With medical eduction now taking place at more than 90 urban, regional, community and remote settings across the province, family physicians are playing an increasingly important role as teachers, preceptors and mentors. The Exceptional Teacher Honour was created to recognize and celebrate those family physicians who are dedicated to teaching and mentorship.

Nominations will be considered throughout the year.

If you are a colleague or former student and would like to nominate a community-based BC family physician for this honour, send an email to office@bccfp.bc.ca  providing the name of the nominee and a few sentences describing why you think they deserve to be recognized. Nominees must be a BCCFP member. 

Honour recipients will receive a personal letter of congratulations, a stethoscope charm, and be included in our communications to members.

Learn more about our 2023 recipients:

Dr. Mohamed Elbira

Dr. Elbira's nominator had this to say "Dr. Elbira is a family physician practicing in Quesnel, BC for over 3 years. He is a twin to an Orthopedic surgeon and a dedicated father of 3 who also volunteers as a youth sports coach in Quesnel. Additionally, he is an executive member of the Quesnel Medical Staff Association and works diligently to improve the delivery of patient care in his community.

Dr. Elbira stands out as being a compassionate preceptor who has an extraordinary passion for teaching. He has dedicated countless hours to teaching first-, third- and fourth-year UBC medical students. He prioritized time to discuss my learning goals and supported me in achieving them throughout my family practice rotation with him. I expressed a strong interest in full-service family medicine and learning this, he increased the number of in-person appointments so I could get more experience with office procedures and a broader scope of practice with his guidance and supervision. He even called other physicians and surgeons to arrange for me to join them in the ER and OR. I also worked with him on the in-patient wards. He delivered detailed feedback on my differentials, assessments and plans, and he is always encouraging and approachable.

Dr. Elbira is kind, respectful and inclusive towards students, patients and staff. He makes learners feel like a valued part of his team. He handles even the most challenging situations with kindness, and he is a role model to medical students!"

Dr. Dimithra Hippola

Dr. Hippola's nominator had this to say "I'd like to nominate Dr. Dimithra Hippola for best teacher. She is my colleague - I work closely with her, teaching residents and medical students. Dim clearly loves to teach and takes on any students who want to do more maternity care - she often is teaching 2-3 at once! She has excellent knowledge in her field and cares deeply for her patients. There is no better place to learn about complex obstetrical patients! She has also taught me, as a new family physician in practice. She has handouts galore and will spend hours sitting and talking to you. She often works late into the evening to accommodate all her learner's needs. She has been a mentor to me, helping me transition to longitudinal practice and is always available to answer questions, especially about my maternity patients. She is so encouraging, and clearly loves to teach. Anybody would be lucky to have a learning day with Dim."

Dr. Brian Mackay

Dr. Mackay's nominator had this to say "As a former resident of his, I believe he deserves this honour because of his unique ability in teaching to seek out the strengths in his learners and cater his teaching style to their innate abilities while providing useful feedback for their strengths. He is an example of a preceptor who is involved in education for no reason other than to better the world of medicine with well supported, well instructed learners. He treats learners how he treats his patients and staff - as equals. He leads by example with his excellent practice management and clinical skills which he will gladly sit and talk about with learners to help them grow. Although he stands out as exceptional in the world of education, he possesses a great deal of humility, and always emphasizes the ways in which he learns from his residents when flattered with positive feedback. I can't imagine a more deserving preceptor than Dr. Brian Mackay for this honour."

Dr. Shaun Van Pel

Dr. Van Pel's nominator had this to say "Dr. Van Pel is not only a great mentor and educator but he is a phenomenal family physician and colleague. He takes the time to directly observe students and does so in a very low stakes `and comfortable manner. He is thoughtful in his constructive feedback and provides specifics for areas of improvement which makes acting upon this feedback very useful and achievable. He is nonjudgemental and it is very obvious to anyone who works with him that he really cares about resident education and each residents specific learning goals. In addition to educating residents, he is a full-time family physician who also provides maternity care to Nanaimo and its surrounding community. He balances full-time work and family life while maintaining professionalism and a great sense of humour and humility. He seeks resident feedback and strives to continuously enhance the work environment for learners and his colleagues. Overall, Dr. Van Pel creates a learning environment that is optimal and highly effective for resident learning and independent growth. He truly deserves to be recognized for the contribution he has made towards the postgraduate education of family physician residents."


Read about our recipients to date.