2021 Medical Staff Hall of Honour
Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Medical Staff Hall of Honour.
Dr. Victoria Bernstein
Dr. Bernstein was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and attended medical school at the University of Witwatersrand before transferring to the University of Liverpool, England, graduating with a medical degree. After interning in England, she moved to Vancouver in 1966 and completed Internal Medicine and Cardiology training at Shaughnessy and St. Paul’s Hospitals. In 1974, Dr. Bernstein joined the medical staff at Vancouver General Hospital and was one of only three women in the Department of Medicine. She would be the only female cardiologist at VGH for the next 30 years. In 1981, the newly opened University of British Columbia Hospital invited her to establish a Coronary Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit. She served as the Director of the CCU/ICU at UBC until 1994. In 1999, Dr. Bernstein was appointed the Director of the VGH Post Operative Cardiovascular Surgical Unit and would serve the hospital in that capacity until 2016.
Dr. Bernstein was renowned for clinical and teaching excellence, as reflected by her promotion to Clinical Professor of Medicine in 1987. Over the course of her career, she was a frequently invited speaker at continuing medical education events and medical conferences, provincially, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Bernstein was also a frequently invited guest on radio and television programs, allowing her to directly educate a public audience. Dr. Bernstein did not limit herself to traditional teaching modalities as she wrote and directed an acclaimed video on congestive heart failure that would win a Globe Award for being best in Heath Care Communications, a gold medal at a Houston (Texas) film festival and a finalist certificate at a New York film festival. Academically, she served on the adjudication committees of many multicentre clinical trials. A strong advocate for women’s health, Dr. Bernstein published four articles on heart disease in women in the 1990s. Her leadership in women’s health was recognized in 2014 when she was the recipient of the prestigious YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Health & Wellness. Dr. Bernstein’s outstanding clinical service and leadership in medicine was recognized by the Vancouver Medical Association that conferred upon her its Prince of Good Fellows award in 1998. By the time of her retirement, Dr. Bernstein had served VGH/UBC for 46 years.
Dr. Bernstein’s family has also contributed to medicine in BC as her late husband, Dr. Melvyn Bernstein, was the Head of Medical Biochemistry at UBC Hospital in the 1990s and her daughter, Dr. Vanessa Bernstein, is a medical oncologist with BC Cancer in Victoria.
Dr. Anthony W. Chow
Dr. Chow received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1967 and interned at the University of Calgary. He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba and in Infectious Diseases at Harbor-University of California Los Angles (UCLA), Torrance, California. He joined UCLA in 1972, was appointed Associate Chief of Infectious Diseases in 1975 and became an Associate Professor in 1977. In 1979 he was recruited to University of British Columbia and Vancouver General Hospital as a Professor of Medicine and the founding Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases. He continued with this appointment until 1993, during which time he oversaw the rapid development and expansion of the division.
In 1994 he began a second leadership role at UBC in the promotion of translational research and the development of clinician scientists in Canada. He directed the highly acclaimed MD PhD program at UBC and spearheaded the unique Canadian Institute of Health Research Strategic Training Program for Translational Research in Infectious Diseases that actively promoted collaborative research from bench to bedside to population. Over his career, Dr. Chow authored over 430 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
Dr. Chow has made an impressive contribution to numerous aspects of academic medicine. He was a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Antibiotic Use and Clinical Trials Committee (1994-1997), and chair of the Respiratory Tract Infections Subcommittee of the FDA/IDSA Advisory Committee on New Drug Submissions (1988-1992). He was a member of the Steering Committee for the Bureau of Infection Control, Health and Welfare Canada, and was coordinator of the Vancouver and Victoria Node of the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network Centres of Excellence. In 1992 he was awarded the VGH Medical Staff Association Academic Award for Scientific Achievement. In 1996 he received the UBC Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Medical Research Award. In 2006, he received the Don Whitlow Medical Grand Rounds Award. Since his retirement, Dr. Chow has continued to be active in knowledge acquisiton and translation of infectious disases nationally and internationally.
Locally, Dr. Chow made many additional innovations to education and patient care. In 1982 he established one of the three first Royal College accredited Infectious Diseases subspecialty training programs in Canada. In 1984 he co-developed the predecessor of the antimicrobial stewardship programs. In 1989-1990 he was Chair of the Faculty of Medicine Curriculum Evaluation Committee and the Founding Director of the UBC Experimental Medicine Graduate Program in Infectious Diseases.
In 2013, Dr. Chow received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Canada and in 2017 he received the Brandon University Alumni Wall of Fame Award in honour of those alumni who “have made significant achievements in their career on a provincial, national or international level bringing honour and prestige to our university.”
Dr. Allan D. McKenzie (1917-1992 )
Dr. McKenzie was born in Kelowna and received his MD from the University of Alberta in 1942. His graduation from medical school coincided with the Second World War and Dr. McKenzie volunteered for the army as a regimental medical officer. While on active service in Holland, his regiment came under heavy fire during a battle. Despite ongoing enemy gunfire, targeting him and his comrades, Dr. McKenzie led the effort to evacuate the wounded soldiers across a river to safety where they could receive medical assistance. For his actions, Dr. McKenzie was awarded the Military Cross, a medal of valour second only to the Victoria Cross in the British Empire, for risking his life to save others. Perhaps this and other war actions he experienced entrenched his commitment to those under his care.
After the war, Dr. McKenzie completed his surgical training at McGill University in 1952 and returned to his home province to serve the people of British Columbia. Dr. McKenzie rose rapidly through the ranks from an assistant professor in 1952 to professor and head of the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver General Hospital by 1959. He was a gifted surgeon renown for his clinical acumen and his technical skills. In an era where sub-specialization did not exist, he did pioneering work in inflammatory bowel disease, head and neck surgery, abdominal aortic surgery, complicated pancreatic diseases, and hepatobiliary surgery. He published many of his novel findings and experiences in the upper tiers of surgical journals.
