Doctors of BC Annual Meeting 2016

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 58, No. 6, July August 2016, Pages 324-329 Beyond Medicine

4 June 2016, Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver, BC


Doctors of BC Elected Officials 2016–2017

President: Dr Alan Ruddiman

Past President: Dr Charles Webb

President-elect: Dr Trina Larsen Soles

Chair of the General Assembly: Dr Eric Cadesky

Honorary Secretary Treasurer: Dr David Wilson


Chaired by Dr Michael Golbey, the 2016 annual meeting and assembly ran with efficiency and precision. Here are a few highlights from the meeting.

President’s Report

Past President Dr Charles Webb reflected on his year in office, mentioning the significant progress made regarding young member engagement and the continuing work toward a new governance structure. Dr Webb also reiterated his thanks to the organization’s staff, who made serving his term as president a pleasure, noting that the small crowd in attendance at the meeting was a testament to members’ satisfaction with the association and a positive reflection of the thorough coverage and dissemination of information that Doctors of BC provides to the membership throughout the year.

Chief Executive Officer’s Report

Mr Allan Seckel took time to thank everyone who works to make Doctors of BC a success, including the 207 employees across the organization and partner programs, and highlighted three notable activities from the past year: first, the engagement of facility-based physicians and the efforts in place to meet the successes that Divisions of Family Practice has achieved for family doctors; second, the progress made in the ongoing building renovations that will accommodate employees without increasing the organization’s footprint in the building; and third, the association’s achievement in being certified as a Great Place to Work in 2016, and the impact that a highly engaged workforce has on supporting the membership to also be highly engaged with their work in the community.

Report of the Audit and Finance Committee

Dr Michael Curry, Chair of Audit and Finance Committee, spoke about the organization’s strong financial position and thanked committee members and senior staff in the association for their hard work over the course of the year. Dr Curry also proposed a motion that there be no dues increase in the coming year, thanks to the association’s strong financial circumstances. The motion was accepted.

Financial highlights for 2015 are provided on page 13 of the Doctors of BC 2015–2016 Annual Report, along with a link to the complete audited financial statements (

Dr Mark Corbett, Dr Michael Curry, and Dr Michelle Chiu were elected by the assembly as the members-at-large of the Audit and Finance Committee for the coming year.

Report of the Governance Committee

Dr Bill Cavers, Governance Committee chair, provided a quick update on the proposed restructuring of the association’s governance model, which would create a small Board with a Representative Assembly. Visit the Doctors of BC website in July/August for more information about a web-based consultation opportunity to provide input about the new proposed model.

Report of the Society of Specialists

Dr John Falconer, Specialists of BC president, noted that the society will be approaching access and measurement as a theme for the upcoming year, and will begin a project to measure, among other things, wait times for surgeries and to tackle the question of how to improve access to care without increasing costs.

New business: How to train and retain

After a thoughtful discussion about the challenge of replacing the many retiring physicians in BC, the need to develop a strategy to train and retain physicians in rural areas, and the need for expanded education for physicians in other areas and specialties, the following two motions were passed:

  1. That the SGP and Doctors of BC engage with the Ministry of Health, UBC, and health authorities to support the medical education of future physicians in longitudinal primary care, and that this be considered for future negotiations.
  2. That Doctors of BC, SGP, and Specialists of BC engage with the Ministry of Health, UBC, and health authorities to develop and address an appropriate physician human resource plan and strategic road map to meet the needs of the population of BC.

Learn more about Doctors of BC

To learn more about Doctors of BC activities and operations, read the online Doctors of BC 2015–2016 Annual Report, its associated 2015–2016 White Report, and the full financial statements, available at

Excerpts from remarks made by new Doctors of BC president Alan Ruddiman at his lunchtime address

“I’ve not forgotten it was a bit of a journey to get here—more so than in previous elections. And I don’t take for granted there are varied and strong opinions among our membership as to the direction our health care system could and should be taking.”

. . .

“I hope that during this upcoming year, all of us—the Board, family doctors, specialist physicians, urban and rural practitioners, young doctors, quite frankly all doctors—can work together and support one another. . . . We have a formidable challenge facing us, all of us in this room, all of us involved in health care today. We need not look further than the 2014 comparative scorecard from the Commonwealth Fund highlights, Canada. Out of 11 health care systems in advanced countries, Canada came in a lowly number 10, just ahead of the USA at number 11.”

