Diversity and Inclusion

Increasing diversity and inclusion among physician leaders at Doctors of BC

BC doctors are a diverse group comprised of different genders, racial backgrounds, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, ages, practice locations and more. It is important that everyone feels represented within our governance bodies – the Board, Representative Assembly and committees. As a member driven organization it is our duty to ensure that, regardless of their identity or background, all our members are represented and able to participate in the organization. This requires listening to all members, including those from traditionally underrepresented groups, and taking steps to reduce barriers to participation, ensuring that everyone has a voice at the table.

We know that when physicians of different backgrounds and experiences are engaged, they bring fresh ideas and perspectives. This means that we can do better job of strategizing and planning for the future in a way that is inclusive of the whole profession.

In 2019, Doctors of BC conducted a broad member engagement to seek your views on how we can encourage greater diversity and inclusion among our physician leaders. The consultation focused on identifying and gaining a solid understanding of the current barriers to achieving diversity. We sought to answer the question: Why are many physicians from these underrepresented groups not fully represented? We were not looking for ‘quick-fix’ solutions, but rather to thoroughly explore the challenges and possible solutions. We also wanted to hear about supports that we are offering now that are working well. 

The report and next steps 

The extensive consultation, including a survey, focus/discussion groups and one-on-one interviews, formed the basis for the Doctors of BC Diversity and Inclusion Barrier Assessment report, which includes over 50 recommendations. A high-level overview of the findings can be found in our What We Heard report.

The recommendations are now being considered in terms of feasibility and options for implementation. This process involves determining which recommendations can be implemented in the short term and considering options for implementation of more complex recommendations over the long term.

While this work is underway, Doctors of BC continues to move forward with implementing a number of key recommendations. They include:

  • Creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group. 
    ​At its September meeting, the Doctors of BC Board of Directors approved the appointments of seven doctors and one medical student to the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Working Group. The Working Group will provide input into the Barrier Assessment Report’s recommendations and their implementation, but it’s first priority will be to provide advice to the Board on the development of a high level statement that will make clear Doctors of BC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. This statement will serve as a guiding vision when considering many of the Barrier Report’s 57 recommendations.

    The members of the new Working Group are:

    • Dr Derek Chang, Family Doctor (Addiction Medicine specialty)
    • Dr Simone Cowan, Cardiologist
    • Dr Ahmer Karimuddin, Surgeon
    • Mr Jatinder Khatra, UBC Medical student
    • Dr Caroline Lohrisch, Oncologist
    • Dr Rola Masri, Family Doctor
    • Dr Olutoyese Oyelese, Family Doctor
    • Dr Kellie Whitehill, Gynecologist
  • Investment in technology to enable virtual meetings and gatherings.This has enabled Doctors of BC to adapt quickly to COVID-19, but has also ensured that participation in committees, the RA or the Board will be easier for members living in rural or remote areas, members with disabilities, and members who have small children at home.
  • Increasing physician awareness of opportunities. This is taking place through increased promotion of opportunities and profiles on physicians serving on committees through the “Doctors Making a Difference" portion of our website.
  • Introduction of a Code of Conduct* that sets minimum standard of conduct for all members of Doctors of BC when carrying out work on behalf of the Association.
  • Unconscious bias training. Researching and considering how best to deliver diversity and unconscious bias training for members involved in committees, the RA, and the Board.


This timeline highlights key steps being taken to consider the feasibility and best approaches to implementing the recommendations from the Doctors of BC Diversity and Inclusion Barrier Assessment. It will be updated regularly as key points of progress are made to address the remaining recommendations from the Barrier Assessment. Please check back for further updates to the timeline.


Doctors of BC thanks all of our members for your participation and support. Watch for updates and developments on this page.

Do you have a comment or question for us? E-mail communications@doctorsofbc.ca