Dr. Sophia Park

MD, MBA, FRCPC

Laboratory Physician, Royal Columbian Hospital

Clinical Associate Professor, Dept of Pathology and Lab Medicine, University of British Columbia

Doctors of BC Board Member

Sophia - Mar 2018 2.jpg

What inspired you to work with Equity in Medicine?

I think any individual who does not fit the stereotypical mould of a physician will easily understand the "why" - we are reminded of it on the regular - if not daily, then at least a few times a week. I can list a multitude of reasons why inequity, lack of diversity, and/or exclusionary practices contribute to bad medicine, such as poor patient outcomes and physician burnout/disengagement. But the most important reason why I do this work is because these traditions and processes, which are systemically entrenched in our profession, are fundamentally wrong. We should value justice, fairness, and equal opportunity for all.

Name a physician leader who inspires you and why?

There are too many to name! Although there is still much work to be done, I am grateful for all the trailblazers who have gone before me and have paved a better way of life for me as an early career, Chinese/Korean female physician.

I hope that we can all be our authentic selves at work, and be valued and respected for bringing diverse thoughts, perspectives, and/or experiences to the table. I also hope that we will raise the next generation of physicians to have the courage to speak up about inequities and oppression, even when it involves some personal/career risk-taking. When you are the sole person in your group to raise these issues, it is easy for you to be brushed off as "difficult" and for the professional repercussions to occur. However, when you have courageous colleagues who are willing to echo the same concerns, it not only becomes much more difficult for the issues to be ignored, but it also provides you - and your colleagues - a shield of protection. Only when we have a critical mass of allies will we be able to meaningfully effect change without suffering blows to our careers/reputations when we engage in EDI advocacy.

What is your hope for physicians with respect to EDI in the future?