Course Spotlight: Flexible Enhanced Learning

FLEX (flexible and enhanced learning) is a new, innovative series of three courses in the renewed MD undergraduate program (MDUP).  It offers students unique opportunities to pursue a variety of scholarly activities within a defined learning space. FLEX complements the common curriculum by enabling students to explore individual learning interests in greater depth.

FLEX Activity Categories

FLEX Activity Categories


The FLEX course is designed to foster innovation, creativity, and critical thought.  It prepares graduates for roles as scholars and life-long learners across the full trajectory of their medical careers. The course framework supports self-directed learning. Students will pursue a variety of learning interests and select activities that begin to incorporate scholarly inquiry and social accountability into their future practice.

What will students do?

All students will begin their FLEX experience in Year 1 by taking a common component termed the Foundations of Scholarship (FoS). FoS consists of a series of small-group lectures and sessions.  It is designed to promote scholarly inquiry by providing students with a toolbox of skills, including:

  • an understanding of the different types of scholarly activities;
  • basic research skills;
  • communication and facilitation skills; and
  • best practices for engaging with communities.

The remainder of the FLEX course time will offer opportunities for students to engage in individualized learning activities (selected from a database or self-defined). The student experience will be supported by an evolving activity database hosting a variety of course and project options with contributions from students, community practitioners and organizations, researchers, other institutions, and faculty members.

What types of activities does it include?

Activities are grouped into ten categories:

  • Aboriginal Health;
  • Arts and Humanities;
  • Biomedical and Foundational Sciences;
  • Clinical Sciences;
  • Global Health;
  • Health Policy and Advocacy;
  • Medical Education;
  • Public Health;
  • Social, Cultural & Environmental Health; and
  • Other.


FLEX Activity Categories

FLEX Activity Categories


FLEX activities may be selected from a database or be self-defined.  They can include short courses, workshops, interprofessional experiences, chart reviews, research projects, community service learning options, or other options.

Students can pursue an activity as an individual or participate as part of a group. FLEX is a provincial-wide program with sites in Vancouver, Prince George, Victoria, and Kelowna.  It will support student, faculty and community (organization) collaboration across one or more MDUP sites or between Year 1 and Year 2 students.


FLEX spans the first three years of the medical undergraduate curriculum and is divided into 3 courses; Year 1: MEDD 419, Year 2: MEDD 429, and Year 3: MEDD 439.

FLEX course schedule

FLEX course schedule


Years 1 and 2 will utilize a combination of longitudinal half-days (Mondays, 1-5 pm) and dedicated block time, while Year 3 consists only of dedicated block time. Block time refers to consecutive weeks of time in each year in which a student is solely engaged with FLEX.

Each FLEX course can be broken down into individual FLEX sessions. Students may participate in a FLEX activity that occurs in a single FLEX session, or they may participate in a larger project that spans more than one FLEX session or more than one year.

For more information on FLEX, contact

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