on its committees and advisory councils guides its nomination and selection process.

Voting Members

Ex officio

  • Associate Director of Curriculum, Years 1&2 (Chair) (1)
  • Director of Curriculum (Vice-Chair) (1)
  • Director of Assessment (1)
  • Course Lead for MEDD411 (1)
  • Course Leads for MEDD412 (2)
  • Course Lead for MEDD421 (1)
  • Course Lead for MEDD422/TICE (1)
  • Course Leads for FLEX (2)
  • Clinical Skills Provincial Lead (1)
  • Family Practice Provincial Lead (1)
  • Site Leads: VFMP (2), IMP (1), NMP (1), and SMP (1)
  • Program Managers: VFMP (1), IMP (1), NMP (1), and SMP (1)
  • Clinical Skills Provincial Manager (1)
  • Family Practice Provincial Manager (1)
  • CBL Provincial Manager (1)
  • FLEX Provincial Manager (1)


  • One Assistant Dean (rotating among sites) (1)
  • Five UGME Year 1 Student Representatives: Class President (1), VP Academic VFMP (1), VP Academic IMP (1), VP Academic NMP (1), VP Academic SMP (1)
  • Five UGME Year 2 Student Representatives: Class President (1), VP Academic VFMP (1), VP Academic IMP (1), VP Academic NMP (1), VP Academic SMP (1)

Non-voting Members

Ex officio

  • Associate Director, Curriculum, Years 3&4 (1)


  • One Theme Lead (1)
  • One System Lead (1)
  • One Curriculum Management Unit member (1)
  • One Evaluation Studies Unit member (1)
  • One Provincial Learner Assessment Team member (1)
  • One Office of Faculty Development member (1)
  • One Student Affairs member (1)
  • One Technology Enabled Learning member (1)
  • One Librarian (1)

Corresponding Members

Ex officio

  • Clinical Skills Site Directors
  • Family Medicine Site Directors
  • CBL Site Leads
  • MUS VP Academic Junior

Guests may be invited to join specific meetings or portions of specific meetings at the co-chairs’ discretion.

Appointment Process

Ex officio members are members by virtue of their administrative appointment.

Appointed students are appointed by the Medical Undergraduate Society at the request of the Faculty of Medicine.

Other appointed members are appointed by the chair.


Ex officio members are members as long as they hold their administrative appointment.

Appointed students are members for a one-year term.

Other appointed members are members for a two-year term.


Chaired by the Associate Director, Curriculum, Years 1&2. The Director, Curriculum is the vice-chair.

Meeting Schedule and Administration

Normally meets approximately once per month and at the call of the chair.

All members, except corresponding members, are expected to attend all meetings in person or via videoconference or phone. Corresponding members may join at their discretion.

A staff member from the UGME Program Office will capture meeting minutes. Minutes will be circulated to all members.

Records will be maintained in accordance with UBC and Faculty of Medicine records retention procedures.

Quorum and Decision Making Process

Quorum consists of 50% plus one of voting members, and the presence of voting members from at least two sites.

Decisions are made by vote, requiring 50% plus one of voting members present to pass. A tie vote will be recorded and escalated to the UGME Committee for resolution.

Voting members may send an alternate if they cannot attend.

Lines of Accountability and Communication

This subcommittee:

  • Takes direction from, and makes recommendations to, the UGME Committee.
  • Seeks advice before making recommendations to the UGMEC from:
    1. the Curriculum Integration Advisory Council regarding pedagogical implications;
    2. the Regional and Resource Advisory Council (RRAC) regarding resource implications (human, financial or infrastructural);
  • Works collaboratively with the Year 3&4 Curriculum Subcommittee and the Student Assessment Subcommittee.
  • Reports to the UGME Committee on an annual basis.

Representatives of this subcommittee liaise with other academic and administrative committees and advisory councils, as needed.


This subcommittee:

