Understanding the Current BMLSc Curriculum and Imagining the Future

Dr. Amanda Bradley
BMLSc Program

The BMLSc Program is a small program with a big heart, students with diverse interests and instructors dedicated to helping students learn about the multidisciplinary world of Pathology and Lab Medicine. Like no other program at UBC, BMLSc students benefit from the expertise of a huge number of individual instructors, currently 98 in total!

Our highly regarded Program supports students to become good citizens (quoting Dr. Bill Godolphin) and to have a variety of careers in research, biotech and healthcare. Many of our graduates pursue additional education (e.g. thesis/research based graduate programs and health professional programs including the MD program). While the existing BMLSc Program serves our students well, our overall curriculum could be improved. Our motivation to improve is primarily intrinsic; at the same time, our aim also fits well with UBC’s recently announced strategic plan. UBC has identified program redesign and the development of learning outcomes and competencies as vital components of undergraduate programs.

A systematic approach to review the curriculum is underway. The goal is to evaluate and make some targeted improvements in order to better support our students and graduates. Consequently, once we really understand the current curriculum, we will then engage key and keen individuals and support them to make the identified improvements.


The curriculum review and improvement journey to date includes the BMLSc report for the 2014 Departmental Review; creation of Learning Outcomes (statements of what students will be able to do/know/value) for course sections, courses, and for the Program overall; and the recent launch of the curriculum mapping survey. In addition, two curriculum changes have received Senate approval and are now in effect: the analytical chemistry course (CHEM 211) is no longer an admission requirement and can be taken during year 3; the instrumental analysis course (CHEM 311) is no longer required for graduation and is now an elective. All of these accomplishments would not have been achieved without the efforts of BMLSc Course Coordinators, Section Leads, instructors, staff, students, alumni, and our educational consultant from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, Roselynn Verwoord. I also wish to express my gratitude to the department members who have shared their ideas and visions for improvements, largely informally (so far). I have kept notes and won’t lose your ideas!

What's Next: Mapping the BMLSc Curriculum

Dr. Michael Sutherland
Associate Director,
BMLSc Program

The BMLSc Curriculum Mapping project builds on our curriculum review work to date. Program level learning outcomes (https://pathology.ubc.ca/educational-programs/bmlsc/program-level-learning-outcomes/), course level learning outcomes (key knowledge/attributes gained through completion of an individual course), and session level learning outcomes (what students take away from a particular session) are the key pillars. The mapping survey includes questions about the level of content complexity, assessment methods, and instructional methods.

I joined Amanda Bradley and Roselynn Verwoord late in 2017 to help generate a survey that would acquire this huge amount of information in a meaningful way. Several survey iterations were attempted as we determined how to capture needed information, given the complexity of our Program delivery (i.e. given that each of our dedicated educators may play one role or multiple roles including that of instructor, Course Coordinator, or Section Lead). Survey testers: Bojana Rakic, John O’Kusky, Corree Laule, Deb Chen, Juliana Liu, Jenny Tai, and Jennifer Xenakis provided critical feedback that prompted re-envisioning and refinement of the survey. The final survey product - surveys tailored for each individual BMLSc course - was distributed to our instructors in early June.

We are excited to share that the survey completion rate is over 90%! This is a testament to our instructors’ and course leaders’ dedication to the success of the BMLSc Program.

Compiling the survey data is underway. Connectivity between courses will be realized through mapping to the program outcomes and information obtained at the session level. The data will help identify any gaps within the program and provide an opportunity to further integrate the information we supply to our students across different courses. Most importantly, the curriculum mapping information will drive discussions amongst instructors and course leaders that will result in actionable targeted improvements. We will keep you posted as this exciting work continues!


Joanne Wouterse
Congratulations to our 2018 BMLSc Graduates and award recipients!

Congratulations to our 2018 BMLSc Graduates!

This May, eleven BMLSc graduates joined the Program alumni (now 563 strong). Ultimately, our success at educating and motivating students is most strongly reflected in what our graduates do in life after the program. This year’s graduates’ achievements include acceptances into a variety of very competitive professional and specialty programs including Dentistry, Pharmacy, Clinical Genetics Technology [BCIT] and the Masters of Science in Environmental Toxicology Program [University of Washington].

The outstanding academic achievements of the 36th graduating class of the BMLSc Program were recognized at the Pathology Day Reception. Congratulations to the award recipients!

Student Awards 2018

Daniel Kim was awarded both the Professor C.F.A. Culling Prize for highest overall academic standing of the graduating class and the Eugenie Phyllis and Philip Edward Reid Prize in Morphological Sciences for academic excellence in histology, histochemistry and microscopy.

Amanda Lieu received the B.J. Twaites Prize in Laboratory Administration, awarded to the student with the highest standing in PATH 408.

Stella Ge received the Donald M. McLean Prize in Medical Microbiology, awarded to the student with the highest standing in PATH 327.

Su Ji An received the Prize for Best Overall Performance in PATH 405, Seminars in Current Topics.

Graduates’ Choice for Teaching Excellence Awards

The graduates recognized the following instructors, who each received a BMLSc Graduates’ Choice for Teaching Excellence Award: Dr. Morris Pudek, Dr. Amanda Bradley, and Dr. Hanh Huynh. Alan Yang, BMLSc student liaison and new graduate, did a marvelous job of presenting the graduates’ choice awards.

Dr. Morris Pudek
Clinical Professor, UBC
Dr. Amanda Bradley
Senior Instructor, UBC
Dr. Hanh Huynh
Senior Instructor, UBC

Reid Memorial Cup

Ms. Jennifer Xenakis
Honorary Lecturer – BMLSc

Jennifer Xenakis was presented with the Reid Memorial Cup for the third consecutive year and her sixth time being honoured by the students. The recipient is chosen by the graduating class and recognizes an instructor, staff member or student who made an outstanding contribution to the students’ educational experience.