International Women's Day 2022
VPSA celebrates the work of women physicians
International Women's Day is on March 8, 2022. This is a day to celebrate the achievements of women.
As part of International Women’s Day in 2022, the VCH Physician Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is highlighting just a few of the thousands of incredible women who make up our medical staff. VCH leaders were asked to consider and nominate women who have made contributions to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout their careers through clinical care, research, leadership and education.
Dr. Rashmi Chadha
Dr. Chadha is a consulting physician with VGH’s Complex Pain and Addiction Service and a clinical assistant professor in UBC’s Department of Family Practice. Dr. Chadha came to her current roles via a two-decade career that began as a family doctor in rural England. She moved to Canada in 2008 and completed her master’s degree in family and community medicine at the University of Toronto followed by a fellowship in addiction medicine at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
“I moved to Vancouver in 2010 and have been working in addiction medicine ever since,” she said. “I provide consults and follow up for patients with acute pain, chronic pain, and substance use disorder. My patients are some of the most disenfranchised in the province. I have learned pain and suffering are ubiquitous. The root of the problem often lies in disconnection from community and being ‘othered.’”
As one of the founding members of Doctors for Planetary Health – West Coast, Dr. Chadha “eats, sleeps, and breathes” the climate and ecological crisis. “This work is inspired by a desire to prevent harm to the most marginalized populations. They are already suffering from the droughts, floods, famines, and displacement that the climate crisis is wreaking on the world.”
Dr. Chadha became more open in speaking out as she became more confident with her own voice as a woman of colour. She recognizes that we can use our physician societal privilege to speak up for those who don’t have a voice and encourages her colleagues to be courageous in doing the same. She works to foster change by encouraging others to rethink their assumptions about people and their motives. If one group is suffering, we are all failing. Therefore, we are within our “lane” as physicians to speak up about these issues to ensure a society that is equitable and safe for all.
Photo credit: Dr. Cyrus McEachern