Letter of Reference Guide for UBC Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program Applications


Dear Whom It May Concern,

Thank you for agreeing to write a reference letter for entry into the UBC Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Program. Reference letters are a very important part of the selections process and are reviewed in detail. This guide is to assist you in the process.

Reference letters must be submitted by the application deadline. The letter should be emailed to the Subspecialty Education Coordinator (edu-prog.assistant@ubc.ca). References received after the application deadline may compromise your consideration for this program.

The letter of reference should not be read by the resident, and should include the statement “(Resident Name) has not and will not see the final contents of this letter.” Your letter of reference will be confidential and will be reviewed only by the Geriatric Psychiatry Selections Committee.

Prior to composing the letter you may want to ask the resident for a curriculum vitae or have a brief discussion with her/him in order to comment on both clinical and character skills as well as experiences and achievements. You are encouraged to include collegial impressions in addition to your own.

The content is similar to reference letters for entry to medical schools and postgraduate training programs. It should include information pertinent to CanMEDS competencies as well as personal content. CanMEDS competencies include the following areas:

  1. Medical Expert
  2. Communicator
  3. Collaborator
  4. Leader
  5. Health Advocate
  6. Scholar
  7. Professional

Please see the CanMEDS framework for more details.

Specifically, the UBC Geriatric Psychiatry Program would like to know about the resident’s:

  • Clinical skills including patient assessment and management skills
  • Specific areas of interest and skills in research, teaching, advocacy, manager roles
  • Personal achievements and diversity of experiences
  • Psychological mindedness and self-appraisal skills
  • Attitude and behaviour
  • Interpersonal skills and ability to work in teams
  • Communication skills
  • Sense of responsibility and motivation
  • Adaptability and open-mindedness

The UBC Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Program thanks you in advance for taking the time and effort for this very important part of our selection process.



Dr. Ashok Krishnamoorthy
Program Director
UBC Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Program