  1. Plans, implements, and manages operations of the Years 1&2 curriculum, so that it is delivered effectively and comparably across all four program sites. [6.3[i], 6.6[ii],6.7[iii] 7.1 – 7.9[iv] , 3.2[v] , 8.7[vi]
  2. Makes operational decisions relating to Years 1 & 2 and informs the UGMEC, as needed.
  3. Receives recommendations from Years 1 & 2 programmatic stakeholders[1] for content or structural changes to their respective curriculum components and makes recommendations to the UGME Committee for approval.
  4. Ensures that Years 1 & 2 session level learning objectives map to the week objectives, and course level learning objectives, which in turn map to the overall UGME Program exit competencies, in accordance with CACMS standards [8.2[vii]], and ensures that they are disseminated [6.1[viii]].
  5. Liaises with the Student Assessment Subcommittee to ensure that student assessments map to the appropriate session objectives, week-level objectives, course learning outcomes, and ultimately the UGME program exit competencies. Any proposed changes to assessments are made to the Student Assessment Subcommittee for consideration and potential recommendation to the UGMEC.
  6. Receives and endorses evaluation reports from the Evaluation Studies Unit (ESU) on the educational experiences in Years 1 & 2.  Assigns responsibility for action on evaluation recommendations to the appropriate individuals/units. Follows up on the actions taken to address these recommendations. Reports on the implementation status of program improvement recommendations to the UGMEC. [8.5[ix]]
  7. Makes annual Academic Calendar recommendation to the UGME following consultation with Years 1&2 program stakeholders; approves and monitors course and week schedules and adherence to Policy # 009 – Time for Independent Study. [8.8[x]]
  8. Promotes a respectful learning environment; identifies and promptly addresses student mistreatment and other violations of the Faculty’s Professional Standards.[3.5[xi], 3.6[xii]]
  9. Reviews proposals and evaluation plans for Years 1 & 2 curriculum pilots and innovations and makes recommendations for approval to the UGMEC. Reviews evaluations post-implementation, identifies required changes, and recommends transition from pilot to operations, or not, to the UGMEC and the RRAC.
  10. Consults with other stakeholders (e.g., SAS, Educational Assessment Unit, Curriculum Management Unit, Technology Enabled Learning, Office of Faculty Development (OFD), Library Subcommittee, Years 3&4 Curriculum Subcommittee) regarding the implications of proposed curricular changes prior to making recommendations or approvals.
  11. Establishes working groups for specific projects as required, with the chairs of the working groups drawn from the Years 1&2 Curriculum Subcommittee. Non-members may be invited to join these working groups. The Years 1&2 Curriculum Subcommittee will review the recommendations of the working groups and determine next steps.
  12. Ensures Years 1 & 2 curriculum components comply with relevant Committee of Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) accreditation standards.
  13. Reviews Years 1 & 2 Curriculum Subcommittee terms of reference in June of each year, and recommends changes to the UGME Committee, if needed.

[1] Stakeholders may include Course Co-Leads, Clinical Experiences, Systems, Themes, CBL Faculty Lead, Student Assessment, Site Leads, Admin Leads,


This version of these terms of reference has been approved by the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee on May 17th, 2021.

Version History

  • Revised on April 7, 2021
  • Approved by the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee on February 19, 2018
  • Revised on November 3, 2015
  • Revised on November 3, 2015
  • Received by Faculty Executive on September 15, 2015
  • Approved by MD Undergraduate Regional Executive (MDUREX) on August 25, 2015
  • Approved by MD Undergraduate Education Committee (MDUEC) on August 17, 2015

[i] 6.3 Self-Directed and Life-Long Learning
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes self-directed learning experiences and time for independent study to allow medical students to develop the skills of lifelong learning. Self-directed learning involves medical students’ self-assessment of learning needs; independent identification, analysis, and synthesis of relevant information; and appraisal of the credibility of information sources.

[ii] 6.6 Service-Learning
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical education program provides sufficient opportunities for, encourages, and supports medical student participation in service-learning and community service activities.

[iii] 6.7 Academic Environments
The faculty of a medical school ensure that medical students have opportunities to learn in academic environments that permit interaction with students enrolled in other health professions, graduate, and professional degree programs, and opportunities to interact with residents in clinical environments and with physicians in continuing medical education activities.

[iv] 7.1 Biomedical, Behavioral, Social Sciences
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes content from the biomedical, behavioral, and socioeconomic sciences to support medical students’ mastery of contemporary scientific knowledge and concepts and the methods fundamental to applying them to the health of individuals and populations.
7.2 Organ Systems/Life Cycle/Primary Care/Prevention/Wellness/Symptoms/Signs/ Differential Diagnosis, Treatment Planning, Impact of Behavioral/Social Factors
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes content and clinical experiences related to each organ system; each phase of the human life cycle; continuity of care; and preventive, acute, chronic, rehabilitative, end-of-life, and primary care in order to prepare students to:

  1. Recognize wellness, determinants of health, and opportunities for health promotion and illness prevention.
  2. Recognize and interpret symptoms and signs of disease.
  3. Develop differential diagnoses and treatment plans.   
  4. Recognize the potential health-related impact on patients of behavioral and socioeconomic factors.
  5. Assist patients in addressing health-related issues involving all organ systems.

7.3 Scientific Method/Clinical/Translational Research
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes instruction in the scientific method (including hands-on or simulated exercises in which medical students collect or use data to test and/or verify hypotheses or address questions about biomedical phenomena) and in the basic scientific and ethical principles of clinical and translational research (including the ways in which such research is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients, and applied to patient care).

