Each year, we congratulate the many impressive contributions of physicians, residents, and medical students around British Columbia through our Doctors of BC Awards. Three awards are also open to members of the public, either individually are as part of an organization, who are working to improve the health and safety of British Columbians.
We would like to celebrate the 2022 recipients, each of whom has made a major impact on the profession, patients, and the health care system. They will be recognized at the annual Awards Celebration on January 28. Questions? Email.
Established in memory of the late Dr Donald Rix, this award recognizes lifetime achievements and exemplary physician leadership so outstanding that it serves as an inspiration and a challenge to the medical profession in British Columbia.
Dr Faisal Khosa
A respected radiologist and scholar, Dr Faisal Khosa’s work as an advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion makes him a worthy winner of the Don Rix Award. He has coached hundreds of students and physicians from underrepresented groups in academia at UBC, Vancouver Coastal Health, and more. With 257 peer-reviewed publications to his name, Dr Khosa is spearheading crucial research in gender and racial disparities in academia. He has also won an array of accolades, from the BC Achievement Foundation—Mitchell Award of Distinction, to the UBC Distinguished Achievement Award for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. His sustained commitment to equity makes him an inspiration to many.
The Dr David M Bachop Gold Medal is given to a BC doctor who has made an extraordinary contribution in the field of organized medicine and/or community service. Achievement should be so outstanding as to serve as an inspiration and a challenge to the medical profession in BC.
Dr Shannon McDonald
An exemplary medical leader in Indigenous health, Dr Shannon McDonald co-led the First Nations Health Authority for the past seven years. Her work has been consistently recognized over the course of her storied career, and includes receiving the 2022 National Healthcare Leadership Award from Health Care Excellence Canada and the First Nations Health Managers Association. Her work in protecting and promoting the health of Indigenous people in BC is rooted in collaboration, and she is a champion of institutional change. She has influenced many, and her work is a benchmark for outstanding creativity, fostering a healthy community, and cultivating safe spaces.
The Dr David M Bachop Silver Medal in general medical practice is presented annually to the UBC family practice resident or the practice-eligible British Columbia registered general practitioner who achieves the best overall result in the Family Practice Certification.
Dr Alysson Hamilton
Dr Alysson Hamilton is a resident family physician in the Kootenary Boundary Family Practice Residency Program. She currently lives in Rossland, BC. Originally from Salmon Arm, she is passionate about rural family medicine and is a keen cross-country skier.
The Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service is awarded to physicians who have made outstanding contributions to medicine and/or the improvement of British Columbians’ welfare.
Dr Ken Burns
Having begun his full-service family practice in Maple Ridge in 1980, Dr Burns’ storied career has seen him serve many groups, from his work as the inaugural chair of the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice to his previous tenures as president of both the Ridge Meadows Hospital Medical Staff Association and the same site’s Physician Engagement Society. He has been a long-standing member of the UBC Faculty of Medicine, mentoring many medical students as well as family practice residents. His welcoming and respectful nature earned him the respect of many colleagues throughout his impressive medical career.
Dr Hyman Fox
Dr Hyman (Hymie) Fox is recognized for his outstanding record of service with Doctors of BC and BC Family Doctors over the last four decades. He has served on numerous committees within both associations, bringing his strategic insight and creativity to each endeavour. With 14 years of experience on the Doctors of BC Statutory Negotiations Committee, he has been a voice of thoughtful consideration regarding fair economic reward for physicians, and a consistent source of innovative ideas. Dr Fox has done all of this and more while maintaining a busy full-service family practice, where his level of care towards his patients, staff, and colleagues, is well known. He currently still serves on the Negotiations Coordinating Group.
Dr Ian Gillespie
Dr Ian Gillespie has been involved with Doctors of BC for the past four decades, including serving as its president (2010-2011). As well as this vital leadership role, Dr Gillespie has held numerous positions on various committees, including 27 years on the Council on Health Promotion, with 6.5 of those years as chair; a member of the information technology, physician health, and emergency medical services committees; along with serving on the board for more than a decade. His work on these committees, along with that of the Physician Health Program and the Canadian Medical Association, demonstrate his varied interests and strong commitment to excellent medical care and physician wellbeing.
