Supporting Innovation

The BC Society of Rheumatologists’ initiatives focus on two key areas:

  • patient access to rheumatology care in the province; and
  • enhanced support for community rheumatologist practices through nursing services and office efficiency.


The Society partnered with virtual care software provider Medeo in 2018 to provide telehealth capabilities to 19 BC rheumatologists. The initiative is enabled by a special projects grant from Abbvie Canada.

Medeo’s software is web-based and can be used by any patient with an internet connection on any computer, smartphone or tablet.

The goal of this partnership is to improve access to care to all patients, especially those with disabilities or who live remotely.

Wait Times Project

In an effort to improve access to rheumatologic care, the BCSR periodically surveys its members to identify those who may have shorter wait times for routine referrals.

Please note that all rheumatologists prioritize referrals for inflammatory disease (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis).

The following members, listed with their referral fax numbers, have been identified as having wait times typically less than three months for routine rheumatologic referrals:


  • Dr. Alaa Elkhider (604-504-1644)


  • Dr. Carson Chin (604-566-0079)
  • Dr. Tommy Gerschman- Pediatric Rheumatology (604-210-6825)
  • Dr. Rolfe Luongo (604-431-8841)
  • Dr. Brent Ohata (604-453-0329)
  • Dr. Omid Zahedi Niaki (604-398-8360)
  • Dr. Boyang Zheng (604-398-8360)



  • Dr. Jennifer Corpuz (604-553-0954)
  • Dr. Jeff Gong (604-553-9662)
  • Dr. Hyein Kim (604-628-3867)
  • Dr. Michael Ramsden (604-526-2279)
  • Dr. Mitchell Uh (604-553-0954)
  • Dr. Grace Yang (604-522-0060)


  • Dr. Neda Amiri (604-770-4054)
  • Dr. Tommy Gerschman- Pediatric Rheumatology (604-210-6825)
  • Dr. Iman Hemmati (604-983-8123)
  • Dr. Alice Mai (604-770-4054)


  • Dr. Raheem Kherani (604-273-8043)
  • Dr. James Yeung (604-285-8765)
  • Dr. Ming Zhao (604-233-0078)


  • Dr. Ahmad Abdullah (778-564-0092)
  • Dr. Arun Asaduzzaman (778-607-2017)
  • Dr. Navjot Dhindsa (604-628-9060)
  • Dr. Kun Huang (778-607-2017)
  • Dr. Navjot Dhindsa (604-628-9060)
  • Dr. Maryam Shahbaz-Samavi (778-574-1616 or 778-607-2017)
  • Dr. Dipekka Soni (604-581-0580)
  • Dr. Wendy Wong (778-607-2017)


  • Dr. Kenneth Blocka (604-669-7157)
  • Dr. Jonathan Chan (604-872-1158)
  • Dr. David Collins (604-875-8270)
  • Dr. Natasha Dehghan (604-428-4555)
  • Dr. Daniel Ennis (604-269-3736)
  • Dr. Sarah Hansen (604-683-8150)
  • Dr. Iman Hemmati (604-428-7607)
  • Dr. Simon H K Huang (604-684-5718)
  • Dr. Shahin Jamal (604-875-5992)
  • Dr. May Kazem (778-606-2515)
  • Dr. John Kelsall (604-683-8150)
  • Dr. Hyein Kim (604-674-2329)
  • Dr. Alice Klinkhoff (604-871-4501)
  • Dr. Greg Koller (604-875-0890)
  • Dr. Diane Lacaille (604-207-4057)
  • Dr. Dipekka Soni (604-301-1586)
  • Dr. Max Sun (604-872-1158)
  • Dr. Fergus To (604-343-2669)
  • Dr. Alfonso Verdejo (604-688-6714)
  • Dr. Stefanie Wade (604-398-4645)
  • Artus Health Centre Rapid Access Clinic (604-875-0890)
  • BC Children’s Hospital Rheumatology Clinic (604-875-3141)


  • Dr. Milton Baker (250-721-4730)
  • Dr. Drew Bowie (250-385-9600)
  • Dr. Ksenia Gukova (778-698-2227)
  • Dr. Kimberly Northcott (250-940-1656)
  • Dr. Satish Rachapalli (250-598-7138)
  • Dr. David Shaw (250-940-1670)
  • Dr. Julia Tan (250-385-9600)
  • Dr. John Watterson (250-940-1667)

Rheumatology Nursing

The Society has been working with rheumatologists in BC to assist the implementation of nursing multidisciplinary care.

Rheumatology nursing serves to increase the ability of rheumatologists to see inflammatory patients appropriately and augment the care currently offered to individuals with chronic autoimmune diseases.

Office Practice Sessions

Office practice sessions for rheumatologists and their staff to improve efficiencies in rheumatology have been organized by the BCSR in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria.

New sessions are periodically announced to members via email.

Statement on Rheumatology Communities of Need

For many years the BC Society of Rheumatologists has been committed to helping improve the delivery of rheumatologic care in the province and address the critical shortage of rheumatologists.

This shortage has been documented through demographic reviews of rheumatologists in the province in 2009 and 2013 which have consistently indicated that not only are there fewer rheumatologists in the BC than recommended physician to population ratios, but that rheumatologists in BC on average are older as a group than other specialties and closer to retirement. It has also been shown that several regions in the province have lengthy wait times to see rheumatology specialists for inflammatory conditions.

As a result, the BCSR has identified several key regions that are felt to be the most under serviced in the province. As rheumatology is an outpatient specialty, typically, there are no advertised practice positions through health authorities despite the obvious need in many communities.

Through member consultations, wait time review and demographic analysis, the BC Society of Rheumatologist has identified the following communities of need:

  • Kamloops
  • Kelowna
  • Nanaimo
  • Nelson
  • Penticton
  • Prince George
  • Trail / Nelson


Kamloops has a population of over 90,000. It is also a referral area for a large region and is currently served by two rheumatologists. The Royal Inland Hospital is a referral center for over 250,000 people in the region.


Kelowna is a city of nearly 200,000 and also serves as a centre for the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. It has several practicing rheumatologists but wait times for care in the region remain some of the longest in the province with many patients traveling to the lower mainland for assistance.


Nanaimo has a population of nearly 100,000, and it serves as a referral point for much of the northern part of Vancouver Island. As a result, access remains a challenge for patients. There is a growing rheumatology community in Nanaimo.


Penticton is a vibrant community in the Okanagan with a population of approximately 35,000. Currently 2 rheumatologists provide services for the much larger region.

Prince George

Prince George is a city in Northern BC with a population nearing 100,000. Previously serviced by outreach clinics, Prince George has successfully recruited its first full time rheumatologist. Given its large referral catchment area of over 300,000 people, it is still considered under-serviced.

Trail / Nelson

Trail and Nelson serve large populations in the region with more than 50,000 people. Currently there are no practicing rheumatologists in these communities. Trail is currently serviced by rheumatology travelling clinics.


Through cooperation with the University of British Columbia training program, and recruitment of exceptional rheumatologists, the BCSR is hoping we will be able to attract candidates to these vibrant communities currently facing critical shortages in rheumatologic care.

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