Get answers to frequently asked questions.  


Why does B.C. need a new medical school?  

In B.C. and around the world, health care systems are facing significant challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic and toxic drug crisis have exposed weaknesses in health care systems, stretched services beyond capacity, placed extraordinary burdens on health care providers and revealed existing inequities and disparities in access to health care. A new medical school at SFU will add capacity in B.C., training physicians to meet the current and future needs of a growing and diverse population.

Why should a new medical school be at SFU?

Since its inception in 1965, SFU has inspired students, educators, researchers and alumni to make a difference in B.C. and around the world. SFU is well-known for its commitment to community engagement, community-led research and innovation, and is one of the fastest growing universities for research impact. With internationally recognized health sciences and science programs, SFU is home to leading researchers  who are tackling contemporary global challenges, including in health fields. All of these factors make SFU the best choice to develop a new approach to medical education.  

Where will the new medical school be located?

B.C.’s newest medical school will be located in Surrey, with the exact location still to be determined.

What is the development timeline of the Medical School? When will it open?

Following confirmation of provincial funding through Budget 2024 in February, SFU's Senate and Board of Governors will progress through their respective decision-making processes. Once approvals are obtained, the next few years will focus on recruiting and hiring faculty and staff, developing curriculum, achieving accreditation targets and admitting the first cohort of medical doctor program students. We anticipate that the school’s charter class will start in summer 2026, and students will attend classes at the Surrey campus and other interim spaces before a new building is built. Residency programs are anticipated to start in 2027. 

Will the medical school have a research focus?

SFU ranks consistently among Canada's top research-intensive universities in major national and global ranking systems, and research is a critical element of the medical school's foundational five pillars. Broadly, the medical school intends to support ground-breaking research across the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s four pillars (biomedical, clinical, health system services and population health) while aligning with SFU's 2023-2028 Strategic Research Plan (SRP) and existing human-health research.

Many SFU researchers are already responding to provincial health priorities, including health tech innovation, ageing, chronic disease prevention, health system changes, the pandemic and the opioid crisis. Partnerships between the medical school and SFU's health authority partners may deepen this expertise and find applications in new clinical, administrative and policy contexts.

Who will the medical school partner with?

SFU will be focused on working with Fraser Health and the First Nations Health Authority while creating province-wide impact, particularly in communities that need it most. SFU is also working closely with the Ministries of Health and Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills to ensure their input influences our medical education programs, delivers desired practice outcomes and meets B.C.'s population health goals. We are also developing respectful, mutually beneficial partnerships with other health authorities, the UBC Faculty of Medicine and other post-secondary institutions, and health professional and community support groups vital to the health and care of our diverse populations. For our future practical learning opportunities, clerkships and residency programs, hospitals and private clinics and practices will be valuable partners and essential for establishing clinical research environments. 

Programs and Admission

What programs will be offered?

The Medical School at SFU intends to offer a medical doctor (MD) program, residency programs (beginning with family medicine and family medicine enhanced skills) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs, including faculty development and training for the medical doctor and residency programs.

SFU has stated its new medical school will help to address the shortage of family doctors in B.C. Will the school only provide training in the field of family medicine, for those who want to be family doctors, or could learners pursue other areas of medical specialization?

Yes, learners can pursue other areas of medical specialization. While the medical school does intend to focus on training physicians who will ultimately provide community-level health care, a graduate of the SFU medical doctor program would be well-equipped to pursue residency training in any area of specialization.  

When will admissions requirements and processes for the Medical School be announced? 

Admission requirements for the medical doctor program are still being finalized and are subject to SFU Senate approval before being announced. Applications are expected to open in late Fall 2025/early Spring 2026 once the school receives preliminary accreditation.

Will SFU students have any advantage in the admissions process?

The medical school admission process will be open and accessible to qualified applicants across Canada. SFU plans to develop pathways to medical practice within its existing undergraduate programs soon.

How many students will be enrolled in the first cohort?

The medical school will confirm the initial number of students enrolled following the Senate and Board of Governor’s approvals and an anticipated provincial funding announcement in spring 2024. As the school grows, admissions will increase until maximum enrolment is reached.

How will the new medical school’s development impact other programs at SFU?

The Medical School at SFU will continue to build on SFU’s existing academic and research strengths across faculties and departments, explore interdisciplinary opportunities for students and faculty and offer opportunities for a variety of pathways to medical practice through existing undergraduate programs.

Will the school offer specific international medical graduates admission pathways?

SFU is working closely with the Ministry of Health to support residency opportunities for international medical graduates in all our planned postgraduate programs. We anticipate the first cohort of residents will start in Fall 2027.

What practical and clerkship opportunities will students have in the medical doctor program?

The medical school plans to partner with Fraser Health and the First Nations Health Authority to set up clinical locations, with future opportunities province-wide. The medical doctor program intends to have several clinical learning opportunities each year.

What residency opportunities are planned?

The medical school anticipates it will welcome its first cohort of residents in 2027 and will start with two residency training programs - family medicine and family medicine enhanced skills. Additional residency programs that focus on generalist specialties found in community practice settings, like psychiatry, pediatrics and internal medicine, may also be developed. 

What is accreditation, and why is this important? What steps has the Medical School AT sfu taken towards accreditation? 

Medical school accreditation is a rigorous external peer review process to ensure the school meets critical standards and ensures that graduates are sufficiently prepared to practice. The Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) oversees accreditation in Canada for medical doctor programs. The SFU Medical School has obtained applicant status with CACMS in 2023, which is the first step of the accreditation process.

Hiring/Join Us

When will a founding dean be hired?

The search for a founding dean is currently underway and we anticipate a hiring announcement in spring 2024.

When will faculty and staff be hired? How many positions will be available? 

Planning for the medical school, including establishing hiring processes for staff and faculty positions, continues as SFU awaits approvals from the Senate and Board of Governors and an anticipated funding announcement from the provincial government in spring 2024. In 2023-2024, we anticipate hiring for interim leadership roles and supporting roles. For more information and to see currently open positions, visit the contact page.

When will physicians be hired as clinical faculty? How many positions will be available?

Planning for the medical school, including establishing hiring processes for new clinical positions, continues as SFU awaits approvals from the Senate and Board of Governors in spring 2024, following funding confirmation from the provincial government in Budget 2024. We anticipate hiring for clinical faculty positions to support case-writing development and curriculum building. As more information and openings become available, they will be posted on our website.

Get Involved

How can I contribute to the school’s planning and development process? 

The team at the Medical School at SFU is committed to continued engagement with SFU students, faculty and staff, subject matter experts, community members and influential stakeholder groups such as physicians, health authorities and Indigenous partners for feedback, input and expertise. Sign up to be added to our email list and view our events to stay up-to-date.

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