Diversity and Inclusion

Importance of Diversity and Inclusion at Doctors of BC  

It's the right thing to do

BC doctors are a diverse group comprised of different genders, racial backgrounds, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, ages, specialties, practice locations and more. 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.

Benefits for the Association

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.

Doctors of BC Diversity and Inclusion Barrier Assessment

In 2019, Doctors of BC conducted broad member engagement to seek your views on how we can encourage greater diversity and inclusion within our governance bodies (committees, Representative Assembly, and the Board). The consultation focused on identifying and gaining a solid understanding of the existing barriers to ensuring our governance bodies are diverse and inclusive of all our members. We were not looking for ‘quick-fix’ solutions, but rather to thoroughly explore the challenges and possible solutions.  

Barrier Assessment

The extensive consultation process – including a survey of over 1400 members, focus/discussion groups and one-on-one interviews – formed the basis for the Doctors of BC Diversity and Inclusion Barrier Assessment report. The Barrier assessment summarizes the findings from the consultation report and makes 57 recommendations for increasing diversity and inclusion within our governance bodies.

What We Heard Report

For a high level overview of the consultation process and findings, please take a look at the What We Heard report.

Summary of Recommendations

For a summary of the 57 Barrier Assessment recommendations and a sense of how they relate to one another, please take a look at this summary of recommendations.

Current work on Diversity and Inclusion

The Barrier Assessment and recommendations were approved in principle by the Board in November, 2019. This means that 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.

Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Working Group

At its meeting in September 2020, the Doctors of BC Board of Directors approved the appointment of seven doctors and one medical student to the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Working Group. The Working Group will provide input on the implementation of the Barrier Assessment recommendations, but the group’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.

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

Highlights of past and current work to date:

There is significant work taking place behind the scenes to consider the feasibility and best approaches to implementing the Barrier Assessment Recommendations. Some highlights of the work that has been done to date are included below and will be updated as further progress is made:

  • Publish the Barrier Assessment and recommendations on the website and sharing them with our members via communications channels.
  • Investment in technology to enable virtual meetings and gatherings to make participation in governance bodies more accessible for members living in rural or remote areas, members with disabilities, and members who have small children at home.
  • Assigning a staff person to facilitate the process of exploring the feasibility and best approaches to implementing the recommendations.
  • 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.
  • Increasing physician awareness of opportunities to participate in governance bodies through increased promotion of opportunities and highlighting physicians serving on committees through the “Doctors Making a Difference" portion of our website.
  • Improving the planning and communication of work done by the Representative Assembly to keep members informed on the work and contributions of the Representative Assembly to strategic Doctors of BC priorities. Summaries of past RA meetings can be found here (member login required).
  • Setting up unconscious bias and diversity & inclusion training for members on committees, the Representative Assembly, and the Board to be delivered in 2021.
  • Developing a process to collect data and report on the demographic diversity of our membership and members serving on our governance bodies.

For more information on diversity and inclusion work at Doctors of BC, please email .