Department Spotlight: Velia Altamira Vazquez


Vancouver – Diamond Health Care Centre

Velia Altamira Vazquez, Postgraduate Education Program Manager (Interim) with UBC’s Department of Emergency Medicine.

How long have you worked in the department or with UBC?

I started working at UBC back in 2018 and recently joined the Department of Emergency Medicine in January 2023. It has only been three months and counting.

Can you summarize what you do in the department?  

As the Postgraduate Education Program Manager (Interim), my role is to oversee the Emergency Medicine Residency program (RCPSC-EM) and support the administrative team across sites. I work closely with the Program Director and Associate Program Directors to provide administrative support to ensure the residency program is running smoothly. A couple major pieces are overseeing the CaRMS process, Academic Day planning, and program finances. A big part of my role involves project management.

What is your favourite thing about working in the department?

There are too many things I am loving about this role. For example, I love how this residency program embraces quality assurance and looks for ways to improve processes and better serve its resident. I enjoy the ever-changing environment and continuing to look for new ways to improve our process.

And, of course, the humans on the team. I am new to postgraduate education and the admin team has been truly welcoming and generous in sharing their expertise; and the doctors on the leadership team are just amazing. I am in awe of the leadership team as these are all EM doctors working in EDs across the province that also devote time to educating the next generation of EM doctors. That’s a lot! Their commitment and energy is contagious and an inspiration to contribute back to the community in whatever way I can. If you ask me to choose one, then it’s the team.

What is one interesting fact about you that people may not know?

My family owns a bat cave. Or rather, my parents’ ranch in Mexico has a cave on it that is full of bats. I don’t know much more about the cave, because of the bats in it.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

I care deeply about EDI and I am currently completing a certificate. I also care deeply about making Latin culture more accessible and am joining the board of the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre.

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