Modelled on the coins used by the Canadian military to recognize special achievements, the College Coin is designed to honour some of the unsung heroes in family medicine – the family physicians we admire for their ongoing commitment to family medicine and dedication to good work.

College Coins are peer-nominated and can be submitted at any point throughout the year.

If you are a BCCFP member and would like to nominate a BC family physician for the College Coin, simply send an email to providing the name of the nominee and a few sentences describing why you think they deserve to be recognized. Nominees must be BCCFP members.

Nomination qualifications are based on the wide-ranging values that family physicians bring to practice, teaching, mentorship and health care improvement, including:

  • Being a trusted advisor and friend to practice colleagues
  • Leading activities outside of clinical practice that support family medicine
  • Serving as a role model for residents and medical students
  • Providing leadership in CPD
  • Being a strong advocate for evidence-based care
  • Working with a team to create a practice that is aligned with the Patient’s Medical Home model
  • Demonstrating service and dedication to patients during a long career in family medicine
  • Offering support and assistance to colleagues when needed (e.g. covering call while a colleague is away for a family emergency or other unexpected reason)

Learn more about our 2023 recipients below:

Dr. Mark MacKenzie

Dr. MacKenzie's nominator had this to say “Dr. Mark MacKenzie definitely embodies the "unsung hero" role in family medicine.  There is no greater commitment and dedication to family medicine than to lead the largest Family Medicine Residency Program in Canada as Program Director, and to train future generations of family physicians who will look after patients in our big and beautiful province.

I first met Mark over 20 years ago when I just graduated from family practice residency.  I had recently moved from Prince George to Chilliwack and was looking to do locums.  I remember Mark's family practice in Chilliwack to be friendly and welcoming.  Everything was easy to find and nothing stood out as particularly difficult when it came to finding the information I needed to resume care of patients where Mark had left off.  As a young and green physician then, I enjoyed doing Mark's locum but I did not fully appreciate all the organization, the culture of safety and inclusion for staff and patients, and the anticipation of the locum's needs that all had to be in place to create a smoothly running office even when Mark was not there.

I see that now.  And I have seen that over and over again as I have worked more with Mark over the past 2 years.

It was at a UBC Family Practice retreat in Kelowna that my husband (also a family physician) and I met Mark again after a very long time.  It impressed me that Mark came to the event and honestly, I felt flattered he still remembered my husband and myself.  We talked shop, of course.  And not long after the event, he asked if we might help a resident in difficulty.  Apparently, he heard of our favourable reputation as effective preceptors and wondered if we could help.  As we navigated the heavier responsibility, Mark felt like he was always available.  If we weren't reaching out to him, he would be following up with us.  Not excessively, but just the right balance so we were all on track. And I learned then that Mark was staying in touch with the resident too.  Our UBC Program has over 350 family medicine residents across the two years of our program and as program director, he has innumerable responsibilities to the program (all staff, all preceptors, all residents, and all UBC superiors).  The level of personal attention for this one individual resident and to us, inspired me.  This was commitment - no resident got left behind; the resident was afforded every support to become the best family physician they were capable of becoming.

During this past year, as I navigated the role of interim Co-Site director of the Surrey South Fraser program, Mark was again personally available whenever difficulties arose.  And he reached out to touch bases regularly to ensure that I was supported and to ask if I needed anything or if there's anything he and his central office could do better.

At each committee meeting that Mark chaired, Mark made every effort every time to introduce new members and to thank departing ones.  He paid close attention to body language (yes, even via Zoom!), to raised hands, and to comments in the chat.  He would facilitate discussions and he would also slide in somewhat inconspicuously which sites we're from so we, as a large group of more than 20 site directors and co-site directors, would become acquainted with each other; this also gave some context to the comments being made.  When it came to discussing business, it was always obvious to me that Mark is a tireless advocate for our preceptors in the community and our residents.  Every meeting was densely packed and efficiently run.  Even with opportunities given for those who want to speak up to speak up, most meetings ended on time with clear action plans that Mark would speak to at the beginning of the next meeting.

In short, Mark is an unsung hero deserving to be recognized for his tireless efforts to advance family medicine through advocating for family medicine preceptors and residents.  He has worked hard in his role as Program Director of the UBC Family Practice Residency Program.  He creates welcoming, safe and inclusive work environments.  He makes time for us.  He wants to hear from us and to support each preceptor and each resident.  He seeks feedback to do better himself.   Mark is dedicated and committed to bettering family medicine now and for the future.  Thank you so much, Mark!!"

Dr. Julia Stewart

Dr. Stewart's nominator had this to say “Dr. Stewart has enjoyed a long career as a Hospital Medicine physician at Burnaby Hospital. As well as being an excellent clinician Dr. Stewart takes the time to  teach and educate medical students and residents and is a clinical instructor faculty of medicine at UBC.  Dr.  Stewart  has also been actively involved in non-clinical  administrative roles; President of the Burnaby hospitalist Physicians incorporation, director-at-Large for the Medical Staff association, member of the inaugural Women in Leadership MSA physician group, member and lead of several committees (infection control, Hiring, redevelopment, education and leadership and home first) and is  currently involved  with the Doctors of BC as the Co- Chair for BC Guidelines and Protocols advisory committee. In her spare time Dr. Stewart sings with the Vancouver Bach Choir and is a wonderful mother to her two children. Burnaby Hospital has significantly benefited from Dr. Stewart’s wise and thoughtful leadership and is deeply appreciative of all the contributions Dr. Stewart has made throughout her career.”

Dr. Shayne Soetaert

Dr. Soetaert's nominator had this to say "I would like to nominate Dr Shayne Soetaert, a colleague of mine in Fernie. I am choosing Shayne as he works tirelessly to provide exceptional care to his patients, the patients in the community and is always there to have a good laugh with. He goes above and beyond with his patients, and the patients he cares for in the emergency department and hospital. He does all this while raising elite level athlete daughters. He does countless hours of unpaid work, to help our hospital, and community to thrive. He is a physician that all young physicians (and others in their senior years), can look up to."

Dr. Philip Yoon

Dr. Yoon's nominator had this to say “Lt(N) Phillip Yoon is nominated for a BCCFP College coin for his exception work and teaching during Ex Rescue Medic in 2023. He presented an excellent presentation on airway management bringing together his expertise in pre-hospital care and emergency medicine. He served as a role model to all the students present.”

Dr. Danica Whalley

Dr. Danica Whalley's nominator had this to say "Dr Danica Whalley is a palliative physician providing care in the Fraser Valley that is exceptional and should be recognized and applauded. She is a superb clinician and advocate for those nearing the end of their lives, and someone who is able to draw alongside her patients and their families in a way that provides them dignity and meaning at this difficult time in their lives. She is a trusted colleague, never too busy to offer a colleague or fellow healthcare worker some of her time and expertise, whether informally, or in formal CPD meetings. Her clinical notes and orders are legendary, providing not only clarity to those working as part of the team caring for a patient, but also providing templates as to best care and practice. Palliative medicine is really understaffed and under-resourced at the moment, but this never deters her and she gets on and does what is needed with a laugh and a smile. It is an honour and privilege to work with her and call her a colleague."


Read about all of our recipients to date.