. . .

Medical professionalism

“Physicians take great pride in our profession’s longstanding traditions of altruism, the use of scientific evidence, and the value and merits of the social contract. We’re aware of our duty to take good care of our patients although not to the extent that physicians sacrifice their health. I believe we also have a duty to society as whole.”

. . .

“I have been a family doctor in Oliver, BC, for nearly 20 years, but for the previous 5 I practised in other rural parts of the country. Like many of you, I had an outstanding education in medicine; many professors and doctors instilled in me a passion for practice and continuous learning, lifelong learning. I truly value teaching and have become involved in training medical students.

I also value being a rural generalist physician because I get to experience all areas of system, and how it works or doesn’t. I experience both the frustrations and the rewards.”

. . .

“Even though our association is located at 1665 West Broadway in Vancouver, I will make it my business to connect and consult broadly with specialists and generalists across the province. I will endeavor to connect doctors with each other, and doctors with their association.”

. . .

Support of our association

“As you’re aware, nearly 3 years ago, Doctors of BC developed a strategic plan to help guide the profession forward. That strategic plan has helped us take greater leadership and a confirmed direction. The ultimate goal of the Strategic Plan—to maximize the professional satisfaction of doctors—is accomplished by achieving a high standard of health care and fair economic reward. Today we have 35 divisions of family practice in 230 communities around the province. . . . As well, we now have nearly 50 fully functioning medical staff associations (MSAs). These MSAs have their own governance structure, funding, and resources—all this so that facility-based doctors can more effectively engage and contribute to health authority decision making. We have made great strides in just a couple of years.”

. . .

Leadership in our association and on the Board

“Our Board is a fascinating example of how different values and opinions can work together. Just like I wouldn’t take for granted the differing opinions among the membership, I truly value the different opinions at the Board table. I appreciate every Board member who contributes to discussions and wants to make a meaningful difference. One of the qualities I would like to bring to the Board this year is temperance. This may help us be more efficient with our work.”

. . .

“To help make the work of the Board more apparent to everyday members, I have a few steps I am hoping to introduce and implement.
“One step is to bring the association to members, since they can’t all come to us. So why don’t we bring a camera into the association and introduce the staff, show off the building, visit the boardroom.”

. . .

“Another step is to invite a different physician member to attend Board meetings. An opportunity for the Board to meet and hear the ideas and thoughts of members would be mutually beneficial. As I travel around the province I will be meeting with many physicians. I will also be on the lookout for doctors who may have something of interest to offer the Board, and who can take something back and share it with their physician community.”

. . .

“This fall, a proposed model for governance reform—one that will see a smaller Board plus a larger Representative Assembly—will be sent out to members. We should know the results of the referendum soon after, and what the future makeup of the Board will look like.

“Your Board has just approved a position paper on family caregivers in this province. Informal caregivers—such as spouses, loved ones, extended family—are required to do more and more, with less and less. Their health and safety are now becoming serious concerns. Doctors are well positioned to support and advocate for informal caregivers and can have a positive impact on their health and well-being. Our official position and accompanying resources will be released in September.”

. . .

The environment we practise in, the world we work in

“Today the profession is being challenged. We are under the daily threats of the corporatization of medicine, and the efforts by some to de-professionalize our role as the recognized and fully trained experts in medicine.”

. . .

“We are experiencing a not-so-subtle shift of nonclinical, administrative, and clerical tasks to physicians—this is not a productive use of our time and energy. The issue is that our two work models simply clash. Doctors are the core experts in the knowledge of medicine—we certainly don’t want to give that away.”

. . .

“Our divisions of family practice continue to grow. With regard to the MSAs, Doctors of BC continues to work with health authorities to create a constructive environment that promotes professional working relationships. We need an environment and conditions to support front-line physicians to be more engaged, more influential, and to have a more powerful voice to promote innovation and reform with health authorities.

“I’ve also heard from our specialist colleagues. We need to do more to support them. And [we need an environment] in which every health authority CEO has signed the memorandum of understanding to support this move.”

. . .