These awards recognize an individual, a non-profit, and an organization that are working to improve the health and safety of British Columbians. Nominees must have demonstrated a concern for health and safety through specific actions or initiatives that show ingenuity and creativity, and result in change with the potential for positive, long-term improvement.
Individual—Ms Camille Currie
The founder of grassroots patient advocacy group BC Healthcare Matters, Ms Camille Currie’s impassioned organizing to build a better health care system in the province has made a major difference. As a result of her leadership, the organization gathered more than 50,000 signatures on a petition presented to the provincial government as part of a campaign for timely access to a family doctors for all British Columbians who need ones. Ms Currie and her committed team of volunteers also organized two successful rallies at the BC legislature, and her work has shone a light on the primary care crisis at a crucial juncture.
BC-Based Non-Profit—The Colour Project
Staffed by trained volunteers, The Colour Project provides free, anonymous, one-to-one, and day-to-day emotional support via text to help people who are struggling with anxiety and/or depression. While not a crisis line, The Colour Project provides a safe space for mutual support and active listening. Volunteers undergo training informed by mental health professionals, and provide options for people to connect and talk. The initiative has its own app for volunteers to use, which ensures message centralization and user safety. Since its January 2021 launch, more than 100 peer support volunteers have been trained and have assisted more than 250 help-seekers. In total, 40,000 messages have been exchanged to date across Canada.
BC-Based Organization—Child and Youth Mental Health Community of Practice
A provincial group focused on identifying gaps in care for children and youth with mental health and substance use concerns, the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Community of Practice (CYMHSU CoP) began in 2017. Since then, the group has hosted educational events on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which have raised awareness and informed stakeholders about ways to mitigate their effects. The CoP elevates the voices of physicians who are passionate about the welfare of children and youth, allows them collaborate with others on a large scale, and is a respected initiative among other organizations in the province seeking to do similar transformative work.
Each year the Changemaker Award honours one medical resident and one medical student who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and dedication in advancing the policies, views, and goals of Doctors of BC or of a resident or student organization through grassroots advocacy efforts.
Student Changemaker: Mr Ishmam Bhuiyan
A strong advocate for social justice, Mr Ishmam Bhuiyan is a co-founder of COVID-19 Coming Together, a mutual aid group that organized pandemic-related relief around Greater Vancouver. He has continued this work with the UBC Climate Emergency Task Force, advocating for the safety of his fellow students. As well, he spearheaded the first harm reduction and drug-checking efforts at UBC’s Vancouver campus, and undertook a number of projects as chair of the UBC Social Justice Centre. His activism runs the gamut from housing justice and harm reduction, to tackling the climate emergency—his dedication is renowned.
Resident Changemaker: Dr Kimberley Chang
A family medicine resident, Dr Kimberley Chang’s tenacity and perseverance has led to an important research project, which she spearheaded during her R2 year’s rural rotation in Vanderhoof. The goal was to determine if it was possible to undertake an oral penicillin allergy challenge in a rural setting. The project encountered multiple obstacles, particularly regarding ethics approval, but after more than 100 hours of work and analysis, it was granted in February 2022. The results of the project will empower family physicians to undertake a safe and patient-centred protocol in the patient’s home community regarding penicillin allergy probability, which will improve patient care and reduce costs.
The Doctors of BC Presidential Scholars Award provides an endowment covering textbooks, and student and tuition fees for one medical student on an annual basis, for the full four years of their medical education at UBC. Emily Lam, a first-year medical student from Port Moody, who is passionate about equity in health care, joins three previous scholarship winners.
Honorary membership of the Canadian Medical Association is awarded to doctors who, at the age of 65, have been active members of the association for at least 10 years. Our BC awardees are held in high regard by their colleagues; they are humanitarians who have put into practice the aims and ideals of the medical profession, and exemplify the words of the CMA Coat of Arms: integritate et misericordia—integrity and compassion.
This year's honorary BC-based CMA awardees are:
If you know an individual or group whose work is deserving of an award, please consider nominating them for the 2023 Doctors of BC Awards. You can learn more, and access the nomination forms and criteria on our Awards page.