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2019 Awards of Excellence Recipients

The annual Awards of Excellence recognize members of the healthcare community for their contributions to creating an optimal training environment for residents in BC. There were a number of exceptional candidates this year, and we thank everyone for their valuable efforts. The recipients of the year’s awards are as follows:

Dr. Patricia Clugston Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching Award

The Dr. Patricia Clugston Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes a physician clinical educator for his or her contributions to residents’ medical education. The recipient will have created a safe learning environment that encourages self-inquiry, supports adult learning, and fosters within learners a desire to achieve their highest potential.

Recipient: Dr. Jack Chiu

Dr. Jack Chiu is a UBC clinical instructor in the Division of Surgery and a General Surgeon at VGH and UBCH. His nominators describe him as an exceptional colleague, teacher and mentor to many of the residents. As a colleague, he treats residents as equal members of the team and encourages collaboration between residents; as a teacher and mentor, he is approachable, available, and passionate about his work. Dr. Chiu takes every opportunity to teach and encourage residents to make independent decisions while being available to guide, and ensures that his residents build upon each piece of knowledge they are presented with. His nominators appreciate that in surgical residency, where it is important to become proficient in technical and procedural abilities, and also to build upon patient-related and bedside skills, working with Dr. Chiu has provided them with both. Dr. Chiu has a constant interest in teaching, and is specifically involved with the overarching goal in Division of General Surgery of continously updating the knowledge-base and practicing evidence-based decisions.

Dr. Chiu’s teaching skills are praised by his nominees. His knowledge and expertise are translatable into relatable or simple concepts, examples and strategies that residents are able to remember and then apply and teach. Dr. Chiu is also a great advocate for all of his residents, making sure surgeries or opportunities are being fairly distributed amongst levels of training, giving everyone a chance to be part of patients’ care. At the end of each case or interaction, Dr. Chiu frequently provides constructive feedback with clear examples of some well-performed tasks and/or areas of possible improvement. Because of his exemplary work ethics and collegial teaching, residents feel empowered to make decisions and have a perpetual desire to improve their skills and become better surgeons when working with Dr. Chiu.

Residents’ Advocate Award

The Residents’ Advocate Award recognizes an individual who displays a significant interest in issues of importance to Residents. The award is presented annually to a person who advocates for the personal professional or educational advancement of residents.

Recipient: Dr. Betty Calam

Dr. Betty Calam is the program director of the St. Paul’s Family Medicine Residency program, for both the Canadian Medical Graduate stream, and more recently for the International Medical Graduate stream as well. Her nominator describes her reputation as preceding her to another province even before the nominator started in British Columbia, and that the St. Paul’s Family Medicine Residency program cam highly recommended by an alumnus who felt that Dr. Calam’s direction and support was a major factor in their successful residency as well as their general health and wellbeing.

Dr. Calam is described as exuding optimism, warmth, and empathy. She is approachable and supportive of residents; their training as they deal with family emergencies, complicated pregnancies, mental health concerns, negative residency training experiences, and the inevitable bouts of imposter syndrome. She is assisted in her work by the “amazing, dedicated, and ever-patient program administrators”, Maria Totsikas and Kitty Dich. Dr. Calam is also supported by a long list of St. Paul’s Hospital alumni who have taken on roles as preceptors, lecturers, and research leads – a true community that Dr. Calam has created.

Drs. Chiu and Calam will receive commemoration on a plaque at the Resident Doctors of BC office, a personal commemorative award, and a $1000 donation each to the charity/charities of their choice.

author: Sasha Zalyvadna