Honorary Medical Alumni Award

The Honorary Medical Alumni Award recognizes a member of the UBC Faculty of Medicine Community who has made a significant contribution as a committed clinician, teacher, mentor or administrator; thereby advancing the goals of the Faculty of Medicine.

Congratulations to our 2019 Honorary Medical Alumni Award Recipients:

Dr. Blake Gilks (MedRes’88)

Dr. Blake Gilks is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He attended University of New Brunswick from 1975-78, receiving his BSc, then graduated from Dalhousie University medical school in 1982 (cum laude) and did a residency in anatomical pathology at the University of British Columbia, followed by fellowships in gynecological pathology and molecular pathology at Massachusett’s General Hospital and Fox Chase Cancer Center, in Boston and Philadelphia, respectively.

Dr. Gilks leads a research program focused on gynecological cancers and is co-founder of OvCaRe, a multidisciplinary team studying ovarian cancer. He is also co-founder and co-director of the Canadian Immunohistochemistry Quality Control program, which provides proficiency testing for Canadian diagnostic immunohistochemistry laboratories. Dr. Gilks is past-president of the International Society of Gynecological Pathology. He has received awards for both his teaching and research, and has been an author on more than 400 peer-reviewed research publications. He is recognized internationally for his work on improving diagnosis of gynecological cancers, and has been a contributor to the major pathology reference textbooks, including the last three editions of the WHO Classification of Tumours of the Female Reproductive Tract. He has in the past been medical director of laboratories and department head for the Deptartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Vancouver Coastal Health.

Dr. Tamara Shenkier (MedRes’92)

Dr. Tamara Shenkier received her undergraduate medical degree from McGill University and her Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology Training at the University of British Columbia and BC Cancer Agency (Vancouver Centre) where she has practiced since completing her training. Her clinical focus since 2014 is exclusively breast oncology.

Dr. Shenkier’s teaching interests focus on communication, specifically the skills physicians need when discussing serious news with patients. She served as UBC Medical Oncology Program Director from 2004-2012, is a past member of the Royal College Medical Oncology Exam Committee and is the current Chair of the Royal College Medical Oncology Specialty Committee.

Her interest in improving patient care is reflected in two ongoing projects. One is the establishment in April 2018 of the After Breast Cancer Service, in collaboration with BC Women’s Hospital and partially funded by a BC Cancer Foundation Clinical Innovation Grant. With over 275 referrals so far, she anticipates this model of care for cancer survivors may become a new standard in BC. She is also co-investigator on a Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) grant entitled implementing and evaluating the early integration of a comprehensive ‘palliative approach’ to care for patients with incurable cancer. This three year project includes education for health care providers and the use of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) to improve outcomes for patients living with metastatic disease.

Dr. Shenkier’s administrative responsibilities have included president of the Association of BCCA Medical Oncologists and member of the BCCA Medical Advisory Committee. She is cofounder and inaugural president of the BC Cancer Medical Staff Engagement Society, representing over 400 medical staff from six regional cancer centres. In recognition of this achievement she was awarded the Doctors of BC and Ministry of Health Joint Collaborative Committees’ “Champions of Change” Award in 2018.


Eligibility & Criteria:

  • Nominator must be an MD alumnus of the UBC medical program
  • Letters of support may be from anyone
  • Award(s) may not be nominated posthumously
  • By definition, this award is not applicable to any individual who received an MD from UBC

Nominating is easy:

Step 1: Complete a nomination application form – fill in and save a copy

Step 2: Collect a summarized curriculum vitae/online biography (maximum 5 pages, please do not include the full list of publications)*

Optional Step: Write and/or collect a letter of support – optional, but encouraged, max 2 letters

Step 3: E-mail all documents to med.alumni@ubc.ca or mail to 2750 Heather Street, Vancouver BC, V5Z 4M2

*Where a CV is not easily available to you, the Alumni Engagement Office is happy to assist.

The deadline for 2019 nominations has passed. Nominations for the 2020 awards will open in Fall 2019.

For questions, please contact Eric Chow at 604-875-4111 ext. 62032 or med.alumni@ubc.ca.