Volunteer Patients

“The volunteers gave me the opportunity to learn skills that are real and memorable, which would not be possible if I were learning it from a book or a plastic model.” 2nd Year Medical Student

Volunteer patients are members of the general public who contribute in a valuable and unique way to the education and training of future doctors.

Volunteer patients participate “as themselves” to help medical students learn and practice their clinical skills in performing physical exams, interviewing and taking a medical history, under the watchful guidance of a fully-qualified physician.

  • Sessions are held at UBC main Campus, Vancouver General, St. Paul’s, Royal Columbian Hospitals, Tuesday to Friday afternoons, with most sessions running two hours. The Volunteer Patient Programme offers you the flexibility to choose the most convenient location.
  • To offset travel and parking expenses we provide volunteer patients with $20 per session.
  • Volunteer patients may be asked to change into a hospital gown, so that different areas of the body (such as knees, feet, shoulders, upper abdomen, chest, etc.) may be examined. No sensitive areas (such as breast or groin) are examined. Some sessions are for interviews only.
  • No medical advice will be given. We do not take blood or other samples, perform x-rays or other tests or dispense medications.

We are continually recruiting and almost everyone is suitable to be a volunteer patient. No prior training or experience necessary.


If you are interested in volunteering, either as a healthy patient or as someone with symptoms or chronic illness, please contact:
Rosy Pacheva, Volunteer Patient Co-ordinator