International Women’s Day

In honour of International Women’s Day, meet just a few of the thousands of exceptional women medical staff at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) — physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners and midwives — who are working every day to challenge the status quo and improve our health care system.

This year, the VCH Physician Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is highlighting women from a wide variety of practices, at different points in their careers, across our Communities of Care.  These women challenge, excel and make unique contributions to our system through their clinical, research, education and leadership work to make VCH a more welcoming and inclusive workplace. 

This year, all of the medical staff women being featured were asked to answer the question: “What advice do you wish you’d had at the start of your career?”  Read on to find out what insightful and inspiring pieces of advice they had to share. 

Learn more about the history of International Women’s Day here:

Dr. Aida Sadr , Family Physician, Vancouver Community 

In addition to being a regular front-line clinician in a number of vulnerable population clinics such as the Downtown Eastside Connections Clinic, Dr. Sadr works as a hospitalist with the St. Paul’s Hospital Urban Health Unit, and is a clinical instructor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine. More…..


Dr. Alison Harris, Radiologist, Vancouver Acute

Dr. Harris is an abdominal radiologist and has been on staff at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and UBC Hospital for over 15 years. She received her medical degree and completed her radiology residency in the United Kingdom, then undertook a sub-subspecialty radiology fellowship at VGH. Dr. Harris is a past president of the British Columbia Radiology Society, and is soon to be an executive member of the Canadian Association of Radiologists. More…..

Dr. Caroline Choo, Psychiatrist, Richmond Hospital

As the longest serving psychiatrist at Richmond Hospital, Dr. Choo is known as a person who focuses first and foremost on kindness, and being fully present with patients and colleagues. She is recognized by UBC as a Clinical Professor, and also by the 38,000-strong American Psychiatric Association as a Distinguished Fellow. More…..

Dr. Cass Djurfors, Family Physician, Vancouver Community

As a primary care provider and medical coordinator for the physician team at Raven Song Primary Care Clinic, Dr. Djurfors is known to be an exceptional clinician and leader, serving complex and marginalized patients. She also works as a Primary Care Medical Manager, supporting the Vancouver Community Primary Care Program by providing medical leadership to the Three Bridges Primary Care Team and Trans Specialty Care Team, and supporting the new Intensive Housing Outreach Team (IHOT) Team. Dr. Djurfors has also supported the Vancouver Community Senior Medical Director team with ongoing communications throughout the pandemic. More…..

Dr. Farah Ramji, Family Physician, Vancouver Community

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Dr. Ramji has interests in community health, disease prevention as well as a passion and enthusiasm for elder care. She splits her time between her family practice in West Vancouver, and two residential care facilities in Vancouver. More…..


Dr. Karin Kausky, Family Physician, Whistler

Dr. Kausky has been a primary care provider at the Whistler Medical Clinic for 27 years, where she is passionate about providing care to a community that is challenged by a lack of family physicians. She is the co-chair of the Sea to Sky Division of Family Practice. Her leadership is exemplary: calm, diplomatic and compassionate. More…..

Lehe Spiegelman, Midwife, Sechelt

With many years of experience working in both urban and rural settings, Lehe has helped create a collaborative practice with the family physicians in Sechelt to provide sustainable primary maternity care. More…..

Dr. Leta Burechailo, Family Physician, Powell River

Dr. Burechailo has worked in the Powell River/Qathet region since 2008. With a full-scope family medicine background, Dr. Burechailo evolved her practice five years ago to upstream, team-based primary care that focuses on complex youth and young adults. More…..


Michelle Sims, Nurse Practitioner, North Shore, Primary Care

Michelle is an experienced Nurse Practitioner, having been with Vancouver Coastal Health for almost 15 years. She is the Associate Head of the Department of Nurse Practitioners, as well as Nurse Practitioner Lead and a front-line Nurse Practitioner at the North Shore Health Connections Clinic. More…..

Miya Nakamura, Nurse Practitioner, Internal Medicine, Vancouver

Miya joined the Vancouver Coastal Health three years ago, and is the first Nurse Practitioner working in Internal Medicine at Vancouver General Hospital. Miya’s work style does not draw attention to herself, continually putting an emphasis on her patients. She is often behind the scenes, committed to being a hard-working, dedicated provider. More…..

Dr. Nancy Austin, Emergency Medicine, Richmond Hospital

Having worked for Vancouver Coastal Health for nearly 20 years, Dr. Austin is noticed for her clear communication, fair assessments in the workplace and a careful, solid focus on what is important. In her role as Co-Senior Medical Director of Richmond, she demonstrates strength, integrity and grace, particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic. More…..

Dr. Nasim Mahmoudi, Internal Medicine, Lions Gate

Dr. Mahmoudi is currently the Division Head of Internal Medicine at Lions Gate Hospital (LGH). She received her undergraduate medical degree and residency training in Internal Medicine at Shiraz University in Iran, before moving to Vancouver with her husband and son in 2001. More…..

Dr. Nicole Todd, Obstetrician-Gynaecologist, Vancouver Acute

Dr. Todd is a Clinical Associate Professor at UBC and joined the department in 2014 as a General Obstetrician Gynaecologist and Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecologist. Prior to this, she completed a fellowship in Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology at the University of Ottawa, where she received a Health Care Education Scholars Program Diploma for Innovation in Medical Education. More…..

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