Star award on light blue background


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:

Award of Merit

The Award of Merit recognizes a resident whose achievements and/or leadership reflect the aims and objectives of Resident Doctors of BC. The award is presented annually to a resident who has shown outstanding initiative in resident health and well-being, promotion of the role of residents in the health care system, or advocacy and representation of residents leading to improved work or learning environments.

Recipient: Dr. Brian Kim

Dr. Brian Kim is a PGY-5 General Internal Medicine resident. His nominators wrote:

“First of foremost, Brian exemplifies collegiality and is a strong advocate for the Wellness of his coresidents. He is trusted and loved by his peers, and is known as a leader, advocate, and friendly face by everyone in every year of IM residency. During his three years in the Core Internal Medicine program, he was repeatedly nominated for awards testifying to his collegiality and advocacy for his coresidents, including winning the Collegiality Award in R1, and the Wellness Awards in R2 & R3 during our annual IM retreats – of note, all of the aforementioned awards were given based on a nomination system by his coresidents.

On a more granular level, he done numerous other small things for the residents in his year which have resulted in increased cohesion and collegiality amongst our cohort. As an example, he created the IM WhatsApp group and IM Facebook group for our IM year, and though this seems small, it actually has been pivotal in allowing our entire cohort to communicate amongst one another, has allowed us organize events from R1 to now, and has allowed for many of us to have an avenue to ask questions when they came up. If there was ever any kind of high yield advice he’d heard about any topic, from conferences, to taxes, to discounts and events around Vancouver, Brian would be the first to post this information to the group.

From the teaching and mentorship perspective, I could write pages about how much he has done for his coresidents, and now, for medical students as he continues his journey in the Clinical Educator Fellowship Program Masters Program. However, to highlight his achievements, he has been recognized by Junior learners on multiple occasions for his excellence as a senior resident, winning both the R3 Outstanding Clinical Teaching Award, as well as the Stellar Senior Award, both of which require nominations from learners. He shows patience and grace with his learners, is always supportive, and creates a wonderful work environment for his colleagues. He advocates for the wellness of his learners and is happy to put in extra work to ensure they are always well supported. He has led numerous didactic teaching sessions for learners, but on a day-to-day basis, he loves to take the time talking to Jr learners and helping them grow into thoughtful clinicians like himself. He is an academic coach with the Core IM program, on top of providing informal mentorship to many learners who he has taken under his wing.

While I could spend more time discussing the fact that he has also been given awards for research completed during residency, I think what I really want to highlight that aside from being an excellent coresident, innovator, and teacher, he is also an amazing clinician. As his close friend, I know that he is often following up on his patients’ months after they have been discharged from his care, out of interest and care for his patients. As lucky as I am to have him as my friend, patients are lucky to have him as their doctor.”

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. Hadal El-Hadi

Dr. Hadal El-Hadi is a PGY-1 Public Health and Preventive Medicine resident. Her nominators wrote:

“The world changed after the brutal murder of Mr. George Floyd and numerous organizations committed to addressing Anti-Black Racism. In response to this event, Hadal founded Black Physicians of Canada (BPC): a nation-wide, federally incorporated, not-for-profit organization with the goal to unite, support, and empower Canadian Black physicians, physicians-in-training, and the Black community while strengthening leadership roles and amplifying Black voices within the Canadian healthcare system. Hadal has been instrumental to the smooth running of BPC from its outset as a new organization with minimal funding, and is a leader in advocating for improved work and learning environments for residents at both national and local tables.

Locally, as part of BPC, Hadal is a key resident representative on both the Resident Doctors of BC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee and the UBC PGME Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee. Her passion for ensuring dignity and equity for everyone in the Canadian healthcare system and dedication to addressing Anti-Black Racism has led her to advocate for educating practitioners around culturally safe care for patients, creating safe learning environments for medical trainees, and providing leadership opportunities for Black physicians.

In BPC’s national work, she is a lead resident for the CanRAC (Canadian Residency Accreditation Committee) Anti-Black Racism Working Group that aims to transform the training experience and environment for Black learners. In this role, she reviewed the current accreditation standards and ensured that Canadian residency programs accredited by the Royal College met the requirements and guidelines specific to Anti-Black Racism. Further, she examined whether this was done in a manner which permits graduates of these programs to achieve the level of competence compatible with Royal College certification. Additionally in the realm of medical education, she sits on the Network for Advancing Black Learners (N-ABL) Steering Committee. The N-ABL will form a basis for knowledge exchange and the establishing of wise practices to support Black medical learners matriculating through medical schools and training programs.

Hadal also believes in the importance of supporting marginalized groups in medicine through community-building, and she has played a critical role in creating connection and wellness opportunities for Black physicians & physicians-in-training. She spearheaded Canada’s first formal and national mentorship program for Black residents, fellows, and early career physicians. She and her team formulated a mentorship program that provides race-concordant mentorship to a historically overlooked group of physicians that statistically needed and wanted mentorship. This mentorship program has matched over 62 mentors with Black mentees. Furthermore, she has organized multiple social events for Black physicians & physicians-in-training to improve morale, provide coping skills to address potential barriers in training/practice, and allow a safe space to be their authentic selves. Themes of these events included Residency Application Preparation for Medical Students, Coping with Burnout, Enhancing the Black Trainee Experience, Thriving in Residency, and Black Leadership in Healthcare. She is also co-chairing the planning committee for the upcoming “I am Because You Are: Celebrating Being Black in Medicine” conference. The purpose of this conference will be to foster a national community of Black physicians and physicians-in-training centered around their wellness, with additional themes in advocacy, mentorship, leadership, and education.

Finally, Hadal strives to spread education about anti-Black racism within medicine and more broadly. She built the website for Black Physicians of Canada (BPC) and was the author of the “For Allies” information page, which has now been adopted and distributed by the Canadian Medical Association.  She is also the social media manager of BPC and has accrued a following of over 28,000 people, with a widely diverse audience. Through this, she has learned how to appropriately utilize social media accounts to spread reliable information to the general public that counters the pervasive misinformation. Her work extends into advancing equity for Black Canadians more broadly and has built strong relationships, works with, or sits on committees of several nation-wide organizations. These include the Canadian Medical Forum, the Black Health Education Collaborative, the Black Opportunity Fund, the Canadian Medical Association, and the Canadian Residency Accreditation Consortium (comprised of the three residency education accrediting colleges in Canada: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, College of Family Physicians of Canada and Collège des médecins du Québec).

As a resident, she possesses the attributes of a great leader – authenticity, kindness, fairness, patience, role modelling, and active listening. At a time when UBC and other medical training programs continue to foster EDI in their mandates, Hadal not only meets all the attributes of this award, but goes far beyond to impact and transform the resident experience in all ways possible, from work environments to training to wellness. I am enormously proud and honoured to nominate Hadal for this award, not only to recognize and appreciate her unparalleled and continuing contributions, but to inspire future trainees of diverse backgrounds & identities to similarly strive for the best from the systems within which they work and live.”

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Kim and Dr. Hadal El-Hadi. They 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: Diana Martinez