Dr. McKenzie became the pre-eminent surgeon in Vancouver and British Columbia, gifted with an extraordinary skillset backed by excellent practical judgement and a deep sense of caring for his patients. At that time, VGH was one of several “community” hospitals in Vancouver, just emerging as a teaching hospital within the nascent UBC Medical School system. Having Dr. McKenzie as the surgical head brought great prestige and credibility to VGH as an academic institution. His stature extended beyond VGH into the national and international sphere. He became president of the North Pacific Surgical Association and was on the executive committees of the Pacific Coast Surgical Association, the Pan-Pacific Surgical Association, and the James IV Association of Surgeons. He was also elected a regent and governor of the American College of Surgeons.
In addition to his scholarly activities, Dr. McKenzie was an excellent teacher. As a tribute, the UBC Department of Surgery created the Dr. A.D. McKenzie Clinical Teaching Award that is presented annually to a faculty member "in recognition of outstanding clinical teaching of medical students and residents."
Dr. McKenzie was predeceased by his loving and supportive wife, June. He has two sons, Michael, a radiation oncologist at BC Cancer, and Paul. He was predeceased by a third son, Ken.
Dr. Frank P. Patterson Jr. (1915-2002)
Dr. Patterson was born in Vancouver in 1915 and graduated from McGill University’s medical school in 1940. His esteemed father, whom he was named after, was BC’s first orthopaedics surgeon practicing at Vancouver General Hospital. During World War II, Dr. Patterson served with the Royal Canadian Air Force until the end of the war in 1945. During this time, he obtained surgical training in Toronto and at the old Shaughnessy Military Hospital in Vancouver while serving in the RCAF. He then returned to practice orthopaedics in Vancouver for a short time but went back to Toronto for a year of pediatric orthopaedic surgery training at The Hospital for Sick Children. After completion of training at HSC, Dr. Patterson joined the Department of Surgery at Vancouver General Hospital. In 1951, at the request of the late Dr. Rocke Robertson (the first head of UBC Dept. of Surgery, and a fellow inductee in the Medical Staff Hall of Honour), despite his young age, he became the first head of the UBC Division of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Dr. Patterson had a vision of making the UBC Division of Orthopaedic Surgery into a modern orthopaedic department. His plan began with good training of students, the formation of a residency program that would lead to the recruitment of faculty, and a research program encompassing both clinical and basic science. He led the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery in the Department of Surgery from its inception in 1951 until 1973. In 1973 he retired from that position but three years later became the head of the Department of Surgery. This appointment was ironic because the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery had become the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and he was practicing surgery in one department but head of a different one, a historically unique situation for VGH.
Dr. Patterson was well-known in the orthopedic academic world. He was active in American Orthopaedic including being an examiner for the American Board. He was president of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the British Orthopaedic Association. In 1977 he was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal. In 1990, the University of British Columbia conferred upon him a Doctor of Science, Honorous Causa.
Dr. Patterson was also a surgical historian and wrote a book, The Cutting Edge, Reminiscences of Surgery at the Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia 1915-1985. It describes the history of surgery at VGH/UBC during that time period. He personally experienced it from 1947 to 1985 and was aware of the previous eras from research and conversations with his father and his older colleagues. Dr. Patterson’s legacy continues in today’s modern Department of Orthopaedics.
Dr. Gordon L. Phillips
Dr. Gordon Leigh Phillips was born in Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s medical school in 1971. He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Oklahoma and the University of North Carolina before completing a Hematology Oncology Fellowship at Washington University (St. Louis) in 1977. Dr. Phillips joined the faculty at Washington University where he developed chemotherapeutic regimens, gaining renown as a pioneer, along with his colleagues, in the use of high dose cytarabine in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.
In 1984, Dr. Phillips was recruited to Vancouver General Hospital to develop the province’s Bone Marrow Transplant Program. Under his inspired leadership, the infrastructure of the program was developed, and many initiatives were undertaken that continue to this day. Dr. Phillips’ protocols, based on evidence-based treatment, became the program’s standard and his clinical philosophy became entrenched within the program. Among Dr. Phillips’ many major accomplishments at VGH was the establishment of autologous transplants in refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma, in collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency’s Lymphoma Group, transforming a uniformly fatal malignancy into a disease with a greater than 50 per cent likelihood of cure. Appreciating the need for formalized subspecialty training in the field, Dr. Phillips created the Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship, combining clinical training with an emphasis on patient care with clinical research. Due to Dr. Philips’ vision and dedication, the BMT Program at VGH became one of the most successful in the country. Dr. Phillips’ significant achievement at VGH was formally recognized by the VGH Medical Staff Association when he received its Bringing Clinical Renown to VGH Award in 1989.
In 1994, Dr. Phillips returned to the United States where he created a new BMT program in Lexington, Kentucky followed by leadership appointments in BMT at the University of Maryland (2000) and Rochester, New York (2002) before retiring from Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC). Despite leaving Vancouver, Dr. Phillips continued a long relationship with VGH returning annually as a visiting professor in Leukemia/BMT. In honour of Dr. Phillips’ accomplishments in hematologic malignancies and BMT, the Division of Hematology of the University of British Columbia established the Gordon Philips Lecture in Stem Cell Transplantation and Immunotherapy Award in 2019.
Although Dr. Phillips’ career at VGH was 10 years in duration, his accomplishments during that decade, from a clinical, academic and administrative perspective were disproportionate. His influence on VGH was, and continues to be, profound. His legacy during his time at VGH has benefited thousands of BC residents with hematologic malignancies and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.