“You know, we are fortunate to have made the choice to pursue medicine because today we get to experience a meaningful and yet truly humbling professional career. We are highly educated, well trained, and indeed the experts in modern-day medicine. However, our patients, health care colleagues, and governments must not take that for granted.”

. . .

“Yes, we can always do better. Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot rest or be complacent. We cannot rest on our laurels. So please, let’s all work together. Let’s rebuild the foundation upon which our sense of professionalism is based. We need to improve our scorecard. We should place better than 10th out of 11.”
—Alan Ruddiman, MBBCh, Dip PEMP, FRRMS

2016 annual Doctors of BC awards

Dr David M. Bachop Awards

Dr David Bachop was born in Scotland and graduated from Edinburgh University in 1955. He interned at the Royal Infirmary where he won the Murdoch-Brown Silver Medal in clinical medicine. Dr Bachop practised general medicine in Vancouver from 1956 until his death in 1988. His dedication to patients and the principles of clinical medicine won him the respect of his patients and colleagues. In 1988, the Dr David Bachop Awards Fund was established to honor his memory and to uphold the principles by which he lived his life.

Silver Medal in General Medical Practice: Dr Sarah Yager

Gold Medal for Distinguished Medical Service: Dr Katherine Paton

Dr Don Rix Award for Physician Leadership

Dr Donald Rix was the founder and chair of MDS Metro Laboratory Services, now known as LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services. He was a pathologist, philanthropist, community volunteer, and businessman until his death in 2009. The Dr Don Rix Award for Physician Leadership was established in 2010 to recognize exemplary physician leadership and lifetime achievement that is so outstanding that it serves as an inspiration and a challenge to the medical profession in British Columbia.

Dr Don Rix Award for Physician Leadership: Dr David Hardwick

Dr Campbell Joseph Coady Award

Dr Cam Coady was born in Vancouver, educated at Vancouver College and the University of British Columbia, and subsequently graduated in medicine from McGill University in 1949. He became the director of laboratories at the Royal Columbian Hospital in January 1958, where he developed a unique health care delivery program for laboratory medicine in the Fraser Valley area of British Columbia. Dr Coady took a keen interest in professional, hospital, medical, and technical organizations, serving on many committees and advisory bodies. Dr Coady died in May 1988, and the Dr Coady Foundation was established to commemorate his great love of medicine and to ensure that his objectives to achieve excellence in health care continue to be fostered.

Dr Campbell Joseph Coady Award: Dr Shelley Ross

Doctors of BC Changemaker Awards

Changemaker Awards recognize a Doctors of BC medical resident member and a medical student member who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and dedication to the cause of advancing the policies, views, and goals of Doctors of BC, or of a medical resident/student organization in BC, through grassroots advocacy efforts.

Student Advocate Award: Mr Arun Agha

Resident Advocate Award: Dr Brandon Sheffield

Doctors of BC Excellence in Health Promotion Award

This annual award honors the specific efforts of an individual and a corporate sector group striving to improve the health and wellness of British Columbians through dedicated health promotion activities. In recognizing these efforts, Doctors of BC hopes to encourage and foster health promotion work in the province.

Individual Award: Dr Kelvin Houghton

Individual Award: Dr Derek Poteryko

Non-Profit Award: Opt BC (Options for Sexual Health), accepted by Dr Marisa Collins, Medical Director

Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service

Established in 1986, the Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service confers the association’s highest honor. Criteria for the award are long and distinguished service to the association, outstanding contributions to medicine or political involvement in BC or Canada, or outstanding contributions by a layperson to medicine or to the welfare of the people of BC or Canada.

Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service: Dr Paul Dubord

Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service: Dr David Fairholm

Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service: Dr Michael Golbey

CMA Honorary Membership Awards

Dr Geoff Appleton
Dr John Fleetham
Dr Kenneth Fung
Dr William McDonald
Dr Evelyn Shukin
Dr Paul Thiessen
Dr Hugh Tildesley, posthumously


This article has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.


Ms Jablkowski is the associate editor of the BCMJ.

Joanne Jablkowski. Doctors of BC Annual Meeting 2016. BCMJ, Vol. 58, No. 6, July, August, 2016, Page(s) 324-329 - Beyond Medicine.

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