UBC Medicine: Annual Art Show

Artist: Andrew Seal is a retired general surgeon and an Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Surgery at UBC. More of his work can be found at The Changing Palette.


UBC Medicine’s 14th Annual Art Show is now accepting submissions! We are accepting art submissions from students, residents, alumni and faculty members. We welcome all pieces of visual art of all skill levels, including but not limited to paintings, illustrations, sketches, prints, photography, sculptures, installations, sketchbooks, etc. Works must be framed and ready for hanging, or otherwise ready for presentation. The submission deadline is Saturday April 20th, 2018 at 11:59 PM. Click here to submit!

The Art Show is organized by Arts in Medicine and is an exhibition of visual arts by members of UBC’s medical community, held each year at the Medical Student and Alumni Centre (MSAC).

The Art Show itself will be held Sunday, April 28th at the Medical Student and Alumni Centre (MSAC). The show will be open from 12-7PM, with a reception with refreshments, wine, and live music being held from 5-7PM. We highly encourage all our artists to attend and to bring friends and family!

Learn more on UBC’s Arts in Medicine.

Virtual Medicine Conference: Resources & Links


Hi! Hope you are well! I recently returned from the Virtual Medicine Conference at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. It was fantastic to learn from the diverse panel of researchers, physicians, and patients that are exploring other alternatives to treatment. A special hat tip to Surgeons and their Surgical Departments for their investment in technologies that assist in medical education, simulation training, and patient health. They’ve been such a positive and influential force in advancing care.

Although virtual reality is a new concept for many, the research in this area has been evolving for over 30 years. Virtual and augmented reality technologies are now contributing to prevention and wellness; objectives assessment and evaluation; functional training; improved interventions; facilitating adherence; and distributed care delivery.  In medical training, VR/AR are being used for clinical, surgical, and interpersonal skills training; use of equipment and tools; team training in ER and Surgical departments; Emergency response training and rehearsal; and empathy.  There’s a great deal of potential in these technologies and how they may help Canadians address our current healthcare challenges.

As it stands, Canada ranks 9th out of 11th in the Commonwealth Fund report. Canada ranks last in timely access to physicians and services and demonstrates an over reliance on expensive hospital care and on physicians. Canadians also rank lowest in access to their health information especially for people in rural and remote areas. Health records for Indigenous Peoples remain largely paper-based. Furthermore, there’s a lack of digital services for mental health issues. There’s a lack of coordination and fragmentation across the provincial and territorial health systems that’s also reflected in our siloed Electronic Health Record (EHR) infrastructure. Our EHR has yet to be tapped to improve our patient care.

How do we change this? By becoming aware and educated on these emerging technologies, exploring their use, and trying it out! If there’s a time to jump outside the box, it’s now!

I’ll be discussing the highlights and pearls gathered at the Faculty Development Breakfast on the 30th. For those unable to attend, here are a few resources and links that I gathered at this event and at the BC Health Summit (2018) for you to peruse:

Canadian Context

Intellectual, Behavioural, & Mental Health 

Diagnosis, Assessment, & Recovery


  • HealthScholars: Deliver, evaluate, target and optimize your training programs from a single, comprehensive, blended learning platform.
  • Dock Health: Secure task management and team collaboration. HIPAA compliant.
  • Medumo: Digital health startup working to help healthcare organizations deliver the right instructions to the right patient at the right time.

Families & Children: Education & Health

Research, Articles, & Reports

Any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me or save them for the breakfast.

Warm regards!


Conservation & Preservation

Old growth (2019). Image via J. Ashby.

“We still talk in terms of conquest. We still haven’t become mature enough to think of ourselves as only a tiny part of a vast and incredible universe. Man’s attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature.

But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself. The rains have become an instrument to bring down from the atmosphere the deadly products of atomic explosions. Water, which is probably our most important natural resource, is now used and re-used with incredible recklessness.

Now, I truly believe, that we in this generation, must come to terms with nature, and I think we’re challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves.”

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1963)

#EnvironmentalMedicine #SilentSpring

UBC Companies and Researchers win LifeSciences BC Awards

UBC researchers and companies founded by UBC faculty and students were recognized at the 21st Annual LifeSciences BC Awards on April 4.

UBC companies receiving awards:

  • Deal of the Year – Anandia Laboratories
  • Growth Stage Life Sciences Company of the Year – Aspect Biosystems
  • LifeSciences Company of the Year – Terramera Inc.