7.4 Critical Judgment/Problem-Solving Skills
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum incorporates the fundamental principles of medicine and provides opportunities for medical students to develop clinical decision-making skills (i.e., clinical reasoning and clinical critical thinking) including critical appraisal of new evidence, and application of the best available information to the care of patients. These required learning experiences enhance medical students’ skills to solve problems of health and illness.

7.5 Societal Problems
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes instruction in the diagnosis, prevention, appropriate reporting, and treatment of the medical consequences of common societal problems.

7.6 Cultural Competence/Health Care Disparities/Personal Bias
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum provides opportunities for medical students to learn to recognize and appropriately address gender and cultural biases in themselves, in others, and in the health care delivery process. The medical curriculum includes instruction regarding:

  1. The manner in which people of diverse cultures and belief systems perceive health and illness and respond to various symptoms, diseases, and treatments.
  2. The basic principles of culturally competent health care.
  3. The recognition and development of solutions for health care disparities.
  4. The importance of meeting the health care needs of medically underserved populations.
  5. The development of core professional attributes (e.g., altruism, accountability) needed to provide effective care in a multidimensional diverse society.

7.7 Medical Ethics
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes instruction for medical students in medical ethics and human values both prior to and during their participation in patient care activities and requires its medical students to behave ethically in caring for patients and in relating to patients’ families and others involved in patient care.

7.8 Communication Skills
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes specific instruction in communication skills as they relate to communication with patients and their families, colleagues, and other health professionals.

7.9 Interprofessional Collaborative Skills
The faculty of a medical school ensure that the core curriculum prepares medical students to function collaboratively on health care teams that include health professionals from other disciplines as they provide coordinated services to patients. These required curricular experiences include practitioners and/or students from the other health professions.

[v] 3.2 Community of Scholars/Research Opportunities
A medical education program is conducted in an environment that fosters the intellectual challenge and spirit of inquiry appropriate to a community of scholars and provides sufficient opportunities, encouragement, and support for medical student participation in research and other scholarly activities of its faculty

[vi] 8.7 Comparability of Education/Assessment
A medical school ensures that the medical curriculum includes comparable educational experiences and equivalent methods of assessment across all locations within a given required learning experience to ensure that all medical students achieve the same learning objectives.

[vii] 8.2 Use of Medical Educational Program Objectives
The faculty of a medical school, through the curriculum committee, ensure that the formally adopted medical education program objectives are used to guide the selection of curriculum content, to review and revise the curriculum, and to establish the basis for evaluating program effectiveness. The learning objectives of each required learning experience are linked to the medical education program objectives.

[viii] 6.1 Program and Learning Objectives
The faculty of a medical school define its medical education program objectives in competency-based terms that reflect and support the continuum of medical education in Canada and allow the assessment of medical students’ progress in developing the competencies for entry into residency and expected by the profession and the public of a physician. The medical school makes these medical education program objectives known to all medical students and faculty members with leadership roles in the medical education program, and others with substantial responsibility for medical student education and assessment. In addition, the medical school ensures that the learning objectives for each required learning experience are made known to all medical students and those faculty, residents, and others with teaching and assessment responsibilities in those required experiences.

[ix] 8.5 Medical Student Feedback
In evaluating medical education program quality, a medical school has formal processes in place to collect and consider medical student evaluations of their required learning experiences, teachers, and other relevant aspects of the medical education program.

[x] 8.8 Monitoring Time Spent in Educational and Clinical Activities
The curriculum committee and the program’s administration and leadership implement effective policies and procedures regarding the amount of time medical students spend in required activities, including the total number of hours medical students are required to spend in clinical and educational activities during required clinical learning experiences.

[xi] 3.5 Learning Environment/Professionalism
A medical school ensures that the learning environment of its medical education program is:
a) conducive to the ongoing development of explicit and appropriate professional behaviors in its medical students, faculty, and staff at all locations;
b) one in which all individuals are treated with respect.

The medical school and its clinical affiliates share the responsibility for periodic evaluation of the learning environment in order to:
a) identify positive and negative influences on the maintenance of professional standards
b) implement appropriate strategies to enhance positive and mitigate negative influences
c) identify and promptly correct violations of professional standards.

[xii] 3.6 Student Mistreatment
A medical school defines and publicizes its code of conduct for the faculty-student relationship in its medical education program, develops effective written policies that address violations of the code, has effective mechanisms in place for a prompt response to any complaints, and supports educational activities aimed at preventing inappropriate behaviors. Mechanisms for reporting violations of the code of conduct (e.g., incidents of harassment or abuse) are understood by students and ensure that any violations can be registered and investigated without fear of retaliation.