Victoria: (778) 432-3333 Nanaimo: (250) 729 2665

Would the last Dermatologist to leave BC, please turn out the lights?

I am very grateful to BC, and Canada, for the opportunity given to me in 1993 to specialize in Dermatology at UBC.

It saddens me very much to see the subsequent decline in dermatologist services across BC over the past 20 years, thanks to willful negligence by the BC Government, the so called Doctors of BC, and the various colleges involved, despite strenuous campaigns to correct the situation.

I personally composed and submitted a 7- page report to the BC Ministry of Health in 2012 on how to improve BC Dermatologist services with no result. I then started an online campaign and petition, Operation … no result.

I took this site down in 2014 in disgust, after the Vancouver Sun published a near libelous editorial in which I was not named, but as the only dermatologist on the Island with two Clinics, easily identified. This defamatory, inaccurate article was repeated in most major Island papers. Legal opinion? No result. A rebuttal was written to the newspaper editor without even an acknowledgement.
 I paid to have my own rebuttal printed in this independent magazine. You can see it on my website. Again, no response or result.

So what is happening to BC Dermatology? Why are waiting lists 6-8 months long? Why are more and more GPs doing 6-month online diplomas in Dermatology from Wales….then setting up shop as “Skin Specialists”, with a fraction of the training of a real FRCP(C) Dermatologist, yet costing the Health Care system, and your taxes, more than a Dermatologist costs? And you end up making more visits, because the first and second creams did not work, or you end up with a scar, because online courses do not teach good skin surgical techniques.

What is happening is disgraceful.
Oh, the cynics say…even one Minister of Health said… just do more Botox. Well not all Dermatologists want to offer cosmetic services.

In addition, when I started including cosmetic services, such as Botox, in my Clinics, partly to help make ends meet (and I enjoy cosmetic dermatology) …my late Mother said to me, “Just always remember you are a doctor first, dear”.

And I have. And I do – Despite ongoing irritation, aggravation and impedance to my practice of good Medicine and good Dermatology by the BC Government, the Doctors of BC, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.

The delivery of quality medicine is expensive, the newspapers love to publish what doctors are paid by MSP, but are not so quick to publish what doctors spend to run their clinics, and absolutely no idea of the extra time, vision and dedication needed to set up a First Class facility.

The current management of BC Dermatology is a disgrace. Write to the Minister of Health today. Some doctors in this Province seem to be persuading the Government that using GPs with six month online diplomas will save money on Dermatology services. The opposite is true, GP to GP consultations bill MSP a lot more than GP to Dermatologist fees. Specialists have 5 years full time training for a reason, that’s what it takes!

Read Malcolm Gladstone’s “10,000 hours”. There are no short cuts to Excellence.

Mediocrity is a quickie. How can I be so certain? I was a GP interested in Dermatology for15 years, then as a trained Dermatologist, believe me, I know the difference. I also see the scars, misdiagnoses and patient complaints arriving regularly in my Clinics. There is definitely a place for GPs interested in Dermatology, but they should not be in solo practice, but working under the supervision of a fully qualified specialist Dermatologist, except perhaps in very rural areas. This has been successfully tested. Furthermore the under trained GP will need more visits with a patient, more prescriptions, unnecessary biopsies etc. than a fully trained Dermatologist

We have an election coming, so rather than just wait to mark your ballot, act to- day, get some changes in policy out of our desperately ill-informed politicians before they are elected and ignore the real issues for another four years.

Only YOU the VOTER can change the ignorance and indifference to our Health Care System.

Write to the Minister of Health, your MLA, today. Act now.

It is your Health Care System, so fight for it!

Today, BC Dermatology is being wrecked. Tomorrow…..?



Attention: Minister of Health The Honourable Terry Lake Message: “Please Fix BC Dermatology Now –

see” – and cc your MLA


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Reprinted from WWW.NANAIMOMAGAZINE.CA, March 2017