Both Anandia and Aspect Biosystems received support from entrepreneurship@UBC, which provides the knowledge, tools and space for UBC entrepreneurs to succeed. Along with Terramera, Aspect also received funding from the UBC Seed Fund, which supports early stage UBC startups.

Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – West, at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, won the Strategic LifeSciences Partner of the Year Award.

UBC researchers receiving awards:

  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research – Aubrey J. Tingle Prize – Dr. Jerilynn Prior
  • Dr. Don Rix Award for Lifetime Achievement – Dr. Marco Marra

Congratulations to all!

Integrity & Incentives

“There is really no substitute for the integrity that inspires people to do good work because they want to do good work. And the more we rely on incentives as substitutes for integrity, the more we will need to rely on them as substitutes for integrity. We may tell ourselves that all we’re doing with our incentives is taking advantage of what we know about human nature… But in fact, what we’re doing is changing human nature.

And we’re not merely changing it; we’re impoverishing it.”

Barry Schwartz on Why We Work (2015)

People Experiencing Homelessness


“A library – our doors are open to everyone. And it’s an unusual situation for someone who’s not homeless to be confronted with standing in line with someone who is homeless to check out a book. Or looking and the only seat available is next to a homeless person. That’s not a situation that most people find themselves with. And there’s a lot of discomfort in that. One of the things that I would hope is that maybe Penrose could give them an opportunity to realize that these are people just like they are. They’re definitely in a different situation in life. But they have every right to be there as well.”
John Spears, Library District’s Chief Librarian and CEO

About four years ago I attended a UBC conference on developing creative communities hosted by the British Columbia Library Association. It was during this dialogue that I learned how instrumental librarians are in helping those experiencing homelessness cope with the stresses of living on the street as well as accessing social services and completing lengthy online forms that pertain to medical care, housing, etc. It’s wonderful to see that Penrose Library in Colorado Springs is directly addressing this issue by employing social workers to actively connect with library patrons.

Read more on Libraries Add Social Workers for Homeless Patrons (2019) by Jakob Rodgers via The Gazette.

Learn more about our BC perspective and experience here at Public Libraries are Becoming the New Social Safety Net (2017) by Lisa Freeman via Policy Note.

Warm regards,


#GoodMedicine #PenroseLibrary #BuildingCreativeCommunities

CFPC: Patient Education Grants for Family Medicine Residents

The Patient Education Grants for Family Medicine Residents encourage family medicine residents to become involved in the planning and development of patient education. The grants support residents in doing projects focused on patient education and/or Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations during their training (e.g., research, developing learning tools) and in the creation and promotion of materials, tools, and presentations that specifically address gaps in patient education resources and update existing information.

Value: Up to three awards will be presented each year in the amount of $2,000 each: $1,000 is provided as initial funding and $1,000 is awarded when the project is completed. An additional amount up to $1,500 will be available to cover registration fees and travel related to attending a conference for presentation purposes.

Application process:
The application window opens on December 7, 2018.
Residents must apply online.
The deadline to apply is 4:00 p.m. (ET) on June 20, 2019.
Please refer to this PDF for application requirements.

Outdoor Care Retreats

Image via dezeen

“Only a short walking distance from two of Norway’s largest hospitals, the secluded wooden shelters are designed to make hospitalisation easier for patients and their families. The space can be used for treatment and contemplation, and for spending time with relatives and friends away from the hospital corridors. The cabins are open to every patient connected to the hospitals regardless of disease group.”
Snøhetta, Oslo- and New York-based architecture and design studio.

More on Snøhetta Completes Wooden Outdoor Care Retreats at two Norwegian Hospitals via dezeen’s Lizzie Crook

#EcologyOfCare #InnovationInHealthCare #HospitalDesign

Brainstorm Design: Gap In Health Care

“Healthcare suffers from a lack of creativity. There’s this misconception that if you’re a creative type then you’re never going to go into healthcare or become a doctor or a nurse. I believe that making people healthier is a creative pursuit.”

Dr. Bon Ku, Assistant Dean for Health and Design at Thomas Jefferson University

More on Healthcare Has a Design Problem, but There’s a Remedy via Fortune’s Jamie O’Brien

Such a fan of Dr. Ku! Dr. Chow and I were fortunate to meet him following his presentation at Stanford MedX Ed Conference last year. Bon is always pushing the boundaries to allow for greater creativity, collaboration, and ideation in medical education. Follow him here.

#GoodDesignIsGoodBusiness #HealthIsACreativePursuit