Vancouver physicians honoured for career achievements

Six outstanding VCH-Vancouver physicians and their teams were acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to clinical service and patient care at the annual Vancouver Medical Staff Association Awards on June 18.

Nominated by their peers and carefully chosen by a selection committee, the award winners were celebrated for their dedication and excellence in areas ranging from research and education to clinical practice and service. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for your exceptional commitment.

Dr. Peter Dolman: Bobby Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching

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Left to right: Drs. David Maberley, ​Peter Dolman and Simon Rabkin, president of the Vancouver Medical, Dental & Allied Staff Association​.

The Department of Ophthalmology has just reason to be proud of having Dr. Peter Dolman on staff. As an oculoplastic surgeon, he has worked with many underserved communities. As a renowned teacher, he provides instruction both in clinic settings and in operating rooms. He shares his knowledge and expertise with ophthalmology students as well as ear, nose and throat and plastic surgery residents. Since 1993, he has taught and mentored 48 clinical Fellows.

Dr. Dolman is known throughout the world for his excellence. He has taught Fellows from 25 countries outside Canada including Australia, Chile, India and Saudi Arabia. In so doing, he has improved the quality of health care worldwide.

Dr. Dolman presented the keynote invited lecture at the British Oculoplastics Society recently and was also a visiting professor at Dalhousie University; he has delivered lectures internationally on 95 occasions. He received the Ophthalmology Resident Teaching award in 1993 and the Department of Ophthalmology Teaching Award in 1995.

​Dr. Jacqueline Saw: Scientific Achievement Award

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Left to right: Drs. Ken Gin, Jacqueline Saw and Simon Rabkin.

When Dr. Jacqueline Saw noticed young women with myocardial infarction (MI) often had an unusual appearance of their coronary arteries, her curiosity was piqued. Through meticulous review of hundreds of these cases, she found that up to 25 per cent of MIs in young women were due to spontaneous coronary artery dissection rather than atheromatous disease. Dr. Saw’s seminal observations have led to increased diagnosis of this entity nationally and internationally and she has gone on to lead research in this area and established a Canadian Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) registry.

Dr. Saw also has a national and international reputation in the area of left atrial appendage occlusion, having established the leading program for this in B.C. and Canada; she has the largest experience of left atrial appendage implantations in Canada. Many interventional cardiologists fly to Vancouver to be proctored by her and she also travels to many countries to teach how to do the procedure in the safest possible manner.

Dr. Saw has published more than 114 peer-reviewed articles, 42 book chapters and three textbooks.  She was recently a co-chair of the Spontaneous Coronary Artery Section Guidelines. In the words of her nominator Dr. Ken Gin, “her work in interventional cardiology is truly amazing.”

​Dr. John Yee and the Lung Transplant Program: Bringing Clinical Renown to Vancouver Award

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Dr. John Yee (holding award certificate) and the Lung Transplant Program with Dr. Simon Rabkin.

As director of the BC Lung Transplant Program, Dr. John Yee has overseen the expansion of lung transplantation at VGH with results that set the standard for excellence nationally and internationally. Upon presenting the award to Dr. Yee and his colleagues, nominator Dr. Gary Redekop, head of the Department of Surgery, noted that “John truly loves his patients … the program has expanded and John has recruited, groomed and developed his colleagues. The incredible success of the program didn’t happen without a lot of hard work.”

Dr. Yee has worked with the BC Lung Transplant Program since 2003; it is one of only four such programs in Canada and offers life-saving treatment for end-stage lung disease. Its clinical outcomes have dramatically improved over this time despite ever higher levels of risk and co-morbidity among recipients. The program performs a record number of transplants and Dr. Yee expects his team will conduct approximately 70 transplants by the end of 2018.

​Dr. Jens Lohser: Clinical Excellence Award

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Left to right: Drs. Hamed Umedaly, Jens Lohser and Simon Rabkin.

Dr. Jens Lohser has led the Division of Thoracic Anesthesia since 2009. That team has collaborated with Thoracic Surgery to develop true quality improvements in perioperative thoracic surgical care. His nominator, Dr. Hamed Umedaly, describes him as a “superb anesthesiologist … who drives outstanding clinical care.”​

A world authority in acute lung injury, Dr. Lohser is the leader of our lung transplant anesthesia group and has worked to innovate and improve outcomes for lung transplant patients. He is also considered an expert in cardiac anesthesiology and perioperative trans-esophageal and transthoracic echo cardiography. With his clinical acumen, judgment and technical expertise, he is considered an authority in complex and high-risk anesthesia and his opinion is often sought to help manage such patients.

Dr. Lohser has published more than 35 articles and book chapters and is the associate editor of the second edition of the textbook Principles and Practice of Anesthesia for Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Agnes Lee: Special Service Award

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Left to right: Drs. Graydon Meneilly, Agnes Lee and Simon Rabkin.

Dr. Agnes Lee is recognized as an international authority in cancer-associated thrombosis and her work in this area has changed clinical practice worldwide. She has participated in setting standards in evidence-based consensus guidelines, served as the principal or co-investigator of many grants and sat on many scientific and research committees for national and international agencies. Dr. Lee was recruited to Vancouver with the goals of developing a clinical thrombosis program at UBC and establishing a thrombosis training program. These programs have been extremely successful and exceeded expectations.

Dr. Lee is very involved with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) including membership on two of its committees. She was elected as an ASH counsellor in 2017 to serve a four-year term. In the words of nominator Dr. Stephen Nantel: “It is very unusual for a non-American to be elected to such an important ASH position. This confirms the esteem in which she is held within the larger Hematology community.”

Dr. Lee has also been a significant contributor to the development of a new Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada area of focused competence in adult thrombosis medicine.

Dr. Katherine Paton: Larry Collins Award for Committee Service​

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Left to right: Drs. David Maberley, Katherine Paton and Simon Rabik.

Dr. Katherine Paton is an ocular oncologist whose practice involves the diagnosis and treatment of intraocular tumours in children and adults. Among her career achievements is the establishment in 1995, in collaboration with TRIUMF, of the Proton Therapy Program for treatment of ocular tumours. The program is unique and patients are referred from across Canada and internationally.

“Dr. Paton,” wrote nominator Dr. David Maberley, “views clinical practice as a team event and works closely with pediatric oncologists, interventional neuroradiologists, radiation medical oncologists and pathologists.” Dr. Maberley further noted that Dr. Paton has worked as a general ophthalmologist two Saturdays a month at an outreach clinic in Squamish since 1998.

Dr. Paton has served for many years on the board of Doctors of BC; she has been an elected representative for District 3 since 1999, and has been the vice-chair of its resolutions committee and the chair of the awards committee. Dr. Paton was the B.C. delegate to the General Council of the Canadian Medical Association from 1999 to 2007. She was the inaugural executive dean of clinical affairs at UBC and has served as a special advisor to the dean of medicine on clinical faculty. In addition to her many other volunteer roles, Dr. Paton has served on the governance committee of the Alzheimer’s

Society of B.C. since 2016. She has taught countless medical students, more than 100 residents and Fellows, and participated in GP education days every year for the last five years. Dr. Paton was the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 1999 and received the David M. Bachop Gold Medal from Doctors of BC for distinguished medical service in 2016.

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